The Green Desks Movement
The Green Desks Movement
Recycling schools earn Green Desks with recyclable waste
Wildlands launched the ground breaking Green desk project earlier this year and it has since gained much popularity as a barter option for the Wildlands’ recycling schools network. The Green desk innovation was made possible through a partnership with Rural Waste Poverty Alleviation (RWPA) where they figured out how to recycle multi layered plastics (without having to use one drop of water), and through a combination of grinding and extrusion, and then squeezing and densifying the material into planks.
Previously, schools received a cash rebate for their waste, which the schools could use for their schools’ needs. Instead of receiving a rebate for recyclable waste collected in 2016, top recycling schools are now being offered the opportunity to barter their entire 2016 waste collection for a classroom of Green Desks (30) valued at R21 000.00.
“This was offered to schools as an opportunity to pilot the initiative and a formal barter model will be formalised with schools leading into next year”, said Moira Potter, Sustainable Schools Relationships Manager for the Midlands.
Of the schools approached, a few of the private schools had already earmarked their rebates for their various Eco-programs, which is fantastic as this shows their willingness to further improve their ability to teach their learners about sustainability and become more ‘green.’ A few private schools have jumped at the offer. St Anne’s have donated their Green desks to Fezokuhle Primary (iMbali township) St Johns donated theirs to Copesville Secondary School and Russell High donating their Green desks to Alston Primary (Pmb).
Michaelhouse is currently considering this option and will revert shortly as they too would like to donate to a community school. Howick High has asked to barter a third of their waste for 10 desks which they intend using in various places outdoors on their school premises. They wish to receive a rebate for the remaining amount as they would like to purchase additional recycling bins.
Chistlehurst Academics and Art, a small creative school, has utilised half the desks indoors and created an outdoor environmental classroom under the trees with the remainder. Heritage Academy, who recently visited the Wildlands’ recycling depot, saw and fell in love with the desks and agreed to barter their waste for Green desks.
Moira Potter, Wildlands’ Sustainable Schools Relationship Manager comments, “To date, a total of 160 desks have been delivered to various schools in Pietermaritzburg. We are confident that once the offer is made to the other schools, many more will jump at the offer to get involved and assist schools with desk shortages.”
“The Green Desk project would not have been possible without support from our donors, Unilever and South 32. Unilever worked closely with us to innovate this solution and South 32 are actively assisting us with expanding into northern KZN. Futurelife, Nedbank and ZAC (Zululand Anthracite Colliery) are also contributing with the collection of waste, the production of desks and the overall improvement of schools,” comments Dr Andrew Venter (Wildlands CEO).
Interested businesses are encouraged to purchase or donate a classroom of desks to schools in need or in the Wildlands’ recycling schools’ network. To find out more, please contact Hanno Langenhoven (Wildlands’ Relationship Manager) at HannoL@wildlands.co.za or visit www.wildlands.co.za