Polystyrene Recyclers help clean up Hennops River
The Hennops Revival Project is a nonprofit organization with the focus on reviving, restoring and healing the Hennops River in collaboration with the government, other NGO’s, NPO’s and Forums, the private sector and the public. The latest challenge they faced was the poly-island of waste that collects where the river divides, and where litter gets stuck on logs and branches that have collected at this juncture after the summer rains. At 3 meters high, the poly-island is big enough for a person to stand on it.
According to Tarryn Johnston, founder of Hennops Revival, the rain has dramatically increased the water flow,bringing down tons more litter which collected at the poly-island.
The rain made it more difficult to go into the water and do the usual clean-ups. Despite the obstacles facing them, Tarryn and her team managed to collect a total of 2073 bags in a week, of which 480 bags were polystyrene.
Hearing about the large amount of polystyrene that was collected, the Polystyrene Association of SA and their members were quick to jump into action. Earlier this year, the Association made an urgent appeal to households and businesses for their used polystyrene. Demand continues to outstrip supply and recyclers find themselves in desperate need of material that can be recycled into picture frame mouldings, skirtings, curtain rods, concrete bricks and various other applications.
Gary Formato of Supreme Mouldings (a member of the Polystyrene Association of SA), reached out to Hennops Revival and offered to collect the polystyrene so that it could be recycled. The company houses a state-of-the-art recycling plant in Roodepoort, Gauteng where they recycle polystyrene into raw materials to produce a wide range of their architectural and decorative moulding products.
“Supreme Mouldings was the first organisation in South Africa to collect Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) materials. We’ve been committed to recycling since 2005 and see it as our duty as members of the community to ensure that we all play our part in defending the environment,” Gary says.
Supreme Mouldings appeals to companies that use and accumulate EPS to contact them to collect the material for recycling. In return, they have committed to donate R1 to the Hennops Revival Project for every kilogram that they collect.
“The effect of pollution on the fragile eco-system of the river is devastating and it is our responsibility to do everything we can to assist in cleaning the environment,” he concludes.