Grade 8 to 10 learners from Hoërskool Marais Viljoen and Fourways High School made creative use of waste products when visiting the waste management conference WasteCon2010 in Johannesburg recently. In an attempt to get the youth more involved and interested in the field of waste management the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) invited the learners from these two schools to attend the exhibition area at the conference and charged them “an article made out of waste materials” each to enter.
The resulting articles, which made innovative use of all types of waste materials from an old pair of denim jeans to the rubber ring of a creepy-crawly, were displayed in the exhibition area where passersby marvelled at their creativity. Recycling organisation Collect-a-Can later judged the items and awarded gift hampers to the four most creative articles from each school. Collect-a-Can are experienced at judging such competitions as they have been running their own schools competitions since 2003 and have just recently wrapped up their CAN Craze Competition which encouraged learners to build creative structures out of 300 or more used cans. They will be announcing the winners shortly.
The young visitors were shown around the exhibition area where they learned from key waste management organisations and local municipalities what waste management is all about and what future career opportunities could lie in store for them in the field.
“I think it’s a great idea to introduce waste management concepts to young people at this age as they are still impressionable and grasp the importance of waste management more easily than the older generation,” said Theresa Hurter, Waste Management Consultant at Interwaste. “We’d love the opportunity to show these learners around our material recovery facility (MRF) in Weltevreden Park so that they can see firsthand how the waste separation process works,” Hurter concluded.
“The youth play such an important role in the future of waste management and following the success of this visit we will definitely endeavour to continue the trend of inviting schools to attend our conferences in the future,” said Kobus de Meyer, Chairman of WasteCon2010.
The IWMSA is a professional, multi disciplinary organisation with voluntary membership established to promote the science and practice of waste management and is a non-profit organisation. For more information contact the IWMSA visit: www.iwmsa.co.za