This vision statement forms part of the Greyton in 2030 Vision: All residents take personal responsibility for their litter. Household and commercial waste is kept to the absolute minimum. The inevitable solid waste generated by the community is viewed as a form of income. All sanitation is processed ecologically.
Current key activities towards Greyton’s waste vision:
Regular articles appear in our local newspaper, The Sentinel, informing about recycling. Leaflets are distributed from GTT and GCS tables at the Saturday morning market. Two sponsored leaflet drops for all postboxes in the town have taken place. All material has been translated into Afrikaans.
GTT successfully lobbied for the Greyton dumpsite to become a garden waste only site. Reductions in waste being dumped there allowed for a small reduction in the size of the dumpsite and the space this has created was loaned to GTT to create a Green Park. Around two hectares have been rehabilitated and a green garden with vegetables and fruit bearing trees has been planted. There, GTT is supporting a new small business run by two previously unemployed men. The men stack garden waste for a chipper, produce compost and firewood. These, with the chippings, are sold to offset the costs of the project.
2. Education About Waste
Oil drums to aid with recycling have been introduced into all schools in the area. A key focus of the GTT environmental education and ec0-crew programme is to educate, inform and inspire pupils to recycle. A Green Leaf campaign is being prepared in association with Greyton Tourism Association to support restaurants, bars and accommodation establishments in Greyton and Genadendal to become environmentally friendly. A system of one to three green leafs will be awarded according to the number of measures introduced by each establishment. Full information, support and resources will be given by GTT.
3. Plastic Bag Free Greyton
GTT is aiming to become the first town in South Africa to voluntarily stop using the single-use plastic shopping bag. The Saturday morning market and most of the smaller retailers have stopped supplying the bags and OK Supermarket are pioneering this initiative in the larger outlets by reducing their availability, encouraging the use of reusable carry bags and supplying longlife bags instead. A small, sustainable business has been established, employing four full time seamstresses, to make longlife shopping bags from South African manufactured parachute material supplied at reduced price by Gelvenor fabrics in Port Elizabeth. The bags sell for R10 and are currently available at Pure Cafe, OK Supermarket and Vigne Pharmacy. As soon as production is built up, the bags will be available to other outlets.
4. Trash to Treasure
Trash to Treasure is a project which aims to change the way we perceive waste. Its flagship event is the annual Trash to Treasure Festival, the first of which took place on August 4th 2012. Over 400 people from all sectors of the community participated in a day of music, workshops, demonstrations, retail and play at a dumpsite transformed by recycled waste. A stage of sand filled tyres covered in chippings hosted local and visiting musicians and performers. Composting toilets were constructed out of stuffed bottle bricks. A stuffed bottle brick competition encouraged people to stuff plastic bottles with unrecyclables like Styrofoam and some types of plastic. These bricks have been used by the Eco-Crew to create an outdoor classroom at the site.
5. Future Plans
GTT is working with the municipality and the Greyton Council to consider ambitious projects aimed at making the village independent in its treatment of all waste, including sewerage, garden waste and household waste. The technology to support this work is expensive so GTT are in discussions with GreenCape, an organisation which supports entrepreneurial engagement with environmental issues.