Recycling stories from listeners - from glass to chameleons

It’s a waste not to recycle.

If there was a line graph that reflected people’s commitment to recycling it may read as follows: The low point would be those that don’t recycle. The upward rise highlighting those that do. Rocketing off the graph would be the enthusiasts that walk the streets to save the earth.

On Monday, John Maytham’s listeners joined the conversation about recycling, a discussion that has continued into the week.

From green wheelie bins, to employment creation, to worm farms, we heard some creative solutions that are worth following.

One of our listeners told us about an intuitive to save a certain species of lizards! At the Rosemead Depot some of the workers have a side-line operation saving chameleons. If you’d like one you simply give them your number, they find a chameleon and contact you. Is that taking going green to a multi-coloured level?

A permit is required to move a chameleon.

While it’s a delightful story, Professor Krystal Tolley, principal scientist from The South African National Biodiversity Institute disagrees. She spoke to John voicing her concerns about the selling of chameleons. In the Western Cape its illegal to remove chameleons from a refuse dump, you need a permit from Cape Nature. While it seems preferable for a chameleon to be re-homed in a leafy garden, Tolley explains, “In general it’s not good to move wild animals, it can spread disease or you could be impacting them genetically, or changing the density of the animals in certain regions.” Their aim is to plant a habitat around the dumps for the chameleons.

Another listener let us know she’d seen someone walking the streets collecting plastic bottles in order to raise money for Operation Smile. This is a Global non-governmental organisation that works to put the smile back on children born with a cleft lip and/or cleft palate. Smile provides free and safe corrective surgery and post-operative care.

Recycling that allows a child to smile again

We followed up with Operation Smile about the work they’re doing. Operation Smile has recently partnered with Fair Cape Dairies and is excited about their new campaign. It will launch officially on Give a Child a Smile Day on February 6 and will run until World Smile Day in October.

Their aim is to encourage the public to collect plastic bottle caps. Every kilogram of bottle tops collected will be recycled. Independent auditors will ensure that 100% of the money raised will go towards paying for the life changing surgery. At the moment, there will be collection bins in Golden Acre and Picbel Parkade in town, and they are in discussions with other centres to get bins placed there too.

Whether its bottle tops, cans or chameleons it’s clear we need to re-think our attitude to recycling. If the will is there it takes approximately 30 days to form a good habit. Start now. By the end of next month we may just see you at the glass depot!


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