Photo Credit: Re-Trade Projects

The Re-Trade Project has almost completed work on their new recycling and training centre; it will be a hub for community-based projects.


Walmer, South Africa (23 February 2022)The Re-Trade Project helps people in need by allowing them to trade recyclable items for food, clothing and toiletries. The organisation is a non-profit that aims to grant those in need with a dignified way to sustain themselves.

This opportunity offers everyone a way to uplift themselves without feeling like they are receiving a handout. They have to work to earn items from the trading depot, which then helps develop a healthy work ethic.

Last year, the recycling depot announced that they would be opening an official Eco Centre that would act as the headquarters for the organisation. The plan is to have an office space for the organisation’s admin, a training facility to upskill those wanting to learn, and storage space for all the recyclables and the trade store.

The building is being made from reclaimed materials to go along with the eco-friendly and recycling cornerstones of the Re-Trade Project. Some serious progress has been made since breaking ground last year.

The trading depot uses funds from recycled items to restock the shelves. Still, the NPO also relies on physical and financial donations from the public to keep the shelves adequately stocked.

Maria Grewar founded the Re-Trade Project to address poverty in Walmer Park and the high pollution and dumping rate in the area. By launching the trade shop, the community shifted their take on litter, and the area started to look tidy. People who previously loitered or begged began cleaning up their surroundings, taking part in recycling.

The shop stocks all sorts of food, clothing and toiletries. Everything is an essential item. Some of the top food items available include Tomato and Onion Mix, Instant Soup, Rice, Pasta, Oats, Oil, Long-life Milk, Coffee, Mealie Pap and Sugar.

We spoke to Maria about the new build and how things are going.

“The new building is nearing completion – we are so thrilled! It is customised for training, recycling storage, hosting of events and education groups, and community-based recycling. We are finalising our waste storage certification which for Port Elizabeth will be a fantastic showcase of the city prioritising green sustainable initiatives.

We are 100% off the grid – solar and water are all self preserved! We were able to use many pieces of good quality recycled items and shipping containers are the skeleton. The ethos of retrade is embedded in the building.”

Re-Trade is hopefully reopening in March. All going to plan, the community can begin their recycling from then and join in on all the community-based projects.

“We need community support like never before, our waste storage application is in its final stages and this will be a massive achievement, We have had many discussions with the municipality and stakeholders regarding the value of a community-based recycling depo. We are prioritising health and safety standards of our building and pride ourselves on being accountable and ethical in our delivery of programmes and projects.”

Take a look at some of the progress being made below.

Sources: Re-Trade Project – Interview
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Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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