Recycling swop-shop teaches more than just recycling to underprivileged children in Jeffery’s Bay, the children they help learn how to manage “money” too.


Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa – Swop-Shop recycling centres are popping up all over South Africa. Last year we found out about one in Jeffrey’s Bay and had previously shared stories about a few in Sedgefield and Gansbaai.

These little spaces are a massive success as they drive recycling by offering a rewards system for children. The rewards are anything from essential household items, like toilet paper and cleaning supplies, to necessities, like school supplies and food. Points are awarded for the amount of recycling collected and the quality of the recyclables.

But these places do more than just recycle. They teach valuable life lessons about budgeting, saving and shopping smart. As points are earned for bringing in recyclables, the children can use them in the same way they would use actual money. They can save hard to get something they want or need.

The JBay Recycling Project was started after a presentation was done showing the success of the idea in Hermanus. In 2011, the first swop took place, and it has only grown since then.

To date, over 320 children collect 2.8tonnes of recyclable waste every single week! How incredible is that?

The Swop-Shop accepts plastic bottles, tins, glass and cardboard. The drop off zone is in Pellsrus, the CMR Community centre next door to the Madiba Bay Creche and takes place every Monday afternoon. Some of the most swopped items are toilet paper, toothpaste, soap, milk, oats and books. The kids also love swopping their points for marbles, pens, clothes and shoes.

The shop is stocked with donations from the local community and businesses as well as the money earned from the recycled materials. The recycling is managed by a local recycling company, Environman, which absorbs the cost of collecting all the materials each week.

The swop-shop and recycling project teaches the children about the benefits of recycling as well as how to care for the environment and why it is so vital that we do.

These small, easily run yet life and environment changing swop-shops, are making massive impacts within the communities they are established. If something like this was set up in every town, we could eradicate pollution, fight poverty and empower entire communities. For more information on the JBay Recycling Project, check out their website here.

Sources: JBay Recycling Project
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Tyler Leigh Vivier
About the Author

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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