STATEMENT BY EXECUTIVE MAYOR OF STELLENBOSCH MUNICIPALITY – GESIE VAN DEVENTER
The Stellenbosch Municipality Swop Shop programme continues to grow and enjoy overwhelming success, especially in the Klapmuts area. This project has been so successful that the Municipality acquired a custom made trailer to use as mobile shop for this project. Executive Mayor, Gesie van Deventer said: ‘’The success of the Swop Shop program is due to the cooperation and investment of residents in their own area. This project enables us to make a positive socio-economic investment in the community and demonstrates how beneficial mutual cooperation can be.”
The new Swop Shop trailer was officially launched in Klapmuts recently. This trailer has been custom designed and made by Mr Peter Price, of Priclo Trailers, for the express purpose of using it as a mobile shop. The trailer consists of shelves and clothing rails where all the stock available for purchase (via coupons) can be stored and displayed. The trailer opens up, allowing customers to access the shop and purchase the items they are interested in.
The Swop Shop began in May 2016. The project is geared towards teaching the community the benefits of recycling and keeping their community clean. The Municipality sets up the shop and stocks it with basic need items like coffee, sugar, tea, soap, toilet paper, fruit, clothes and shoes. Items like clothes and shoes are donated by the public and/or municipal staff. The items like coffee and sugar are budgeted for and bought by the Solid Waste Department. All items are assigned a coupon value. Residents bring their sorted recyclables to the swop shop in standard size clear plastic bags. One bag of paper, plastic or cardboard recyclables is worth one coupon, and a bag of cans or glass are worth three coupons. As residents trade in their bags, they are issued with coupons which they then use to trade for the goods in store.
The very first swop shop in May 2016 only managed to collect 280kg of recyclable materials. At present, it has grown to 2400 kg on average per Swop Shop. During the launch of the new mobile Swop Shop trailer, the Solid Waste Department collected more than 3000 kg of recyclable material. All the material turned in by the community is processed at our local material recovery facility. The benefit for the Municipality is that all this material, which would have ended up on our landfill, is now diverted and recycled, extending the life of the landfill site. It also curbs illegal dumping and limits pollution of water sources and public open space. The benefit for the residents is a clean environment and children are taught from a young age to minimise waste and place a value on recyclable items.
Mayor van Deventer said: “I am very proud of the project and of the community, whose enthusiasm for this project has seen it go from strength to strength”. The Swop Shop is currently operational in Klapmuts, Enkanini and Kayamandi. The Municipality is exploring the possibility to add additional items for trade in the Swop Shop in the future, which may include electricity and cell phone airtime and data.