Eco-friendly Secunda? Only with your help!

"We have to start now, it’s not too late.”

The Bulletin Newspaper
Mia Pretorius (8) joined because she "wants a cleaner earth"

Environmental enthusiasts could hardly wait to start cleaning the Duck pond and its surrounding areas on Saturday. Although not many joined Going Green Secunda’s first Community Cleanup Day, the area got cleaned up regardless.
Going Green Secunda is a fresh initiative of two individuals, Kheya Samuels and Henry Smith, to clean up the pigsty of a town, something that is a common sight all over Govan Mbeki Municipal area (who also happened to scoop up the Best Performing Municipality Award in the 2016 Greenest Municipality competition).
Afriforum also reached out, offerering their help and also sponsored hot dogs and cold drinks to everyone who helped. Apart from them only a few residents showed up. “I am not disappointed and I’m grateful that Afriforum supports this initiative. We will run this project until Secunda is clean and by that time, we have hopefully educated residents on how important recycling is,” Kheya said.
She feels so strongly about the environment that Kheya left her job as an Assistant Manager in retail late last year to pursue her passion after she saw a post on social media where someone wanted to know where they can recycle. “It was an impulsive decision, but I don’t regret it, I love nature and enjoy everything God gave us for free,” Kheya said.
She made contact with Henry Smith, whose part-time business of picking up refuse has bloomed since GMM failed to deliver proper service, and Going Green Secunda was started.
They currently recycle plastic, paper, tins and cans, cardboard and everything that is recyclable, but is looking to also focus on non-recyclable items at a later stage.
The waste goes into special sacks, usually used to store maize (streepsak). “The sacks are awesome for sorting and they are also recyclable, we use them over and over again. Henry organized them,” Kheya said. The waste will then get sorted in Henry’s backyard and after being sorted it goes to local recycling sites. “Sorting is really unromantic,” Kheya, who apparently goes through lots of shower gel, laughed.
They have to use recyclers close by as council has high expectations and you have to gather a certain amount in order to qualify to recycle for them.
A future plan is to approach hotels, restaurants and guest houses to recycle their waste.
“I want to open a recycle plant in Secunda which will get the town cleaned up while providing much needed job opportunities at the same time,” Kheya added.
Hendriëtte de Bruyn, Secunda resident, stopped to drop off bottles and other items she has gathered for months. “My children live in Canada and they recycle everything, I’m just following their example,”she said.
Two other residents that was part of the team, was Hildegaard Liebel and her 8-year old daughter, Mia Pretorius who said she supports the day because she wants a cleaner earth.
How does Kheya feel that it’s on the community’s shoulders to clean up? “Someone has to do something, imagine what this place will look like if we don’t even attempt to live more eco-friendly. We have to start now, it’s not too late.”
With GMM not doing their part in refuse removal, residents are urged to support this environmental project before the town starts to look worse. Going Green Secunda will tackle a different designated area once a month. If you have missed this first opportunity to make a difference, you can lend a hand in March with their next cleanup day. If you want to recycle at home, you may also come and drop off your waste as well.


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