700 bags, two skips and a truck full of trash

The people of Hoekwil and Touwsranten clubbed together to address the issue of illegal dumping and littering in the village Main and Seven Passes Roads recently.

From left are ward councillor Marlene Barnardt, volunteer Terry Lamont Smith (behind the wheel) and ratepayers association Chris Kritzinger (Chairperson of HRRA)

Armed with hundreds of black bags provided by the municipality, the 30 volunteers collected more than 700 bags with litter and filled a refuse truck and two skips with illegally dumped waste. The George Municipality arranged for the trash to be collected.

Touwsranten youth load black bags filled with litter they collected from the area

Organised by the Hoekwil Ratepayers’ Association and supported by Sonneblom Creche, the clean-up involved local school children who could compete for the most black bags filled with litter. The children were provided with snacks and taught about the importance of keeping the environment clean. 

While the kids cleaned the village streets, the adults focussed on a section of the Seven Passes Road, which proved to be a major illegal dumping area. Residents donated the use of their vehicles and climbed in to load a truck full of large items including old furniture, building rubble, carpets, buckets, tins and even a geyser.  After an entire morning’s work only made a dent in the bigger picture, the ratepayers association decided to keep the skips for another two weeks in the hope to continue cleaning up more of the Seven Passes Road.  

Marlene Barnardt, who is the ward councilor for the area, participated in the campaign. “The clean-up is a great example of how a community can pull together to address an issue that affects everybody. It was also an excellent opportunity to educate the youth regarding this very topical issue, which will hopefully contribute towards raising more responsible adults.”

Thank you to Lemise April (Sonneblom Creche) and Lydia Buys for arranging the children’s participation, as well as Chris Kritzinger, Laurel Pelser, Deidre and Andrew Simpson, Cornell Barnardt and Terry and Jenny Lamont-Smith for their involvement and lending of their vehicles, and other volunteers for doing their part. 

Caption: From left are clean-up organiser Laurel Pelser, ward councilor Marlene Barnardt and Sonneblom Creche volunteer Lemise April in front of a trailer filled with bags that were dropped at the municipal landfill.

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