Remember the ‘funky bins’ at HIFA last year? They were designed by the Lynde Francis Trust (LFT) for three reasons. First, they are a way of creating useful and sustainable products from waste items. Each bin is made from 175 tin cans or plastic bottles, or from five kilograms of recycled plastic strips manufactured by a company in Harare. The bins are durable and renewable – each element can be replaced or repaired.
Second, the bins are made by or support small groups of vulnerable people living in and around Harare who earn money from each bin sold.
Third, LFT saw a need to create safe receptacles for junked items because impoverished artists often rummage in unsanitary landfill sites and other waste dumps for their materials at great risk to their health.
This year has seen even more exciting developments with the bins set to become part of a bigger initiative. Organisations such as Plastix, at the forefront of the coloured recycled bin bags, and Go Green Harare are joining forces with others to collect recyclables and ensure that they create an income. Either a price by weight will be paid for plastics and PET bottles or the collected waste will get to groups such as LFT, Sunshine Zimbabwe Project and others where it will be used towards achieving sustainable livelihoods for craftspeople.
The bins serve as collection points at schools, embassies and shopping centres. By purchasing a set of bins and working towards their being filled with recyclable waste items, buyers not only support the groups who make them, but also become links in the ‘cash for trash’ chain.
The bins are designed to be noticed and to serve as receptacles for the same materials they are made from. The cans and plastic bottles collected after an international golf tournament at the Royal Harare Golf Club in April 2013 were enough to produce all 48 funky bins for HIFA last year.
There is also a range of smaller bins – for indoors or outdoors – designed to contain the different coloured plastic bin bags for recycling, which can be supplied with the bins.
Join the recycling revolution, contact Ondine Francis: firstname.lastname@example.org.