TrashBack uphinda-phindo! is a project that incentivises disadvantaged communities to manage their own waste through recycling.
When translated from isiXhosa to English, uphinda-phindo means ‘to repeat’, or the action of doing something over and over again. This encompasses TrashBack’s philosophy of encouraging a behavioural shift towards re-use and recycling.
There are many benefits of incentivised recycling:
1) More waste is recycled and thus less waste goes to landfill.
2) Cleaner communities result, instilling pride and dignity and a greater sense of place.
3) A cleaner community means a healthier community.
4) It provides both informal and formal employment, contributing towards social upliftment.
TrashBack’s uphinda-phindo! is not just giving handouts; instead, it acts as a platform to change apathy into action through an altered perception of waste. Communities are encouraged to take pride in their local environment and are rewarded for it.
How does it work?
The current incentive scheme rewards top collectors for their efforts. When participants bring in a set volume of recyclables, they are issued with a certain number of points, which are registered under their personal profile on the uphinda-phindo! system.
Participants that have the most points at the end of each collection period (currently run from Wednesday to Wednesday) are guaranteed a reward, with a predetermined number of rewards available for each collection period. The points of the rewarded Top Collectors are reset to zero, while the points of those who are not rewarded are carried over to the next collection period.
TrashBack uphinda-phindo! rewards are distributed using TrashBack’s unique voucher system, which is enabled through the broccoli project. These vouchers can be redeemed at various local businesses and informal traders within the community, ensuring that:
Participants are rewarded with beneficial items, such as food and clothing.
Rewards are kept within the community, helping to stimulate the local economy.
Rewards consist of food, clothing, shopping vouchers, travel vouchers, stationary, airtime and high school textbooks.
In summary, uphinda-phindo! gives community members the opportunity to translate rubbish into rewards, simply by bringing us items which were previously considered to be worthless.
TrashBack uphinda-phindo! was launched on the 3rd of September 2011 in Imizamo Yethu (IY), Hout Bay. Between then and the 9th of February 2012 we have:
Collected 415 cubic metres of recyclables which would:
1)Cover an entire rugby field to a depth of 6.3cm.
2) Take up as much space as a herd of 88 African elephants!
3) Registered 576 participants, which is 1 in 17 people in Imizamo Yethu.
4) Exchanged 1019 rewards, worth R 16 475, which is equivalent to a basic monthly salary for 1.46 people.