How can we keep our beautiful smiling coast clean and reduce waste in the communities and our homes? We asked AFRecycle’s Fatou Amirah Mambouray for some quick tips on how to keep our surroundings clean. Here are some of her tips:
- “Mbeda Du Mbalit” (Street is not dumpsite)
The single most important way to start helping the environment and getting into the habit of properly disposing of waste is through refraining from littering on our streets.
- When you visit a public area (e.g. beach), make sure to take out everything you brought in, including the “trash”. Bring along a bag for waste.
- Tuck small items (ie. plastic bottles and chewing gum wrappers) in reusable bags you can carry in your pockets or purse until you can throw them away in a bin.
- When on the go and you have a larger item to throw away, look for the closest shop or boutique and kindly ask if you can do so in their bin (it is usually right by the entrance).
2. At Home
- When at home, consider what the item is before throwing ANYTHING in the bin. If it is made up of glass, aluminum, paper, cardboard, plastic, or even electronics, it can be recycled. Keep separately and do a bit of research on how to recycle or reuse it.
- Upcycle! Turn it into a fun family craft day where you turn your recyclable plastics or glass bottles into new materials or products of better quality or for better environment.
- Have a separate bin or area at home for used tin cans (soft drinks/sardines/corned beef), plastic bottles/containers, and boxes/packaging. Local trash collectors already recycle these items and would very much appreciate you easing their separation process (they dig through your trash for these items).
3. Composting is easy!
We shop for and cook in our homes daily not knowing that we aren’t getting the best out of the money we spent. Our leftovers actually work as excellent organic plant fertilizer!
Take for example:
- Tea bags
- Fruit & vegetable peels/scraps
- Coffee grounds
- Dried leaves
- Egg shells
- Bread scraps
- Kitchen and toilet roll tubes
- Dead flowers
- All leftover foods
Dig a medium-sized hole in the ground somewhere in your home, place these items in as you produce them daily, cover and mix with more soil often, and repeat! “Contrary to popular belief, composting does not smell.”
“By composting, not only are you maximizing the use of your purchase, but you are also reducing methane emissions AND cleansing the air (foul dumpsite smells are mainly a result of food waste)” Fatou Amirah Mambouray, AFRecycle
Be sure to look out for the launch of AFRecycle in July, 2019! Not only will they have a collection service for all recyclables- but active household and community programs to bring to light the importance and ease of recycling and anti pollution in The Gambia. Reduce, reuse, recycle, rethink!