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Nageng Primary welcomes new library built from recycled waste

The library showcases the potential of the bricks made from upcycling yoghurt tubs to build structures.

Nageng Primary School’s (NPS) planet protectors (learners) were thrilled to receive a newly built library after the launch and handover by Danone and various stakeholders on 3859 Sebati Road, Vosloorus, on September 7.

CoE Mayor Sivuyile Ngodwana; the MEC for Social Development, Agriculture and Rural Development, Mbali Dawn Hlophe; Ward 107 ANC Clr Goje Thabani Mose and Hervé Orama Barrere, the MD at Danone Southern handed over the library.

Ward 107 Clr Goje Thabani Mose welcomed the guests.

The library, furnished with tables, chairs and shelves full of books, has board games, laptops, a projector, a sound system and a printer and boasts a full-time librarian hired by Vosloorus.

The structure is the first of its kind, built from lightweight bricks made from recycled yoghurt tubs collected by planet protectors across SA as part of a competition initiated by Danone.

The new library was built from recycled yoghurt tubs.

Danone corporate affairs manager Leanne Kiezer said they learnt that if you upcycled yoghurt tubs, they could be converted into bricks and used to build structures.

She said they built the library using 4 100 upcycled bricks, incorporating over 1m Nutri-Day yoghurt tubs.

“It is a showcase that if you treat your plastic correctly and ensure it goes into a recycling stream instead of into nature or the landfill, it can be converted to have a purpose. Waste can have value if treated correctly,” said Kiezer.

The library houses about 4 500 books.

When asked about the processes of turning waste into value, Kiezer said the yoghurt tubs were cleaned and kept aside with other recyclables.

She explained that the tubs then went to a factory (the up-cycler is Envirolite Concrete) and were ground into granulate, almost like a powder or fine particles.

“It gets mixed with other plastic types, types of polystyrene, like the white fluffy polystyrene, and mixed again into a cement. The cement has an aggregate in it, so it causes the cement to bind well to the plastic. It then hardens, and you have a brick.

The projector will help learners to learn and watch DVDs.

“The brick is incredible because it is environmentally friendly because it is diverted plastic from landfills as it incorporates plastic. It is much lighter to transport than a traditional brick because some of the cement was displaced. But also, another reason is it has an insulating effect which helps moderate temperature in the room.”

She said the brick was 100% safe to use for construction. The Green Building Council of South Africa approved the bricks, and they met SABS standards. They are non-flammable and viable tools to build with.

Grade Seven learner and NPS head boy Bohlale Lekota (13) said he loved reading drama and action books. He said he was excited because the library would help him with information.

Learners refresh their eyes with new reading material. Here are (left) head girl Akani Mailula (13), personal assistant Maphobo Sitsha (13) and head boy Bohlale Lekota (13).

Maphobo Sitsha (13) said this generous gesture opened doors for them to read about many things globally.
“I love reading romance and drama books. I will use every opportunity I get to use the library. I was impressed because when I first got inside, I saw a lot of books,” said Sitsha.

The school’s principal, Lefty Monobe, said the learners would have access to information.

“Remember, knowledge is power,” he said.

“We are happy with the project and our learners will benefit greatly,” said Monobe.

Laptops and a printer in the library.

Ngodwana praised the learners for heeding the call to become planet protectors.

“This magnificent library is a testament to your responsible and persistent actions as learners of Nageng. I salute the corporates that made this lifetime investment for our children because they are living out the proverb that says – it takes a village to raise a child.

“We need to unite as residents, government and business in enriching our children by exposing them to endless opportunities,” said Ngodwana.

He applauded the social investment initiative by businesses and called others to lend a hand to make Ekurhuleni great.

WATCH: Vosloorus school to receive newly built library

A reading space in the library.
Nageng Primary School learners during the handover on September 7.
The floor plan for the new library.

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