This website is not just about the Hermanus RSS. We want to encourage and assist others to start a similar project in a disadvantaged community in your area. Starting a Recycle Swop Shop can be done without any funding at all (that’s how we did it!) – it requires only the passion, perseverance, goodwill, faith of those who are willing to give their time, support and effort.
TEAM = Together Everyone Achieves More
Start a Swop Shop in your area!
We have put together some materials we hope will help you in starting your own RSS, which you may download by clicking here. Every RSS will have its own journey to serve specific community needs and becoming a success, but it’s helpful and saves valuable time and energy to learn from each other’s successes and failures – please share any insights into the process that you might have. Here is a summary of our journey:
- We located a local recycling agent in our community where the material collected could be directed for reconstitution or reworking. An accessible recycling depot is a prerequisite for a successful RSS project.
- We secured a location where the Swop Shop could happen each week. In our case this was a local community centre, Hou Moed, but it could be anywhere - even trailers forming mobile “shops” have had success.
- We set a day and time each week that is convenient for the children, bearing in mind the schedules and activities of local schools and sports clubs.
- We collected the items needed – supplies for swop, sorting bags for recycling, milk crates to store and display items for the “shop”, coloured marker and paper squares for tickets.
- We advertised the concept to a few children in the neighbourhood to start. It then grew via word of mouth. To start on a large scale may be overwhelming and requires more people and resources.
- We began keeping records of the numbers of children attending, amounts of recyclables collected and so on. This is essential in tracking your project’s growth and development.
- We introduced outings for the children as incentives to collect more, as an educational tool to inform and sensitise children to community and environmental issues.
- We informed the local community of your activities through local media and community communication channels
- We approached clubs, charities, individuals and businesses to help us as our needs increased. We could use our statistics to prove our success.
- We had fun and very much learned and we went, we grew with the children who began to benefit from the RSS.
Registering as a Nonprofit Organisation (NPO) with the Department of Social Development will put your Swop Shop in the best position to access funding and support. Find out how to register as an NPO
- Love is making an unpopular decision for the right reason.