Recycling Programs


recycling kids

In keeping with the ethos of EcoKids. We encourage the collection of Reusable and Recyclable material at our REMEDIA. The REMEDIA is a place to collect, store, sort, modify and then let our imaginations soar with our RECYCLED MEDIA. A place where teachers will be able to draw on resources for craft and creative projects. Where the imagination will give every day and mundane objects NEW life and meaning, fuelling the discovery and creativity of our children.

It still amazes me at what beauty can be found by someone who takes the time to perceive objects in a different manner. With a little bit of imagination we can illustrate how easy it is to recycle and reuse so much of what we would normally call junk and give our children the satisfaction of creating whilst saving our world little by little!

I hope that as parents of an EcoKid, you will all embrace this project and be active in collecting the exciting material we use by starting a recycling program in your home.

Below is a list of items to collect. Please feel free to offload at reception.

/rèmedía/ Concatenation of {recycled media}, place where recycled materials are processed, sorted and stored for use in creative and functional projects of artistic and educational value.

  • Recycled Materials to Save for Our REMEDIA
  • Paint and Paintbrushes (used but not dead)
  • Crayons (broken is cool)
  • Markers (dried out is fine)
  • Paper ( construction plans, gift wrapping, crepe, tissue, stickers, candy wrappers, paper bag,
  • shredded, confetti, cardboard, etc…. you name it)
  • Gift Bags (Big Big Please!)
  • Glue (any kind as long as it is not dry)
  • Tape (any kind)
  • Glitter, pom poms, craft sticks, pipe cleaners, beads, etc.
  • Play dough or Clay
  • Styrofoam (packing noodles or big pieces)
  • Strong Cardboard Boxes
  • Milk Bottles (white)
  • Laundry detergent jugs (like stasoft)
  • Plastic pump bottles (water bottles, handwash bottles)
  • Corks
  • Paper Towel Rolls
  • Egg Cartons (any kind)
  • Interesting plastic containers, cups, and tubs (plain, any colour, preferably without printed
  • writing or pictires)
  • Spice containers and shakers (all types)
  • Pringles Cans, formula tins or similar
  • Ribbon, yarn, string, rope
  • Buttons and beads of all description
  • Wire (plastic, metal, thin thick…. just not barbed )
  • Fake plants and flowers
  • Old nail polish
  • Fabric scraps
  • Unwanted scrapbook supplies
  • Netted veggie bags (lemons, onions, butternut, gems)
  • Broken or unwanted jewellery
  • Plastic Lids and Caps
  • Unwanted CD’s and CD boxes, cassette tape boxes
  • Old Picture frames
  • Broken or unwanted candles
  • Unwanted small plastic toys, legos, wood blocks (or pieces there of)
  • Marbles
  • Puzzles (even odd pieces)
  • Gently worn clothing (jeans, tee shirts, ESPECIALLY lonely socks in decent shape)
  • Storage bins and baskets
  • Shaving cream and bath bubbles needing a home
  • Sea shells, seed pods, interesting nature items
  • Feathers, interesting rocks, weird wood
  • Unused Paper plates and those old fashioned paper doilies
  • Cotton stuffing, fibre-fill, or batting
  • Old pegs … or new ones
  • Spray bottles, squirt bottles, droppers and vaporisers (anything with a cool nose)
  • Rubber bands all sizes and colours
  • Bubble wrap, sponge wrap
  • Old Books, old maps
  • Wood pallets, wood scraps
  • Cardboard
  • Lip balm sticks and stick deodorant containers
  • Cal-C-Vita containers and similar
  • Ice cream sticks or similar
  • Plastic spoons, knives and forks (great to make and decorate with)
  • Old plastic file dividers and binders
  • Silver foil paper from inside cereal, crackers or the seal of a bottle
  • Big juice or water bottles

Any interesting material you can imagine a creative use for!!!!
It will all be put to fabulous use!!

To download this list please click here



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The EnviroServ School Recycling Programme is an exciting way to educate children about the importance of recycling and the values of looking after the environment.

As a part of EnviroServ Waste Management, the schools programme adopts the same values of Integrity, Innovation, Quality, Collaboration and Passion whilst finding viable waste and recycling solutions, and providing environmental peace of mind.


  • Targets schools and tertiary institutions
  • Efficient recycling solution, including bulk stands, wheelie bins and classroom bins; and the collection of recyclables
  • Training provided to ground staff, educators and learners
  • Recyclable volume reports given monthly
  • Monthly competitions and rewards
  • Additional services – Fluorescent lamps , laboratory spill kits, complete on-site waste management, waste management for events

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It is our vision to be the most successful, self-sustaining, one-way packaging recovery company, dedicated to the realisation of the land where metal cans exist in harmony with the environment.


In many cases recycling has been included in subjects like mathematics, science and life skills. In the case of mathematics for example, weekly recoveries are tabled and converted into graphs showing trends, etc.

Collect-a-Can also assists teachers with educational tools to teach the learners about the benefits of recycling and how it works.

The learners are educated to be sensitive, informed, aware and activists for the environment.

As part our education initiative, schools are invited to participate in our National Schools Competition and CAN Craze competitions, where they are rewarded for their efforts to recover used metal cans – mostly from household waste – for recycling.

National Schools Competition

Do you care about the environment you live in?

Collect-a-Can operates regional and national school competitions in South Africa. You can be a hero for your school – help Ecokids raise funds and have fun by taking care of the environment.

Prizes to the value of R 788 800.00 are awarded to the schools that collect the most cans per month as well as the most cans per year. There is also a category awarding the most cans collected per learner, giving smaller schools an equal opportunity to stand a chance of winning prizes for their schools.

Not only do schools stand a chance to win these prizes, but each school is also paid good rates for every used beverage can it recovers.  The competition commences on 01 February and ends on 31 October annually.

Prize-giving functions for the winning schools are held in Gauteng, Cape Town, and Durban during November.

To increase the excitement of learners participating in the schools competition, Collect-a-Can has created a class chart that will assist you in keeping progress of your can collections, which can be downloaded below.

The chart can be distributed to each class where they can colour their chart in and keep track of the cans they collect each month.

CAN Craze Competition

Be creative! Create your own amazing character or structures using 300 or more used beverage cans and stand to win your share of R60 000.

Let your imagination run wild – you can create anything, a television set or your favourite cartoon character. Collect-a-Can will reward your creativity with many exciting prizes. Competition opens: 1 June and closes 30 September.

The CAN Craze Competition teaches learners that what may seem like trash, can be a valuable resource that can be re-used in their artwork and then recycled, prolonging the lifespan of the raw materials and preserving natural resources as well as energy.

The cans used in these structures need to be collected by the participants; after which they will be recovered by Collect-a-Can and processed for recycling. This process encourages learners to be more eco-conscious and demonstrates the environmental and monetary benefits of collecting and recycling cans.

The most inspired constructions are chosen by a panel of judges. The winning structure will receive R30 000, the second place winner will receive R20 000 and the third place winner will receive R10 000.

Schools must not miss out on this CANtastic opportunity for learners’ imaginations to run wild and protect our beautiful country.

Photographs of the structures need to be submitted to Collect-a-Can along with a completed entry form.

Collect-a-Can’s efforts in the recovery of used metal cans help municipalities, who are feeling the effect of financial and space pressures, to reduce the volume of waste sent to landfill sites – thereby also benefiting the tax payer.

Litter is substantially reduced because used metal cans are recovered from public places and roads.

Apart from the vast amount of landfill that has been saved, the living environment of all southern Africans has been improved substantially.

Litter, particularly from discarded food and beverage packaging, is a major contributor to unhealthy infestations and urban decline.

Did You Know?

It can take up to 80 years for a steel can to decompose, while it can take an aluminium can between 200 to 500 years to decompose.

During our first year in 1993, the re-launched Collect-a-Can achieved 25% recovery of the total output of cans (up from 18%).

During that time, we aimed for a post-consumer recovery rate for used beverage cans of 50% by 1996, a figure that was easily surpassed.

Since 1997, southern Africa has ranked amongst the best in the world in used beverage can recovery. The current recovery rate for southern Africa is 72%, which compares favourably with recovery rates quoted by first world countries.

There are many reasons to choose cans over any other type packaging, but here are our favourites:


  • Cans are recyclable;
  • Branding is printed directly onto the can; because there is no need for labels, they are 100% recyclable, thereby significantly reducing our carbon footprint.
  • In fact, cans are endlessly recyclable. They can be recycled forever without loss of strength or quality;
  • Beverage cans’ opening tab stays on the can, minimising the likelihood of it polluting the environment or missing out on being recycled with the rest of the can;
  • Because more cans are able to be transported at one time, less fuel is used in transportation;
  • In a year, one beverage can, could be recycled eight times, saving enough energy to make 160 new cans.


  • With Collect-a-Can’s dedication to entrepreneurship, poverty alleviation, education, arts and the environment, consumers are contributing to social upliftment when choosing cans;
  • Collect-a-Can pays cash to informal can collectors; by using cans you are contributing to the upliftment of this informal sector;
  • Schools are paid cash for all their empty cans collected, which contributes to their funding;
  • Collect-a-Can’s CAN Craze competition gives schools a further opportunity to win amazing prizes for individual pupils and the school, by building creative structures out of 300 cans or more;
  • Cans are becoming a part of our African heritage through the many artists now using cans as part of their works of art and as part of indigenous games.


  • Cans chill much faster than any other form of packaging;
  • Cans retain ideal levels of carbonation, ensuring the integrity of each beverage;
  • Less “head space” in cans means less room for oxygen, which affects the taste and freshness of the product;
  • The can is a highly efficient and economic package to produce, fill and distribute;
  • Cans are perfectly stackable, taking up less space in your cupboard;
  • Cans are unbreakable, protecting the product perfectly;
  • They are lightweight and easier to transport;
  • The can is resistant to light – exposure to light can affect other types of packaging and damage the contents; Cans are able to preserve food products that otherwise would quickly go bad.


Improve your can count with these CANtastic tips!

Many long-time participating schools have found that the annual schools competition is a great way to teach their learners about our responsibility to take care of the Earth, while raising some additional funds for their schools.

While entering can prove very rewarding, it can be challenging to attract active participation from learners, so we decided to share the top tips from schools whose learners know how to contribute what they can to help protect the environment.

Below are our top six tips to increase participation and the number of cans your school collects in the competition:

1. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER – Teachers could spend time explaining to learners why recycling is important to the school and the environment. In the process, some of the teacher’s enthusiasm will be transmitted to the students, who will be more likely to become interested and actively involved.

2. KEEPING COUNT – To increase the excitement of learners participating in the schools competition Collect-a-Can has created a class chart that will assist you in keeping progress of your can collections. The chart can be distributed to each class where they can colour their chart in and keep track of the cans they collect each month.  Download your class chart here.

3. RECOGNISE AND REWARD – Everyone likes the feeling of accomplishment and recognition, so by rewarding learners who actively participate for their hard work teachers can motivate them to keep working hard and can encourage others to get involved. The rewards do not have to be big or expensive; it can be a small trophy, a sticker point system to track the contribution of each child or even a chocolate for the learners who bring the most cans on a specific day of the week. Vouchers at a local restaurant have also proved to be a great incentive.

4. HEALTHY COMPETITION – Schools can also promote competition between different classes or grade levels by offering an incentive for the group with the highest contribution e.g. allowing the winners to leave earlier, host a movie marathon for the learners or allowing the winners to stand in front of the line at the tuck shop during break.

5. PARENTAL GUIDANCE – By including the parents in the competition collection progress, learners will have encouragement to participate both at school and at home, which is likely to ensure greater commitment. It is therefore vital to keep parents in the loop by regularly communicating about the competition, why it is important for their children to participate, how many cans have been collected and what parents can do to assist.

6. COMMUNITY COLLABORATION – Partnering with restaurants, taverns, sports centres and other members of the community will allow schools to collect more cans than the teachers and learners could ever collect on their own. These community members can be asked to collect the cans generated through their day-to-day business and to donate the cans collected to your school to form part of your entry into the National Schools Competition.

Pull Ring Rumour

There is a bizarre rumour going around that if you collect enough beverage can pull-rings to fill a two litre bottle, you will be paid R2,000 for your efforts.

After slogging day in and day out to collect pull-rings to fill their two litre bottles, many people across South Africa have been disappointed to find that there is no place which buys pull-rings. Too many misled South Africans are falling victim to this rumour and wasting their time in false hope.

It is important to remember that Collect-a-Can collects the whole can for recycling, not just the pull-rings and collectors are paid per kilogram therefore the more “can” the better.

In the past, cans were made from steel, while only the end (top) and the pull-ring were made from aluminium. Therefore, the top was worth a bit more than the body of the can.

Today, however most cans are made entirely of aluminium and are therefore worth much more as recyclables than they were before.

The good news is that you can make money by recycling cans. Thousands of South Africans earn an honest living by collecting the entire can for recycling.

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