Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 4th 2014 Contents A43
May 4, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
South and Central, it's your turn for fun as the magic comes to the
Southern Academy of the Performing Arts!!! Crazy Catholic and
D C Shell Theatre will take you, your family and friends into Fairy Land!!
From the producers of Rapunzel, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty,
Snow White, Rumpelstilskin, Red Riding Hood, Bollywood and Phantom of the NAPA
comes a brand new play based on the story by the Brothers Grimm.
Another memorable show for the entire family,
written and directed by the Crazy Catholic.
You are invited to fairyland - Magic,
Romance, Comedy and Non-Stop Fun
Please add us!
D C SHELL THEATRE
and CRAZY CATHOLI
Don't dream... come!
FRIDAY 2nd MAY - 8.30 p.m.
SATURDAY 3rd MAY - 7.30 p.m.
SUNDAY 4th MAY - 5.30 pm
FRIDAY 2nd MAY - 10.00 a.m.
SPECIAL SCHOOL SHOW: All schools invited
BUY 1 TICKET: Get 1 ticket free ($150)
Produced by D C Shell Theatre
Pioneers in Family
Fairy Tales, Bollywood
& Clean Comedy.
SAPA box office opens from
Wednesday 30 April at 11am daily
732-5796, 683-6496, 796-4272, 750-0104
Isatou Ceesay and her fellow workers---part of a recycling co-operative in the Gambia.
PHOTO: MIKE WEBSTER/UK GUARDIAN
Waste in developed countries has
now evolved into a mature industry---
employing thousands, turning over
billions of dollars, encompassing
many disciplines and recognised as a
vital component of a future circular
economy. But what is it like in places
like the west African states of the
Isatou Ceesay is founder of a revo-
lutionary community recycling project
in Gambia, the Njau Recycling and
Income Generation Group (NRIGG). It
is a community-based group leading
the way. Few parts of the country
receive a municipal waste collection
service, let alone a recycling service,
so it is up to communities to remedy
Since 1997, Ceesay has been working
with communities across the tiny west
African state to address not only the
environmental impact of unregulated
waste disposal but also to provide
income to over 100 women. NRIGG is
based in four separate communities
across the country---the members col-
lect the materials themselves and trans-
port it by hand to their centre, which
is often just somebody s compound.
Why deal with other
Her mother thinks she s mad. Why
should she want to spend her life deal-
ing with other people s rubbish? But
she sees what those around her could-
n t---that the population was surround-
ed by ever growing mountains of waste,
with a pressing need for better man-
agement of the domestic waste which
is either dumped in unregulated landfills
or, worse, burnt in compounds.
The impact of unregulated waste is
manifold and well understood---from
the disease associated with the blocking
of drains by the ubiquitous plastic bags
given out freely with even the smallest
purchase, to the effect on air quality
of uncontrolled burning of waste (again,
largely plastic), as well as the impacts
of landfill gas from uncontrolled land-
Key aim: Stop burning plastics
Ceesay s concern is primarily for
those that deal with their own waste,
and she aims to help them to do it bet-
ter. Her key aim is to stop the burning
first and foremost, leading with a mes-
sage of waste prevention, particularly
focusing on plastic, followed by pro-
motion of reuse and implementation
of recycling schemes.
The uncontrolled burning of plastic
must be considered one of the great
environmental health hazards of our
time. It is associated with a number of
extremely harmful pollutants, from car-
bon monoxide, which affects mental
function, to dioxins and furans that
cause cancer and affect immune and
reproductive system and are persistent
in the environment.
It is also associated with contami-
nants and other volatile organic com-
pounds that cause cancer and respi-
ratory illness, to asthma.
Meanwhile many of the municipal
services taken for granted in more
developed countries (including basic
waste disposal) simply do not exist in
the Gambia. Outside of a few urban
areas, it is entirely down to communities
to deal and manage with their own
This is a common story across the
developing world, with around three
billion people living without any formal
waste management system.
Taking the initiative
But what does one do in a country
where there is very little waste disposal
infrastructure, let alone recycling infra-
structure? Well, you create your own.
And in their four communities, NRIGG
has developed entire life cycles for a
range of common materials. They have
devised their own separation system,
with organics, paper, plastic, metals
and glass, and developed, where it can,
its own end markets.
Home composting training is given
to those communities where schemes
are set up, answering a demand for
cheap, high quality organic fertiliser.
There are some existing markets for
metals and these are separated and sold
Plastics are separated and stored to
be up-cycled into everything from
robust, long life bags, mats, purses.
Rubber is turned into necklaces. Old
cassette and video tapes are even woven
into purses. This is combined with other
non-waste activities, including honey
production, production of waxes,
creams and batiks.
Combining several income sources
These are also combined with a range
of other schemes that help the women
plan their incomes throughout the year,
save for the three-month "hungry gap"
at the end of the year, when family
farms aren t producing, and develop
their business skills. This is vital,
because as many community recycling
schemes at home as well as abroad
have shown, sustaining these schemes
is perhaps the hardest part.
The major problem waste stream
faced by NRIGG was how to deal with
glass. In the UK, glass has always been
considered perhaps the easiest of all
materials to collect, but with no local
end markets and a lack of scale to access
global markets, it is a problem in the
Gambia. This perhaps points to the
need for small- to medium-scale tech-
nologies that can reprocess such mate-
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