The Smutsville Recycle Swop Shop is the first FreshStart Sedgefield empowerment project. It is situated at Smutsville Primary School in Smutsville and operates from 13h30 to 16h00 every Wednesday during school terms. It is aimed at children aged 6 to 16 years. There are currently 680 registered collectors and they bring in over a ton of waste material each week.
The Smutsville Recycle Swop Shop project not only teaches children the value of personal effort, it also educates them on the environmental issues around waste.
Most importantly children are inspired to:
- Regular action
- Clean up their environment
- Minimise waste through recycling
- Have goals and purpose
- Develop pride in their achievements
- Acquire essential and aspirational items through their own effort
Their action brings them joy and personal pride
Children collect and separate recyclable material and swop it for mula points. Using these mula, the children acquire items from the Smutsville Recycle SwopShop – they can also save mula points towards bigger items. The shop stocks new and second hand clothing and shoes, toys, stationery, sports equipment, and toiletries. The latter are most popular, with children clamoring for toilet soap, facecloths, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorants and toilet paper.
In addition to receiving a warm welcome, lots of encouragement and mula, each child is also given fresh fruit every visit and leaves with a sense of achievement and a new goal.