Swopping trash for basic needs at harbour shop

Intle artists, Mark Tondori, Blessing Phiri and Shawn Ingwane celebrating their container art.

Junk Stars celebrated the painting of its shipping-container swop shop with a ribbon-cutting ceremony this week.

The non-profit recycling organisation had outgrown its original premises and moved into a new container close to the harbour entrance in mid-2021. But how to make it noticeable? With sponsorship from an accounting firm, they worked with a non-profit community artist project, Intle Art, on the design and painting of the shipping container, which was donated by the City of Cape Town.

Junk Stars (Stars stands for: “support, trash, alter, refashion, swop”) was founded by Jessie Chester in 2020 after seeing children’s willingness to clean up their own community and the environment. Ms Chester now lives in KwaZulu Natal. Also instrumental in their success is volunteer James Weyford who started the Hout Bay clean up project. Jane and Gas Fernandes from Pescaluna fish factory were with Junk Stars from the beginning and also volunteer Debs Soll.

At the shop, children and families, predominantly from the Hangberg community, can exchange recyclable waste for essentials such as food, toiletries, school stationery, books, clothes and more.

Mark Tondori, Blessing Phiri and Shawn Ingwane said the container mural took them about two weeks to paint. They were given a brief to create the message of saving the community and sea creatures while keeping the message playful and joyful.

Intle Art develops artistic and entrepreneurial skills in the youth from Imizamo Yethu and Hangberg by producing art for sale.

Hout Bay harbour master, Pumla Gela organised for permission for the recycling company to be located in the harbour. She said she has noticed how much cleaner the area is as well as the neighbouring Hangberg in the time the recycling project has been there. It’s also beneficial to keeping the waste out of the landfills and the sea, she said.

Junk Stars volunteer Margie Cowie said the organisation could not operate without volunteers and donations from the community.

They need shelving, clothing dress rails and donations of clothing for men, women and children for their charity shop as well as homeware items. To support them with clothing, shoes and food, contact 082 824 9785 or info@junkstars.org

Stephlin Sian collected 11 bags of recyclables in two hours from the harbour area and wanted to swop the points she made for food and possibly clothing.
Jennifer and David Weeder deliver their recyclables every week and were introduced to Junk Stars by their 15 year-old granddaughter, Zoe Weeder.
Noah Masemola and his son Noah, 6, swop their recyclables for food.
Some of the items in the swop shop that can be “bought” with points made from plastic, cans and paper.
Junk Stars volunteers, from left, Yvonne Macfarlane, harbour master Pumla Gela, James Weeyford, Paige Will, Janet Jamieson, Wendy Rowan and Margie Cowie.
Kevin Jonkers of Hangberg collected mixed waste to exchange for food.
Masoed van Diemen collected waste to share the points with friend Joseph Adams who lives across the road from him in Hangberg. He exchanges the waste for stationary for his two children at creche and Grade R.
Representatives from Intle Art, Junk Stars, the sponsors and the harbour at the ribbon-cutting ceremony this week.
Junk Stars employee Devlin Faulmann weighs recyclables.