Project Description

A project is underway at the ‘Buy-Back Centre’ in Motherwell in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality,
which includes upgrades and an expansion to the current waste recycling facility. The aims are to
reduce waste to the Swartkops estuary, create environmental awareness on the impact of waste and its
potential value, empower women and children, and stimulate local economic development opportunities
and skills development in the local community.
The project entails upgrading the existing Motherwell ‘Buy Back Centre’ and expanding it to integrate
with an Enviro-Education facility, food gardens and composting areas.
One of the aspects of the project is to test how we can use waste as a building material – for structures,
paving, furniture, vegetable garden beds, decorative purposes etc.

For both the testing and building phases of the project, we need help collecting a substantial
amount of the following waste types in Nelson Mandela Bay, as soon as possible:
1. Eco-Bricks: these are plastic bottles (the typical 2 l ‘Coca-Cola’-style bottle) filled with waste. Its best
to use green or brown bottles, as the clear bottles are widely recycled and have a better value.
Examples of types of waste that can be used are chip and sweet packets, chocolate wrappers, foil from
tea bags, cut-up foam trays etc.). Only use clean waste to prevent rot (i.e. no meat wrappers, milk
sachets etc. Waste must be tightly packed into bottles from the bottom, leaving no gaps. A metal rod or
dowel stick can be used to help push waste in tightly. On completion, each bottle should weigh between
500 and 600 g, and should have less than 10 percent ‘squishiness’ when pressed on the sides. You
can view information posters and videos with information on making Eco-Bricks at the following links:

2. Wine and beer bottles. Please rinse these
3. Plastic bottle tops
4. Beer bottle and other metal tops
5. Pallet wood
6. Wattle poles
7. Polystyrene and styrofoam
8. Any other item you feel may be useful that we haven’t thought of

If you are interested to participate, you are very welcome to contact us for more information, if
needed at the following details:
• Belinda Clark –
• Therese Boulle –

We are sourcing waste drop-off points / collection measures, and have the following secured so far:
• If you already are a ‘Greencycle’ client, you can put Eco-Bricks in your recycling bag
• Contact Belinda or Therese at the details above, and we will collect at your convenience

Architecture in Development: Website article