Over the years Tankwa Town has grown, and with it the number of citizens – and also the amount of time spent restoring our event site to the condition we found it. To do this, volunteers spend weeks after you’ve left – weeks – picking up every last scrap of evidence that Tankwa Town was even there at all. In case you thought it might consist of a holiday in the sun, here’s the reality: volunteers on our Leave No Trace team, and from DPW, walk every. single. inch. of our event site. They form a line, and perform linesweeps, covering every single tiny scrap of the surface in order to identify items that don’t belong.
It’s back-breaking work. Imagine bending over thousands of times, in the baking 40+ sun, and in the teeth of hectic Tankwa gales – day after day – picking up tiny items and depositing them into a container (our LNT crew uses 5-litre water bottles, which are plentiful after the event). You start early, finish at sundown – and then repeat it, day after day, until the entire event site has been completely restored. That’s what it consists of.
This is a short list of some of the kind of MOOPed kak that LNT volunteers find:
Cigarette butts. Glowstick connectors. Matches. Bottle caps. String. Bedazzlers. Bindis. Glitter. Toilet paper. Napkins. Shells. Nuts. Straw. Cableties. Wood. Splinters. Nails. Screws. Polystyrene (from split bean bags). Peach pips. Bamboo. Orange peels. Naartjie peels. Lemon rind. Beads. Plastic flowers. Batteries. Broken LED’s. Finger lights. Feather boa scraps. Food scraps. Rice grains. Muesli. Pasta. Broken glass. Duct tape. Electrical insulation tape. Straw. Mirror ball fragments. Cigarette packets. Tampons. Condoms. Sequins. Flase eyelashes. Lighters.
Everyone that attends AfrikaBurn needs to make sure that they treat the land with the utmost respect by being MOOP aware. If you feel strongly about MOOP, it would be great if you volunteered to help make AfrikaBurn as MOOP-free as possible.
Please note that each camp will be required to manage their waste correctly and ensure that it is taken back to where it came from. This means you should nominate someone who likes organising – as the key role of a camp MOOP representative will be to co-ordinate how your camp separates and recycles its waste, and makes sure no pesky small items (or large for that matter) are left behind once you hit the long road home.
It’s a long road, it’s true, but no matter what happens, it’s not OK to abandon trash on the side of the road, or dump greywater or RV / campervan toilet bilge on the side of the road. All of these MOOP actions cause major problems with AfrikaBurn’s relations with the local community in the area. Please don’t do it – and don’t let anyone else think it’s OK.
Like to read more about how you can organise your camp’s waste? Read this great article on our blog.
Got Leave No Trace or MOOP questions? Interested in volunteering to keep Tankwa Town pristine? Shoot a mail at [email protected]