An eventful cocktail party kicked-off the Neptune Project at the University of KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday, 26 October. The project aims to put waste management in the spotlight. It was conceived by the SARCHI Chair in Waste and Climate Change Professor Cristina Trois, under the auspices of the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science at UKZN, and organized by Professor Gisella Reale. The Neptune Project is the result of joined efforts across-the-board by a growing community of Italian researchers in Durban.
To see all the photos, visit the Gallery.
The Summer School in Managing Waste as a Resource
A growing discipline in the field of research and a flagship of excellence for Durban scholars, waste management has not yet received sufficient attention outside the academic community. In Durban in particular, pollution and waste are compromising the complex coastal ecosystem and soiling the delta of the Umgeni river.
The future of waste management was at the centre of last week’s International Training Seminar and Summer School in Managing Waste as a Resource. Among the topics discussed by specialists and students was the implementation of a circular economy in South Africa. This new approach to the production and disposal of goods fosters a sustainable approach to production. This includes sourcing different raw materials, recycling, producing green energy and a new generation of land-filling.
The Neptune Project
Academic research, however, is but the beginning of a complex cultural revolution. To open the discussion to broader audiences and facilitate the cross-pollination of research, business and art, the Neptune Project will involve art galleries, international guests and local enterprises to reshape the definition of waste.
The launch of the project on Tuesday was endorsed by the UKZN School of Arts and by the Ecole d’ingénierie et d’innovation textile (ENSAIT) in Paris. During the evening, the engineering students became models and embodied the waste-conscious revolution in an innovative fashion show. The collection which they displayed on the red carpet was the winner among hundreds of projects prepared by the art students. All the projects used recycled materials and styled the outfits to turn ‘disposed’ into ‘trendy’.
The Neptune Project has already resulted in art exhibitions across Durban, thanks to the collaboration with Umcebo Design, the GreenUKZN Programme and the NGO Durban Green Corridors. In future, the project will grow to an international scale to host photographic workshops and concerts. The theme will once again be ecology and waste management.