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Upskill,Upcycle,Upgrade: Climate & Impact Smart Built Environment Solutions For A Greener Lifestyle.

As a family owned company, caring for the environment is an ideal that squarely hits home.

The importance of environmental sustainability simply cannot be a business differentiation tool for us. As the current leaders an organisation that we are building for intergenerational longevity and prosperity, we cannot help but genuinely care about the quality of environment that we will bequeath to our descendants; as noisy, messy and maddening as our children can sometimes be – they too deserve to also grow up in a healthy, biodiverse and wondrous world abundant in enchanting plantlife and curiosity piquing bugs scampering to and from well nourished nooks and crannies in the types of expansive gardens our then juvenile imaginations would often delightfully got lost in.

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Having spent more than a decade at the helm of various green industry concerns in roles varying from regional management to being a corporate CEO, it beggars belief how upon introspection, one’s primary purpose often turns out to be the simplest of things, a seemingly benign goal that quietly stared one in the face all along : to create a better, safer, cleaner and more biodiverse existence for us and our children, for our friends’ families and for families we are yet to meet and even those we will never meet – separated by the unflinchingly relentless chasm of time’s incessant march. Notwithstanding decades of formal and experiential education, the gist of our professional existence distills down to a decidedly unvarnished goal – to bring joy, comfort, safety, security, health and wellness to as many people as we can through our avante garde built environment solutions. That’s it. That’s all we live and work for and we are content to do just that and only that.

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The advent of a South African government edict outlawing the disposal of glass waste at landfill sites was sweet music to our professional interests. Overnight, at the fortuitous stroke of a legislator’s pen, we suddenly stood at the precipice of a vast and well and truly ubiquitous upcycling resource. Up to 80% of glass beverage packaging in South Africa is recycled, one of the highest recycle rates in the world! What that wonderful statistic doesn’t show however, is the millions of tons of non returnable glass bottles (“dumpies” and pints), windscreen glass,window pane glass, mirrors, light bulbs, drinking glasses, pyrex and laboratory glass that are not factored into the mainstream glass recycling equation due to different physical properties to packaging glass. Some perfectly recyclable packaging glass types such as wine bottles also often end up as a discarded resource as there is currently no commercial incentive in the form of a returnable deposit applicable to most wine bottles.

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Even before we fully fathomed the raging hardened silicone resource river that legislation had opened the floodgates to, we had, in our extensive infrastructure development work exploits in peri urban and rural South Africa; caught a meaningful glimpse of the extent of discarded glass pollution in pristine open veldts, on placid riverine embankments, buried in shallow pits or even more sadly in forlorn township servitudes that were effectively terra nullius, uninhabited, unspoken for and therefore free -for-all to dump anything and everything in any manner, way, shape or form. Intuitively we knew that there had to be a greater good purpose for all this glass, something could and definitely should come out of it. What of the enormous amounts of energy expended in glass foundries? What of the millions of valuable man hours spent to create all manner of glass items? What of the planet choking carbon fotprint of the whole process? What about the significant opportunity cost to the economy presented by the wide scale informal disposal of glass waste? All this energy, effort and expense just to use such a tough, durable, weatherproof and patently reusable resource only once?

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The true nature of this economic and ecological travesty began to earnestly unfold when we considered the harrowing extent of debilitating unemployment and low or no skills induced unemployability in peri urban and rural South Africa. Considered from that angle, this dormant resource scenario quickly evolves into an insomnia defined tragedy. It is in that moment that Edison’s lightbulb came on, the trickle turned into a river and the idea of strutural and decorative glass gabions packed with waste glass was born.

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Our versatile glass gabions can be used in numerous applications including and not limited to:

  • planter pedestals
  • retainer walls
  • boundary and other structural walls
  • pergolas
  • water features
  • gazebos
  • entrance and entertainment area focal points
  • gabion benches

What’s more, in conjunction with an local accredited artisan skills development institute, we uspkill local unemployed youths in an artisan training program to enable local manufacturing of various glass gabion artefacts under a notably stringent quality control programme.We are also currently working with a growing number of landscape architects, property developers, architects, engineers, builders and exhibitors to incorporate functional and aesthetically resplendent glass gabion components in ongoing property developments. A green corps of 22 top tier retail nurseries throughout Gauteng currently also distribute our standard glass gabions directly to the homeowning public.

This summer also marks our launch of the exquisite Organogabions Couture Range to our glass gabion lineup. The Organogabions couture range consists of five variants, namely :

  • the Woodlands glass gabion with pine cone infill
  • the Forest Whispers glass gabion with autumn leaf infill
  • the Serendipity glass gabion with antique wine cork infill
  • the Hardehout glass gabion with indigenous hardwood kindling infill
  • and the Kalahari crystal glass gabion with off white quartz -feldspar rock infill

All glass gabion metal frames are anti rusting agent treated and come in an exciting variety of standard colours : Van Reenen White, Somerset Blue, Sahara Yellow, Nandoni Green, Knysna Green, Namaqua Rust,Vrystaat Orange and Rooikraal Red. Custom colours are also available on request. For enhanced safety, all LED backlighting is compartmentalised and physically separate from organic infill substrate media.

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As a family owned business, safety is our priority concern and protective internal glass panels, galvanised wire thickness, structural engineer’s and or electrical certificates of compliance are all dynamic factors that come into play on each specific design as and when the project site specific dynamics neccessitate. In conjunction with a major project finance partner, we are also able to offer turnkey projects on a financed basis to give homeowners the option of an easy affordable repayments based cashflow regimen.

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We are extremely thrilled to be working with the Wildcat Foundation of South Africa (WFZA) on a Fetola Hub. On donated land in peri urban Johannesburg North, we are working with an illustrious team of purpose driven built environment professionals to build a multidiscilinary improvement hub consisting of a sports and recreational centre, an educational cluster and a business hub including conferencing facilities and subsidised shared workspace rental – all constructed from weatherproof treated discarded sheet and non returnable bottle glass gabions.

Confirmed partners to date include a local enterprise manufacturing bricks out of plastic waste, a photovoltaic power solutions provider, an internationally acclaimed and South African developed modular water recycling mini plant maker, an indigenous plant growing farm, a salvage yard, a glass foundry, an in – community glass recycling brigade, our accredited skills training institute affiliate and a host of private sector and individual funders. Our eclectic team of purposeful professionals is bound together by the unfaltering vision of a world first campus for skills improvement, micro business incubation, sports practice and health and wellness modelled leisure – all built with waste glass and founded on energy, water and environmental sustainability principles. The surrounding grassroots communities are also doing their part by hosting glass banks to warehouse any and all glass waste in their locales towards the Fetola Hub’s construction.

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We will definitely not be throwing any stones once we move into these glass buildings 😊, well, except of course maybe into some of the rock gabions. You can do your part to clean up the environment of glass waste and also create much needed employment by contacting us on the details listed on the summer 2021 glass gabions brochure here :https://www.linkedin.com/embeds/publishingEmbed.html?articleId=7355970561933120070

Invite our passionate, purposeful, beautiful, safe and eco – smart glass gabion solutions into your home or other construction projects contacting us by:

emailing : caimanbateleurgroup@gmail.com

reach out by voice call or whatsapp : +27 72 207 1717.

We would be most excited to work with you on a structurally sound, visually excellent and environmentally smart glass gabion project solution.

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By choosing glass gabions, you are quite literally pouring durable employment opportunities into peri urban and rural South Africa, so that there too – the glass is always nearly full. Raise a discarded glass and toast to our beautiful milieu’s future by choosing glass gabions for your project today.

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As we finish putting together this article, our youngest son and only daughter have erupted into a royal quarrel over a packet of Mrs Balls chutney flavoured potato crisps while our eldest son looks on through his newly acquired spectacles with all the dignity of an elder statesman unlike Nelson Mandela himself. ” I can see the world”! our hyperactive second born squeals from atop the garden table in our sunkissed backyard. It is our greatest wish that our children and yours too grow into a better and cleaner world all because we chose to make good of the beautiful glass waste literally all around us. Doing good has truly never been this easy or looked this good!. Glass Gabions for Good!

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