Vuvuzela Recycling Competition Gives New Life to South Africa's Favorite Noisemakers

vuvuzela recycling competition wozela image

Submitted ideas for recycling vuvuzelas include (L to R) a portable water filter, a Christmas tree, and a cheese grater. Images via WoZela!.

For better or worse, they provided the soundtrack to the World Cup 2010 matches in South Africa, generating annoyance and exuberance in seemingly equal measure. But with the competition over, what will happen to all the vuvuzelas? The plastic horns were reportedly selling at rates of 20,000 a day during the international sporting event, generating a massive amount of material for someone to do something creative with -- and the ideas are pouring in.Two South African advertising firms are sponsoring the WoZela! vuvuzela recycling competition under the slogan "Make a difference, not just a noise." The winning designs will be produced by local artists and craftsmen and sold through local retailers. The BBC reported that more than 200 entries have been submitted thus far. (Submissions closed Friday for South African entrants; the international deadline is Oct. 25.)

Candle Holders to Gardening Tools
"The vuvuzela has become an extraordinary symbol of unity in South Africa," the organizers write. "WoZela wants to make this object of unity an object of utility by generating ways to reuse it."

The ideas, showcased on the WoZela! blog, range from the silly (a noise-reducing muzzle for idiotic celebrities) to the perfectly practical (gardening tools, a portable water filter, a small-scale solar oven), with lots of variations on candle holders, wind chimes, vases, and lamps. Some designs are simply scrawled on pieces of binder paper, while others have actually been created or mapped out with detailed diagrams. The top 50 ideas -- selected for their originality, practicality, and usefulness -- will be exhibited in Johannesburg and Cape Town at an unspecified future date.

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