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Wheelie good idea! 11 informal recyclers get a business boost

Mar 30 2019 06:45
Marelise van der Merwe

Eleven informal waste recyclers from Cape Town have been given a business boost, receiving "waste trikes" to help them with transport and collection, as well as training in various areas to help them earn a better living.

According to the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, the handover of the trikes marked the completion of a project that seeks to better capacitate the entrepreneurs.

Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell, handed over the large trikes.

A better living

"The bikes and the support training will be sure to help them move forward and make a better living for themselves," Bredell said.

The recyclers are delivering a critical service to the community, Bredell said.

"Recycling saves natural resources and reduces pollution. The motto Reduce, Reuse, Recycle must become part of everyone’s daily life. I hope that this project will be the beginning of better opportunities for each of these 11 individuals."

Experts at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research have long been researching the contribution that informal recyclers make to the South African economy. In 2016, the CSIR publicised research that indicated the informal sector was very active in recovering valuable post-consumer recyclables from the service chain.

This, the CSIR said, saved the country some R750m in landfill airspace a year.

Head start

Karen Shippey, Chief Director for Environmental Sustainability at the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, said, "Recycling collectors who often rely on rudimentary collection vehicles including shopping trolleys, are often not able to carry enough material to the recycling depots per trip. 

"The solution, it seemed, was to help them get access to vehicles which can carry significantly more recyclables and therefore help them to earn more for each trip."

The project was developed by Director of Sustainability, Ronald Mukanya. His idea was to build waste trikes; and then train the people who would use them, including how to fix them if they broke, how to keep safe while collecting, and how to get a head start in building a better living from recycling.

The project forms part of the Good Green Deeds Campaign, a campaign run by the National Department of Environmental Affairs in collaboration with The Presidency, aimed at helping all South Africans become more environmentally conscious.

recycling  |  entrepreneurship
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