In 2010 the City of Ekurhuleni signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Oxfam with an intention of bringing value to the waste pickers across the city. This partnership saw 5 recycling facilities developed throughout the city over a period of 6 years and more projects are still in the pipeline through this partnership.
Recycling assists in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by reducing energy consumption of making new products from raw materials. In this project, waste pickers are taken from an informal level of operation to a more formalized, resourced, efficient and profitable level.
Currently five recycling facilities are fully operational, and they employ over 120 fulltime employees with an additional of 250 indirect income generating opportunities created for waste pickers. These facilities do not only create employment, but they also assist in diverting over 90 tons of waste from landfills.
Currently the City of Ekurhuleni and Oxfam are in a process of establishing a plastic beneficiation project which will see the cooperatives’ members of the association and all waste pickers in the city moving to a more profitable level of producing plastic pellets. Big brands like Unilever, Tiger brands and Serioplasts have already committed to be the end users of the pellets produced. This project has an operation which will process 8 tons of plastic per day and it will employ 38 fulltime employees.
The city prides itself in this project because it is a unique community development project which also address the environmental challenges associated with waste. The project will also see community members owning and operating a plastic processing plant which will be among the few in the country and the world. Through creating partnerships between the community, private business, recycling industry and multinational companies we are able to address the common goals of reducing poverty, creating jobs and addressing climate change.
Thank you to Is’haaq Akoon for submitting this Good Hood Story.
For more info:
City of Ekurhuleni
Oxfam South Africa, Oxfam Italia, Serioplast, PETCO, Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Department of Environment, forestry and fisheries, COGTA, SEDA