Cape Town recycling gets savvy with waste match-making online system

2016-02-08 16:08


Cape Town -   The City of Cape Town says it has upgraded its new recyclable exchange platform, making it much easier to use and proving that one person’s garbage is another’s gold.

The Integrated Waste Exchange (IWEX) service connects a number of businesses, allowing them to make use of each other’s waste products, through its free online system serves as a platform.

'Smoother, sleeker, and more user-friendly'

The city says the new-look system, which features options such as uploading photos, encourages entities like schools, communities and businesses to exchange waste, allowing them to save on costs and reduce their waste footprint.  

"While users can elect to make direct contact with each other independently by browsing listed contact details, there is also the option of doing so through the IWEX system. This has the added benefit of allowing the City to monitor the rate, number, and type of transactions, which provides valuable data". "

We had a look at the system, and while listings date back to 2009, some of the more recent listings include  cut-off pallet slats to off-cut PVC pipes.

Success stories inlcude international law firm Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyer who linked up with local plastics recycler Westek for a fortnightly collection of plastic milk bottles from their canteen, as well as Clover Mama Africa, a community project that creates useful items from fabric off-cuts, who connected with CapeStorm, an adventure clothing brand, for the ongoing supply of some of their raw materials, the City said.  

'All kinds of reasons to connect over the internet'

"The City is constantly looking for ways to reduce volumes of waste sent to landfill sites, and if there is the added benefit of an economic leg up to another party then all the more reason to facilitate those opportunities. It is a true example of a win-win scenario,"said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Utility Services, Councillor Ernest Sonnenberg.

How to join up with IWE:

·         Register at It’s free and only requires a name, e-mail address and contact number

·         Verify your IWEX registration via your e-mail address (a security feature)

·         Browse the latest listings and/or post a listing of waste you want or have to offer

·         Connect with other waste suppliers/requesters. IWEX will assist by sending reminder e-mails

·         Exchange your waste on your own terms

Added to this, the city said everyone registered on IWEX will be able to benefit from the Western Cape Industrial Symbiosis Programme (WISP), a larger waste exchange programme facilitated by full-time staff at GreenCape as the city aims to have a "zero-waste society".  

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