Empowering ‘trolleypreneurs’

2019-06-04 06:00
Richard Lawen and Malcolm Jantjies collected 9kg of recyclable PET bottles.

Richard Lawen and Malcolm Jantjies collected 9kg of recyclable PET bottles.

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If the Waste Wake-up project between False Bay Trading and the City of Cape Town is implemented, the public could soon see the upliftment of the have-nots in the form of a governing body to oversee the actions of informal recyclers.

False Bay Trading’s Yolanda Valentine carried out a feasibility exercise with the City on Thursday 9 May to see how much money informal recyclers may be able to earn from the items they recover from the green bins in the Fish Hoek CBD.

These “trolleypreneurs”, as she calls them, carry out this work daily and can sometimes face the anger of residents who do not want them looking into their trash.

What Valentine hopes to achieve is a partnership between these people and the City to be able to hold them accountable and help them earn money, but even more than that, help to find all the recyclable items that simply make their way to landfills, increasing the world’s waste problem.

By allowing them to remove the recyclable objects, more waste can go back into the economy and pollution can be reduced.

Kim Kruyshaar of Green Audits into Action has been keeping a record of the initiative’s efforts. “The stats show that of the 96kg of ‘waste’ collected, 57kg were recyclables with a market value. A total of 59.37% of the ‘waste’ that Yolanda’s team collected are recyclables with a market value. The 9kg of PET bottles filled three black refuse bags to the brim,” reports Kruyshaar.

The total cash value for the day was R33.80, keeping in mind that the day chosen to carry out this project was, unfortunately, the same day that the rubbish was picked up by the City’s waste services and so the amount of salvageable good was potentially less than it could have been.

Valentine is confident that there is more rubbish to be collected with a higher market value. She hopes that by employing trolleypreneurs, giving them a name tag and a mandate, that she and the City and those who eager to work will be able to deal with the issues of unemployment and pollution.

“We wanted to do this exercise to see if we could work with the City to help financially challenged people,” she says.

Lizelle Combes CEO at Angels Resource Centre has also come on board in the form of business entrepreneurship support.

According to Kruyshaar and Valentine, once the team is ready with their research findings, City managers will be contacted to draw up a pilot programme for the collection of recyclables from the City’s green bins.V To find out more follow @FalseBayRecycling on Facebook.

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