‘Waste, your gold mine’

2019-02-12 06:00
CEO of Angels Resource Centre, Lizelle Coombs, with Yolanda Valentine.

CEO of Angels Resource Centre, Lizelle Coombs, with Yolanda Valentine.

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Yolanda Valentine, who runs the False Bay Recycling Centre, says if only residents knew that waste is a gold mine they would recycle more to put food on their collective tables and save the environment.

The False Bay Recycling Centre in Lekkerwater Road, Sunnydale has become a beacon of hope for many over the years.

Valentine took over the business from her parents after they had run it for over two decades.

“This is a buy-back centre for the community. Whatever recyclables they pick up they can bring it here and they get paid for it,” she says. “A lot of people really don’t know that there is money in recycling. If you work hard you can get more out of it.”

Although a lot of people look at waste and feel that there is nothing they can do with it, Valentine says this is where the money is sitting.

“When we talk about money it’s not like you’re going to make a lot. You can make enough to survive, cover some day-to-day expenses. I also want people to look beyond the money and see what we can do for the environment. There is so much that we can recycle from our homes and this includes bottles, cans and cardboard boxes among other things,” she says.

“If there is one thing that hit me was the fact that litter, especially in landfills, remains long after we die. This must be a cause for concern. This must get us worried and look at ways as to how we can turn this around. This is why I have become a preacher when it comes to recycling. If we continue like this, we are destroying the environment. When I’m in my area I clean around. Talk to people about recycling because we all have to be on board for this to work,” she says.

Valentine also runs workshops in different communities where she informs residents about the importance of recycling. She will be working with Red Hill and Masiphumelele to show them how they can start a recycling business and make money out of it.

“Masi is a gold mine when it comes to recycling. They don’t have a drop-off centre there before they end up dumping. They can then look at other ways of disposing of their waste. They can benefit enormously out of their waste,” she says.

Valentine feels that most people don’t have the means to drop off the waste they have collected; hence she will be working with Angels Resource Centre to help those that cannot get to the recycle centre. “Informal settlements have a lot of challenges and for them to have the means is really difficult. We will be working with the resource centre to see how we can help them. I have a plan and I just want to see how it will work. The more people get on the better for everyone,” she says.

Charlotte Thornton of Angels Resource Centre says they will be working with Valentine in training on the business side and will also invite community members to the workshops. Angels Resource Centre trains and mentors entrepreneurs in recycling through their Big Waste Wake-up programme, launched in 2007 and which runs in under-resourced towns across the Northern and Western Cape.

Thornton says the idea is to call on all people that are interested in the waste business to come and learn.

“The workshops will help them in so many ways, above all how to turn the waste on their street corners to make money and be able to buy food. We will be doing education drives, cleaning campaigns, and help those that are unemployed to look at the waste business and change their situations,” she says.

Thornton says: “We will be going into Masi, Ocean View and opening it up to everyone else that is interested to take up this business. We will also be teaching them not only to recycle but to upcycle. There will be workshops on this. How to do eco-bricks and also turn that waste into beautiful artwork and make money out of it. The educational drives will help us a lot and open people’s eyes in terms of what waste can do.”

They are also running a fundraising campaign through Backabuddy to help them raise funds for various projects.

V To help them raise the funds, you can donate at https://www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/big-waste-wake-upV For more information on Angel Resource Centre visit https://www.angelsinc.co.za/


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