Concerned over drastic drop in recyclers’ pay

2016-12-05 11:03
Imbali bottle recycler Nsikelelo Dladla is concerned about the drastic decrease of the recycling payment recyclers are receiving from the Wildlands Conservation Trust recycling project.

Imbali bottle recycler Nsikelelo Dladla is concerned about the drastic decrease of the recycling payment recyclers are receiving from the Wildlands Conservation Trust recycling project. (Ian Carbutt)

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An Imbali bottle recycler is concerned about the drastic decrease in the payment that recyclers are receiving from the Wildlands Conservation Trust recycling project.

Nsikelelo Dladla told The Witness that after his retirement two years ago, he started collecting bottles for the project. He said the company provided recyclers with sacks and goggles which they wear as they have to break the bottles before they are collected by Wildlands and then transported to the Consol company in Gauteng.

He said earlier this year they were told by the regional Wildlands management that there would be a decrease in the money they were paid for recycling.

Dladla said at the beginning of the year he would pocket more that R400 for a sack of bottles weighing 1 000 kg but last month he was paid only R150 for the same weight.

“We go around the township pushing heavy trollies digging around dirt collecting these bottles. On top of that we have to break and smash these bottles until they weigh 1 000 kg or more. This is hard labour and they are now paying us peanuts,” said the angry Dladla.

He said eight of his co-recyclers have stopped collecting because the pay is not worth the job anymore.

“I am still passionate about recycling as it helps me provide for my family and it has become like a hobby to me.”

Speaking on behalf of the Wildlands Conservation Trust, Pietermaritzburg regional recycling depot manager Noluvuyo Sixholo said the radical decrease is due to the government not funding them anymore. She said Wildlands has been receiving funding to run the recycling project from the Department of Environmental Affairs. She does not know why the department pulled out. She said before the government pulled out, the programme paid 30 cents per kilogram but now it pays 15 cents per kilogram.

“We told our recyclers this beforehand. We have noticed that some have stopped recycling but some are continuing because they really need the money.

“We feel for them but there is not much we can do to assist them,” said Sixholo.

She added that the recycling depot used to have 12 vehicles that collect the recycled waste around the city but they have been cut down to just four due to money issues, adding that some people working for the recycling project will also be retrenched on the 15th of this month.She said she personally does not know if her superiors have a plan other than to hope that the government funds them again.

Dladla added that he is concerned about what will happen to all the uncollected recyclable waste lying around communities.

“I urge Wildlands and Consol to come up with solutions swiftly, as this matter does not only affect recyclers, but the communities at large,” he said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  recycling

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