“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” so goes the saying.
This is true for Khayelitsha residents Wandisile Nqeketho and Siyabulela Daweti, founders of Ilima Green Solutions, who are on a mind changing mission for residents to consider making a living out of recyclable materials which in turn promotes a green culture.
Ilima Green Solutions, which is doing bin cleaning systems, beach cleaning, mobile recycling depot, formed a partnership with property companies, partners and collaborates with event promoting companies and also makes it their business to recycle materials such as paper, cans and glasses.
The company was registered in 2012 after the duo noticed illegal dumping becoming prevalent in their area.
Daweti said their aim is to change the mindset of residents regarding keeping their areas clean.
“It is about promoting cleanliness and greening. Residents do illegal dumping in our townships and most of the things that they dump are recyclable. It is not only beneficiary for keeping areas clean, but also they benefit financially,” Daweti said.
They have already employed five youngsters on a permanent basis and also six others who are casual workers, to help clean refuse bins.
They charge R60 per month per house for washing their dustbin.
Nqeketho said they wanted to keep their innovation simple and also sustainable.
“We aim at educating residents about the importance of greening. This is something that does not need any skill and anyone can do it. There is too much waste that comes from Khayelitsha in particular. For innovation you do not have to come with something complex. The more you keep it simple, the better,” Nqeketho said.
The duo is now planning to start other projects such as replacing charcoal with cow dung and mobile bin cleaning truck for municipality.
“In rural areas people use cow dung to cook and keep their houses warm in winter and it will save residents a lot of money,” Daweti said.
Nqeketho and Daweti first saw each other at Luhlaza High School, although they were not acquainted then. Their paths crossed again at the Raymond Ackerman Academy at UCT where they were doing Entrepreneurship Development and Management.