Cape Town - Community Action Networks (Cans), which largely consist of community kitchens across Cape Town’s struggling communities, is trying to move from donor dependence to being self-sustainable by launching recycling hubs at its locations through Regenize Recycling.
Sustainable Can was co-founded by Paul Crawford, Yaseen Johaar and Ndodana Hadebe towards the end of 2021 out of their belief that it would be better to be self-sufficient than solely dependent on donations and donors.
Crawford said: “The common focus is our community kitchens which provide meals for those that do not have access to food; however, we are also active in disaster relief, GBV, learning centres, after-care centres, skills development, food security, and employment.”
One of Sustainable Can’s projects involved partnering with Regenize Recycling, which collaborated with four of Sustainable Can’s kitchens to establish recycling hubs.
Regenize co-founder, Nkazi Mkti, said an informal arrangement was initially made with a community kitchen in Gugulethu, where soup and bread were exchanged for recyclable items.
“This birthed the interest of Regenize Decentralised Recycling Hubs being placed in the community to increase the rates that could be earned by the kitchen. This contributed to the community kitchens having an alternative source of reliable and easily accessible income,” Mkti said.
So far, one recycling hub was established at Tambo Village, between Manenberg and Gugulethu.
Crawford said the rest of the recycling hubs would be set up at kitchens in Hanover Park, Kewtown in Athlone, and in Khayelitsha.
Tambo Village Can leader Pamela Nqayi said some of its work included sourcing information about job adverts for residents, arranging food for residents, and assisting children who did not go to school.
She said operations for the hub would start in the next few weeks. The installation of the hub had already created jobs for five people in the area.
“Of those five, four are the marketing reps who have gone door to door signing up households for the recycling collection service. The other is making sure that the Hub is clean all the time,” Nqayi said.