Khayelitsha residents turn waste into opportunity



Published Dec 9, 2021


Cape Town – Makhaza residents in Khayelitsha have collected more than 57 000kg of recyclable waste and sold it to Buy-Back Centre, generating income for many residents.

The programme began in 2018 with 47 women and has grown into a sustainable business for the residents.

The City of Cape Town facilitated the training of the residents to identify valuable items and the importance of recycling. Other partners, such as Nedbank, have provided financial management training to the residents.

How does this work?

· Residents in the community who collect recyclable waste are scheduled to work five days a week. On collection days, they sort through refuse placed out for collection and set aside items that can be recycled.

· They are equipped with 47 trolleys, scales to weigh the items on-site and recycling bags. They have also received a bakkie from Waste Plan (a waste management and recycling service) to assist in their efforts to reduce waste in the recycling industry.

· The collected recyclables are then sorted and stored on-site, in three six-metre-long containers provided by the City.

· The waste is sold to the Buy-Back Centre for income.

According to the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Waste, Zahid Badroodien, the objective of this project is to encourage communities to divert and separate waste at the source. He says the project is also intended to create an enabling environment that can add value between communities, stakeholders and businesses.

“This exciting project demonstrates how the City and communities can make progress possible together. It innovatively addresses critical challenges of unemployment and illegal dumping/environmental health”.

“This project represents a promising example of how the new strategy can work and benefit our communities through job creation and improved environmental health”, he added.

“I feel happy for doing recycling because now the municipal landfills have been reduced, and we managed to work with men and women to put food on the table. We do not struggle as we used to before”, Franscina Mayongo added.