Mar 30, 2012
Recycling has the potential to be profitable and create jobsBack
Johannesburg|Africa|Education|Environment|PROJECT|Project Management|Sustainable|Waste|Waste Management|Africa|South Africa|Environmental|Chris Liebenberg|Mvuselelo Mathebula|Suzan Oelofse|Waste
© Reuse this
“The Department of Trade and Industry has estimated that the South African recycling industry, operating at full capacity, could increase the number of direct employment opportunities to about 149 459 jobs. The crea- tion of these sustainable jobs would only be achieved if recycling has profitable supportive structures in place,” said IWMSA central branch chairperson Dr Suzan Oelofse.
She was speaking at an IWMSA workshop, with the theme ‘Is recycling viable?’, earlier this month, in Midrand.
City of Johannesburg waste policy and programmes deputy director Mvuselelo Mathebula said his department was currently working on a formal description for waste pickers to avoid the dehumanisation of this practise, for example, being called scavengers, besides other derogatory names.
“Currently, recycling does not provide attrac- tive profits but people who do it, do so to save the environment and are passionate about it. In a drive to formalise the sector, we have started to meet with waste pickers to [put in place] inter- ventions to assist them with better working conditions and support.
“The City of Johannesburg is targeting 4 000 green jobs by 2015 through maintaining and establishing buy-back centres and community recycling initiatives, and formalising waste pickers. A solid plan needs to be put in place to enforce a structured waste management programme,” he said.
However, Mathebula added that not all waste pickers are keen to be registered, as they want to retain their independence. The municipality only has about 687 registered waste pickers on its database and a pilot project is under way to provide them with protective clothing, such as gloves, glasses and overalls.
“The second phase of the pilot project is to provide them with sponsored trolleys, as they are particular about the kind of trolleys they want. We are on a massive drive to source trolleys,” he said.
The City of Johannesburg plans to issue waste pickers with identity cards and get them to form cooperatives. Another aim is to continue hosting knowledge-sharing meetings for the benefit of their growth and our communities, said Mathebula.
He noted a significant challenge for the municipality was a lack of financial support from private funders to implement all the necessary initiatives to benefit and formalise the sector.
Meanwhile, waste collection company Wasteplan MD Bertie Lourens said materials recycling facilities need to be explored in South Africa but, currently, they are expensive to operate, as the country is not on par with its global counterparts in this technology.
Multidisciplinary project management firm Worley Parsons waste and environmental manager Chris Liebenberg said there is a need for government to accelerate awareness of the potential value of recyclables to improve recycling profitability.
“This can be achieved through fostering public education and involvement, assisting in establishing outlets to receive reclaimed materials, besides other interventions,” added Liebenberg.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Waste Management and Recycling News
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
This Week's Magazine
Today’s organisations execute projects within increasingly complex environments – particularly in the engineering sector. The ability to successfully execute these projects is what drives the realisation of successful projects and, ultimately, the achievement of...
South Africa’s distribution grid is a twentieth-century relic, which must be changed to serve the country’s modern electricity needs, says South African National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi) Smart Grid Programme manager Dr Minnesh Bipath. “What we are...
There is a disparity in government funding provided to integrated transport networks – bus rapid transit (BRT) networks ¬¬– and that given to conventional bus services, says Putco executive director Thys Heyns. “We have neglected and strangled conventional bus...
The Johannesburg Social Housing Company (Joshco) is building 502 rental housing units, valued at R200-million, in Dobsonville, Soweto, which are scheduled for completion in June 2016.
Automotive component manufacturer and distributor Metair is centralising its research and development (R&D) work in Turkey, in an attempt to bolster the company’s ability to produce affordable start/stop batteries. The new R&D centre is part of an expansion plan in...