Mar 30, 2012
Recycling has the potential to be profitable and create jobsBack
Johannesburg|Education|South Africa|Chris Liebenberg|Mvuselelo Mathebula|Suzan Oelofse
© 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
Other News This Week News
Updated 47 minutes ago Energy-focused engineering group Kentz is gearing up for what it expects to be material growth in Mozambique in the coming years, owing principally to the discovery of large-scale gas resources and the ongoing development of the country’s coal and power...
Updated 1 hour 57 minutes ago Creamer Media’s Base Metals 2013 Report examines the global base metals industry, with a particular focus on the production of copper, zinc, nickel and lead, as well as selected base metals operations and projects in Africa.
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
Road and Rail 2013: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2013 Report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move...
Liquid Fuels 2013 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Liquid Fuels report examines South Africa’s liquid fuels market, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing,...
Projects in Progress - Second Edition (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s second Projects in Progress supplement considers some of the major project developments under way, including high-profile energy and transport projects, as well as a few of the lower-profile public and private developments. What remains apparent is...
Water 2013: A review of South Africa’s water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2013 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.
Canadian Mining Roundup for June 2013 (PDF Report)
The June 2013 roundup includes details of the development of TSX-V-listed Aldridge Minerals’ flagship Yenipazar polymetallic project, in Turkey; the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s renewal of Cameco’s uranium mining licence pertaining to the Cigar Lake...
This Week's Magazine
Mitsubishi Motors South Africa (MMSA) has introduced a 4x2 derivative of its Pajero Sport sports-utility vehicle (SUV), which will give it access to a substantial slice of the full-size SUV market, where it will compete with the likes of the Ford Everest, Chevrolet...
South African Energy Minister Ben Martins has affirmed that the government wants the country to be globally competitive in the nuclear sector. "Our responsibility has always been ... to ensure that, in nuclear energy, South Africa can compete with the rest of the...
Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) president and CEO Dr Martin Zimmermann describes the new S-Class as “a special place to be”, with the car creating a sense of “wellness” once you are seated inside the German brand’s flagship model. It is difficult to argue...
Water scarcity and water-quality issues are broadly recognised and understood in most political, business and civil organisations in South Africa, but solving water issues will require wide and continuous action in catchments and municipalities by organisations and...
Work is well under way on the R212-million Imvutshane dam, 30 km north-west of Stanger, in KwaZulu-Natal, which is a key link in supplying people in rural Maphumulo with a reliable source of safe drinking water.