The City of Johannesburg’s plan to integrate informal waste reclaimers into its recycling programme took a major step forward this week when Pikitup unveiled 20 branded trolleys at its Waterval Depot in Albertville.
The trolleys, which have been fitted with reflectors, were handed over to 20 reclaimers to replace their rickety, unwieldy and makeshift inventions, which posed a safety hazard for motorists.
Informal reclaimers are a common sight in the streets of Johannesburg, where they are often seen pulling heavy loads of waste in poorly constructed trolleys.
The new branded trolleys, unveiled as part of a pilot project, are lighter and user-friendly.
The trolleys are the brainchild of Sifiso Ngobese, a 31-year-old Protea Glen, Soweto, entrepreneur.
Ngobese’s company, AboMakgereza (Hustlers), Pikitup, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the Metal and Paper Recycling Cooperative have formed a partnership to make recycling easier and to bring buyers and sellers closer to each other.
According to Pikitup’s Managing Director, Amanda Nair Pikitup was involved in the initial facilitation of partnerships between the private sector and buy-back centres, the first point of contact with reclaimers, in the separation at source programme.
Reducing waste to landfill
These trolleys will be distributed to reclaimers by Denise M&P Recycling Cooperative. Nair said the trolleys were expected to make recycling easier for reclaimers.
She said through this initiative Pikitup aimed to reduce waste going to landfill sites to 7% by 2040. She urged all sectors to take part in the programme for the target to be met.
She urged the community and companies to minimise waste by recycling.
Stuart Bartlett, IDC’s Head of Development: Impact Support said he was excited to be part of the project.
Bartlett said the IDC, through the Social Enterprise Fund, was keen to fund non-profit making organisations to make a difference in the community.
“We wanted to make a difference in the environment. That is why we decided to help Sifiso, who has 40 people under his wing.
“We’re happy to see him grow. We hope by end of next year he would have increased this number of people to 1 000,” he said.