Here's how a clean environment is not only great for the future but can also be a money-spinning business

Godfrey Motshwane waste collector.
Godfrey Motshwane waste collector.
Image: Supplied.

The business of waste picking is helping feed families across the country. Ga-Rankuwa resident Godfrey Motshwane says he picks waste as a way of earning money.

Motshwane sells his waste to Eco Care Waste Management in Ga-Rankuwa. He makes about R120 per day from collecting waste.

“I sell about four times a day to Eco Care Waste Management. I collect plastic and cardboard,” said Motshwane.

He added that waste collection helps to keep his township clean.

“When I collect the waste from people’s yards they are happy and welcoming as I am cleaning up for them at no cost to them,” he said.

The owner of Eco Care Waste Management, Lerato Makube, said they pay the waste collectors based on the size of the load.

She said the Ga-Rankuwa community had become more aware of the need to recycle.

“The business has had a developmental impact on this community. People who did not know about waste collection have started collecting waste," said Makube.

Makube also shared that her business which has 11 permanent employees has sparked a curiosity in the community about recycling.

“There is always going to be waste and people need to start viewing waste as a commodity,”she said.

Eco Care Waste Management has been operating in the township since 2018.

“I got into this business because of the opportunity to green our community. We collect solid waste material for recycling which otherwise would have ended up in the landfill sites,” she said. Makube's business is in line with government’s plan to divert waste away from landfills.

The business has begun teaching its waste pickers on how to separate the different waste categories. “People come here and enquire as to what to collect. People are seeing waste as a resource,” said Makube.

Good Green Deeds

The Good Green Deeds programme has a special focus on the importance of a clean environment. The programme is part of the government’s plans to teach and promote the importance of a clean environment.

The Department of Environmental Affairs also revealed that more than half of all greenhouse gas emissions are related to materials management activities.

Research conducted by the department in 2017, found that at least 75 percent of South Africa’s waste is being landfilled and minimal waste is managed through the reduce, reuse, recycle and recovery plan.

-This article was originally published in the GCIS Vuk'uzenzele.

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