DNF shows recycling can make money
In 11 years Deidre Nxumalo-Freeman's recycling business has grown from a one-woman initiative into a formidable, well-diversified operation that handles a wide range of recyclables.
Nxumalo-Freeman's company, DNF Environmental Services, has three buy-back centres in East London, including one in the Wilsonia industrial area and a mobile buy-back centre. DNF also operates the Buffalo City municipality's buy-back centre in the city's North End.
"We mainly collect used motor oil. FFS Refiners collects the used oil and transports it to Durban for refining," she says.
"We also sell used cooking oil that we collect from local businesses to bio-diesel producers."
Nxumalo-Freeman said of the 54-million tons of waste produced every year, 62% ends up in landfills, which are detrimental to the environment.
The DNF All Hands-on Waste recycling programme aims to minimise waste in landfills through practical recycling solutions, she says.
"When I started as a consultant, it was just me and now we have 28 employees," says Nxumalo-Freeman.
She praised the Good Green Deeds Programme launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa in the Buffalo City municipality in March for creating awareness about recycling.
"People are now seeing the value of recycling. We collect about 20 tons from communities and expect volumes to grow."
She said community members can bring recyclables and get money in their bank accounts from her company.
The company also collects recyclables from schools and at the end of the year transfers rebates into each school's account.