A new recycling initiative offers rewards to households that recycle and a better life for bin pickers.
On Friday July 16, recycling company, Regenize, launched a hub at Thornton Road Primary School in Crawford. The other two hubs are Tarentaal Road, Bridgetown.
According to co-founder, Chad Robertson, Regenize is on a mission to make recycling accessible, inclusive and rewarding. He and his partner, Nkazimlo Miti, started their business four years ago. Initially, residents paid Regenize to collect recyclables from their homes, but the company soon realised that this model was only accessible to wealthier communities.
“It’s pointless that only a few recycle, and we have a big population of waste collectors in our communities who make a big impact on our economy,” said Mr Roberston.
“This is why we worked on our model to make it more accessible. With our local hubs, we link the collectors with the households who recycle. We buy the recyclables from the collectors, saving them the long distances they often have to undertake to other recycling businesses.
“The households also earn rewards in the form of virtual currency, called Remali, which can be used to buy vouchers online for airtime, data or groceries, or it can be used at shops where Remali is accepted. They can even donate the Remali to help the collectors.”
There are two collectors and one sorter at each of the three hubs. The collectors have access to recycling tricycles, personal protective equipment (PPE) and training.
So far, 900 households had signed up across the three hubs to have their recyclables collected once a week, Mr Robertson said.
Lynne Opperman, one of the collectors, said it had been harder for her when she had had to go through people’s bins to find recyclables because she had often been treated badly.
“What I do now is no longer a daily hustle; it has become a dignified job. The people also treat us much better now,” she said.
Nasheekah Isaacs said she had been unemployed for a long time until she had spotted the collectors on their tricycles and had asked them what they did for a living.
“When they explained to me what they do, I wanted to join them. Now I am happy to be part of the team,” she said.
Visit www.regenize.co.za or call 081 534 3586 for more information.