Just outside Cape Town, based at the Hout Bay recycling centre, a local recycling cooperative has a new project, working through piles of waste, separating different materials and selling the trash back to packaging companies to be recycled and then re-used to create new products. This new initiative has been driven by the government’s movement towards a greener economy and this movement is aimed at creating jobs, creating environmental sustainability and stimulating growth.
The cooperative receives 25 tons of waste each month and the group of formerly jobless and poverty stricken men and women sort through it and, on average, earn themselves R2000 per month. As awareness of the benefits of recycling increases, more and more rubbish is dropped at the recycling centre and that means more money and more work for the people who sort the waste materials.
The initiative was given a boost when social enterprise incubator Thrive decided to get involved and offer advice on management and business strategy. This is not the only green initiative that Thrive support, they have been trying to get a number of green focused businesses on the go. In November the South African government signed a Green Economic Accord that promotes active investment in green projects.
“The green economy can create large numbers of jobs, provide a spur for industrialisation and help create a sustainable future for this and the next generations,” said Minister of Economic Development Ebrahim Patel when the accord was announced.