Positive Impact of Trash to Treasure Project

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Since its inception in October 2012, Pikitup’s Trash to Treasure project has assisted residents to accumulate 1107 tons of recyclable refuse and created more than 100 new permanent jobs in Soweto and Diepsloot alone, through the Buy-Back Centres which are managed by independent Cooperatives.

The project not only encourages residents to recycle their household refuse, which is ordinarily tossed away, but this key Mayoral project also promotes job creation as recyclable waste is exchanged for money. At full implementation of the project 950 000 households with in the city of Johannesburg will be exposed to the separation of recyclable waste at source.

The idea is to help residents turn trash into treasure to evoke a change in mindset whereby value can still be extracted from what was previously viewed as useless.

The project, which was already in existence in the Waterval area, was rolled out to the Zondi depot serviced areas (Soweto) in October last year, after which it was then implemented in Diepsloot the following month. Collection of recyclable waste commenced in Orange Farm on 4 February 2013. Essentially, it requires residents to use separate receptacles to collect their waste – a black bin for non-recyclable household waste, a clear durable plastic bag for glass, cans, plastics and the like, and a reusable white bag for all paper materials.

The project has reaped much success, with a 25% participation rate in the Waterval depot area, 7% in the Zondi depot area, and 7% in Diepsloot. The areas in question experienced a significant amount of littering and illegal dumping prior to the project’s establishment.

“Not only has the project enabled the lower income earners to make money out of recycled refuse, but it has also positively impacted how people view littering and illegal dumping,” said Amanda Nair, Pikitup’s Managing Director.

“In addition to contributing towards a sustainable environment, it also creates business opportunities for the City’s reclaimers and recycling cooperatives that make a living out of selling discarded recycled items. We aim to reduce waste, educate people about the benefits of recycling and create jobs for Joburg,” said Nair.

Source: Pikitup

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