Waste management sector is creating jobs

Gauteng based waste management businesses that are creating much needed jobs while saving the environment from toxic waste.

Recycling
By Nonhlanhla Ntuli

The ability to earn a living is something that could possibly be a dead dream to some as South Africa’s unemployment numbers continue to soar unabated, however the labour-intensive waste management sector is tipping and taming this narrative.

 

Okuhle Waste Management, Circle of Hope Group and BBL Recyclers and Waste Management are Gauteng based waste management businesses that are creating much needed jobs while saving the environment from toxic waste.

 

CREATING A SAFE WORKING ENVIRONMENT FOR WASTE COLLECTORS

Lebohang Mokoena the owner of BBL Recyclers and Waste Management started his business in 2018 next to a landfill site in Eldorado Park. “I started my business after I saw people sorting waste in unsafe and inhumane conditions,” said Mokoena.  After he quit his corporate job in an insurance brokerage company, he opened a recycling company that specializes in onsite waste management services, recycling and sorting in socially and economically acceptable conditions.

 

Like most entrepreneurs, he was negatively affected by the pandemic which led to the temporary closure of his business. “We couldn’t operate normally, luckily our industry was not restricted for too long and we were able to get back to work even though the market had dropped prices due to uncertainty”, he said.

 

Access to working capital is a challenge and Mokoena said his bad credit record hindered him in acquiring finance for a business vehicle and relies on rented vehicles. He hopes that one day he will get funding that will allow him to access capital to make his business fully competitive.

 

“We are not an ordinary buyback centre where we buy waste from trolley pushers. We have employed a group of sorters who go out to the streets and bring back the work to our sorting facility based in Ridgeway, south of Johannesburg, “he said.

 

His waste management business also operates as a drop off zone where people can drop off their recyclables, creating an alternative to illegal dumping. The business also works with residential estates by collecting recyclables on designated days of the week.

 

“I have no doubt that recycling will be the biggest employer in the foreseeable future, and we are calling on all property or estate managers to open their gates for us to come sort and recycle their waste,” concluded Mokoena.

 

RUNNING A WASTE MANAGEMENT BUSINESS IS NOT EASY

In the nine years that Mogomotsi Msumba has been trying to grow his business, Circle of Hope Group he has stumbled, restarted, had large stock of his recycle waste torched and had to temporarily closed shop due Covid-19.

 

Despite all these challenges, he has remained resilient and continues to work towards overcoming ongoing challenges in his business.

 

Msumba said that when they had temporarily ceased operations, he was relieved to receive an email from PET Recycling Company (PETCO), an organisation that sponsors the recycling industry through a relief fund from Coca Cola. The organisation injected R18 000 into Circle of Hope Group to revive it.

 

The recycling centre went from recycling 3 to 5 tons to recycling 20 tons per month. “We have changed people’s lives because many families are surviving from picking waste and selling it to us as an income,” he said.

 

SMME’s in the waste collection sector are creating employment and helping keep the environment clean and they need support from the public and private sector to continue positively contributing to society.

 

Circle of Hope Group is a recycling company that separates, sorts, and collects recyclables from different organisations and communities. Msumba is an entrepreneur that is determined to make the world a better place through his business.  “Recycling allows me to change people’s lives by helping them gain a monthly income. I pray that more companies and complexes continue to partner with us, allowing us to recycle their waste, alleviating poverty and reducing unemployment amongst the youth,” he concluded.

 

POSITIVELY IMPACTING COMMUNITIES

When Maxwell Ndlovu started Okuhle Waste Management 16 years ago some of his friends and family thought that he was joking or mad. “I was one of the few South Africans working with waste during those years,” he said. Those mocking laughs turned into awe struck smiles when Ndlovu was announced the PETCO Entrepreneur of the year nationally, getting the opportunity to clean Johannesburg City from 2017 to 2018.

 

The company currently has approximately 500 reclaimers delivering their recyclable waste to its three buyback centres. The fully operational and comprehensive waste centre has grown over the years and now has four bailing machines, two trucks, two granulators, one line of wash plant, two extruders and a fleet of bakkies. All this allows the business to work at full capacity.

The article was first published in DailyEntrepreneur 

Share this article:

Our Newsletter

Stay on top of the ever-changing world of business, subscribe to our newsletter *

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll To Top

Solverwp- WordPress Theme and Plugin

Business Scorecard

Need help benchmarking your business? Try our free business scorecard and identify your business’s strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement.

fetola-logo-white (1)

Business Scorecard

Need help benchmarking your business? Try our free business scorecard and identify your business’s strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement.

fetola-logo-white (1)
Bizly white logo

Leaving so soon?

Stay on top of the ever-changing world of business, by
subscribing to our newsletter

fetola-logo-white (1)