Do you recycle? Most likely, otherwise you wouldn't be reading this. But maybe you don't as yet. Why is that?
There are many reasons why some of us might not recycle. The general waste industry findings point to a lack of education and access as one of the catalysts. Did you know that only 7% of South Africa currently recycles (CSIR, 2016)? This is a shocking statistic. At Regenize we have been doing a lot of research and discovery around what are the blockers to recycling. Education and access is true. In Cape Town however, there is also mismatch of service delivery as recycling services are availed to only a few areas in the region. This then leads to a lack of exposure of recycling in other areas that might possibly benefit from such activity.
How do we bridge such an issue? Local Hubs. Regenize has been operational for almost two years thanks to the undying support of its recyclers and partners. This has allowed us to learn and grow, as well as be more exploratory in our efforts to make a lasting impact in terms of changing social norms around recycling behaviour. Our vision has allows been to create an inclusive recycling culture in South Africa. This led us to create a company that rewarded people for recycling. However, what about education, access and inclusivity?
These questions have led us to developing the decentralised local hubs model which we will be testing in two select areas over a period of 2 to 3 months. The aim of local hubs is to provide FREE decentralised recycling services, to as many areas as possible and to include the informal waste sector (i.e. Waste Pickers) that can benefit from it.
Studies of other developing nations similar to South Africa have been able to realise immense benefits from integrating the informal waste sector. This has been achieved through waste industry stakeholders re-engineering their practices as well as government forming and supporting cooperatives driven by sustainability. We understand that such a model may have its risks and unknowns, but at Regenize, we love to learn and explore. Part of this is testing through implementation, hence the decentralised local hubs model. We feel there is an opportunity for mass exposure to recycling practices through such a model as well as benefits that are not only ecological, but socio-economic as well. Therefore join us, and watch out for the report back on the Regenize Local Hubs Pilot. We only need 25 000 sign ups and ready participants to begin roll out, and are counting on all of our fellow recyclers and other communities to help us reach that goal. With that in mind, lets make recycling great again!