Waste pickers provide an essential service to solid waste management services, contribute to the economy and protect the environment by diverting recyclables away from the landfill. They even provide a free separation and collection service to many households on municipal waste collection days by going through household bins.
However, the work they do is often unhygienic and dangerous as it entails scratching in bins, and opening plastic bags that might include medical waste that would expose them to germs and viruses while looking for recyclables; this puts them at a high-risk of contracting coronavirus and other illnesses.
While doing their work, they live on wages that they receive from their daily collections. Consequently, their extreme hardships are felt immediately in a time when governments impose lockdown regulations that stop them from working. Though they provide an essential service to the waste management services, governments do not recognize them as essential workers, which restricts them in accessing much needed help and funding that essential workers benefit from the governments.
Help in the form of the donations is needed to help the waste pickers, and as we work closely with waste pickers, we want to help and support them wherever we can.
To help the waste pickers, we reached out to our Regenizers and asked them to donate Remali towards the food parcels and a whopping 322 000 Remali was donated.
For every Remali that was donated towards the food parcels, Regenize donated an equivalent amount of Remali to double the Remali for the cause.
Monday the 4th was the day when the Regenize team descended onto the streets of Bridgetown, Goodwood and Elsies River to deliver the food parcels to the waste pickers. The parcels consisted of the following items: Concentrated juice, biscuits, milk, coffee, tea, sugar, instant porridge, maize meal, rice, a can of baked beans, a can of mixed vegetables, dry soup packet, bar soap, a small hand sanitiser and a cloth mask.
The day went well and it was a success, for smiles were found on the faces of the waste pickers who received the food parcels with joy.
The waste pickers need all the help they can receive, so go ahead and donate your Remali too, we will double it and ensure that more waste pickers find relief. Let's do this!
In case you missed it, Barbara Creecy led a partnership with industry and the waste reclaimers associations that raised R785 000.00 for the cause of delivering food parcels and sending vouchers to the numbers of waste pickers.