Did you know that Waste Pickers are at the forefront of driving the recycling rate in South Africa to 7.5%?
Seen as pariahs by most residential communities and corporates, Waste Pickers earn their living through scavenging from the disposed goods, waste and general garbage produced by formal dwellings. The work they do on a daily basis is thankless and they lack support to do it efficiently and effectively. The problem is around how they are recovering the waste. It is a known fact that Waste Pickers scavenge in refuse bins and landfills (illegally), loading their recovered items in makeshift trolleys and bags. They then travel many kilometres between suburban areas where they scavenge and the industrial areas where they attempt to sell off their items at formal and informal buy-back centres.
The recovery and scavenging process results in waste pickers being commonly exposed to disease and illnesses that require treatment. In addition, hauling large amounts of recovered items to and from source can be dangerous, arduous and unpredictable. Waste pickers experience theft, harassment, assault and at times unfair remuneration for their hard work in earning their living on a daily basis. This has to change.
By recycling, we can create an ecosystem where waste pickers are supported by means of access to household recyclable waste at source, uniforms, sorting space, safe payment and training in life and finance management. So be a part and contribute to waste pickers’ wellbeing. Join us – Regenize!