Radebe aims to formalise recycling in Edenvale

Recycler and businesswoman, Neli Radebe and recycler Bongani van Stad near the Eastleigh Taxi Rank.

By Stephan Lehman

Bin pickers and recyclers often get a bad reputation for creating a mess while collecting and recycling materials.

Instead of assisting these entrepreneurs, community members often complain about them.

One person hoping to improve the reputation and assist the recyclers in Edenvale is Neli Radebe, a businesswoman with a passion to preserve the Earth.

Her passion to recycle started a few years ago while working at Sars.

Also read: Your views on recycling

“I saw all the newspaper in the office and just decided to recycle it, as paper is something of value,” said Radebe.

Since then her recycling efforts have grown exponentially.

Recycler and businesswoman, Neli Radebe and recycler Bongani van Stad near the Eastleigh Taxi Rank.

Radebe, who now owns her own recycling company in Linbro Park, hopes to formalise recycling in Edenvale and offer a business opportunity to those dependent on recycling.

The idea came to her as a way to give back to those in need and the community.

“I saw recyclers battling with their loads so I thought of a way to help them,” said Radebe.

So far Radebe has met with approximately 40 recyclers to get the ball rolling.

She explained that a registry of the recyclers will be created and one group of recyclers will be appointed to a specific area.

Also read: There’s a lot to recycling

“By having certain groups for certain areas I hope to connect the recyclers with the community,” said Radebe.

Each group will have a set area where they can sort their materials and it can be picked up by Radebe’s company.

By formalising and regulating recycling and bin picking Radebe hopes to weed out the criminal elements.

One area which Radebe hopes to use for the experiment as a mini depot is the Eastleigh Taxi Rank.

Ward 18 councillor, Heather Hart, is assisting Radebe. She said this initiative is a good idea which could assist those making a living from recycling.

“When recyclers come to Edenvale, they see wealth in our bins,” explained Hart.

She added that with the recyclers come concerns from the community such:

• The suspicion that the recyclers are related to crime;

• The mess left behind by the recyclers;

• A general lack of professionalism;

• The danger recyclers pose to motorists and themselves.

“Although community members have these concerns, for some of the recyclers collecting items is the only opportunity for them to make make money,” said Hart.

While speaking to Radebe and Hart a recycler, Bongani van Stad, approached Radebe for more information about the initiative.

Bongani, who has been recycling for seven years said he turned to recycling after he left the security sector. On an average day Bongani said he makes between R100 and R200.

“How much you earn depends on your efforts and how quick you are,” he said.

Both Hart and Radebe emphasised the importance of recycling.

Also read: Beauty talks about recycling

They agreed that the hardest part of this initiative would be the transport to collect the sorted materials and getting police clearance for the recyclers.

“This is an exciting experimental initiative,” said Hart.

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Stephan Lehman

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