City of Cape Town encourages formation of recycling start-ups | Infrastructure news

With the implementation of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) regulations, and the imposition of bold targets for the diversion of waste from landfill, society’s demand for recycling services is increasing.

The City of Cape Town is encouraging residents to take advantage of this emerging need to uplift their communities, by establishing small recycling businesses and registering these with the City for inclusion on the Waste Recyclers Map.

Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Waste Management, Alderman Grant Twigg is calling on residents who are looking for work to consider starting small businesses in recycling. 

The National Waste Management Strategy of 2020 has set an ambitious target of 70% reduction in the waste that is sent to landfill by 2035, and is eventually aiming to achieve a zero waste society. This will require significant expansion of recycling activities throughout Cape Town in coming years. 

Recycling has significant potential to create jobs as well as to preserve our precious natural environment, and for this reason residents are being encouraged to establish their own small recycling businesses.

However, all those who wish to explore opportunities in this sector should also be aware that they must get accreditation from the City to legally operate.

The accreditation process involves an assessment of the businesses’ Integrated Waste Management Plan, to ensure that recyclable waste handled by the business will be correctly cleaned/treated, separated, stored, transported, and disposed of. 

Accredited businesses may also qualify to apply for recycling tenders in coming years as recycling services are expanded throughout the City. Furthermore, the City can help promote these businesses via the waste recyclers map, an interactive map for residents showing which recycling businesses are operating in each area, and what recyclables they accept. 

“There is already a thriving informal recycling sector in Cape Town that is making a notable contribution to recycling in Cape Town. These operations have often developed good relationships with communities. Sometimes communities even want to support their local recyclers rather than participating in a centralised municipal recycling service, in recognition of the potential for economic upliftment through recycling,” said Twigg.

“If more of these relationships can flourish throughout Cape Town we will be well on our way to meeting recycling targets, so the City wants to enable this wherever possible through our accreditation system and the promotion of the waste recyclers map. I am optimistic that with the right buy-in from our residents, and the cooperation of small and informal businesses, we can continue to position ourselves as a leader in waste management solutions for developing cities. Time is the only thing we can’t recycle. Start recycling now,” Twigg concludes. 

To apply for accreditation as a waste management company please follow the instructions on the following page:

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