Case Study: Building livelihoods from waste: Informal waste recycling in Vrygrond
  Jan 6, 2021     waste, waste sector desk, Circular Economy, News, li, GreenCape, Cape Town, recycling, green economy, Case Study

GreenCape, in conjunction with the City of Cape Town, has published a waste case study, titled: Building livelihoods from waste: Informal waste recycling in Vrygrond.

The case study focuses on the role of informal recycling sector and buyback centres in supporting the livelihoods of those residing in the Vrygrond informal settlement.

A community entrepreneur setup a buyback centre, which employs 20 people (approximately 60% female and 40% male) and provides income opportunities to 300 waste reclaimers from the Vrygrond area. 

Unlike many buyback centres, this buyback centre is not solely focused on market forces and will take in all materials in order to support the livelihoods of the waste reclaimers.

This approach demonstrates the value of a community based recycling scheme, providing an income source, while simultaneously having a positive environmental outcome. The model further illustrates a solution that the City of Cape Town can consider when addressing waste management informal areas. 

In so doing, the business diverts ~130 tonnes of waste from landfill every month (1 500 tonnes per year), providing income of between R950 000 and R1.9 million per annum to the community.

To read the detailed benefits from the buyback centre, access the full case study here.