Cape Town's waste entrepreneurs helping to create a green environment

19 July 2017 - 13:47 By Farren Collins
The Dream Team - (From left) Emile Fourie, Ashley Epstein, Joseph Kamoto, Chloe Guilhermino and Gabriel Ally.
The Dream Team - (From left) Emile Fourie, Ashley Epstein, Joseph Kamoto, Chloe Guilhermino and Gabriel Ally.
Image: Gezakapa

In less than just seven months Joseph Kamoto has almost single-handedly sorted nearly 50‚000 kilograms of waste for recycling that would otherwise have ended up in landfills.

He is part of GezaKapa (Clean Cape)‚ a Cape Town-based social enterprise aimed at creating a green environment‚ that was started by four young entrepreneurs from the city in December.

They started the initiative to encourage recycling in parts of the city where the council did not provide recycling opportunities‚ and in their short existence are already taking in up to 100 drop-offs a day from residents at their single depot at the Gardens Bowling Club in the City Bowl.

One of GezaKapa’s co-founders Ashley Epstein‚ said the project’s ultimate goal was to facilitate the opening of similar kinds of drop-off centres all around the city‚ and they hoped to have 10 new depots within the next two years.

“We want to divert as much waste as we can from landfills‚” Epstein told TimesLIVE on Monday.

“The waste that comes to our depots would normally end up in landfills which then contribute to planetary degradation.

“We want people to not only become more conscious about where their waste goes but also create impact with where their waste goes. We are trying to recycle as much as possible from a household waste point of view.”

Gezakapa not only collects fully recyclable waste including paper‚ glass and plastic but they also collect organic waste which is then converted into compost.

According to the Green Cape Waste Management 2017 Market Intelligence Report‚ the South African waste industry consists primarily of waste collection and landfilling‚ with only 10% being recycled.

“The current waste economy results in an industry that is estimated to be worth R15 billion in revenue and provides 29‚833 people with employment‚” the report said. “However‚ R17 billion worth of resources could be unlocked if 100% of the identified 13 waste streams could be recycled.”

Gezakapa are currently crowdfunding to raise enough money to build a roof over their depot.

“Certain waste like paper and cardboard loses its ability to be recycled when it gets wet‚” said Epstein.

By Monday they had raised just over R10‚000.

- TimesLIVE