WATCH | Meet the waste pickers making cash from 'black gold'

The Western Cape generated 2.8-billion kilograms of waste in 2017

01 June 2018 - 06:48 By Anthony Molyneaux

Ma Agnes lives next to a popular socialising spot in Khayelitsha. She used to wake up to glass bottles strewn across the main stretch behind her house. 

But instead of complaining, Agnes turned the waste problem into a business.

“I started collecting these bottles in 2006. There were a lot of empties left behind from the chisa nyama next to my house. I recycled the glass for money,” said Ma Agnes.

Twelve years later and Ma Agnes now earns R2,000 every month by recycling the 15,000 kilograms of glass in the large container outside her home. 

“I have built a garage with the money. I’ve also set up a car wash and it’s paying for my son’s school fees,” said Ma Agnes.

Recycling initiatives such as Ma Agnes’s are welcome news in the Western Cape, where a serious waste problem is looming.

The Western Cape generated 2.8-billion kilograms of waste in 2017, according to government, an alarming figure when one considers that an estimated 1.8-billion kilograms were recycled by varying recycling activities in the same year.

Waste is only set to rise due to the increasing numbers of people arriving in the city. 

Read the full story on Times Select

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