With the introduction of mandatory recycling in the City of Johannesburg, informal recyclers, or reclaimers, will only benefit.
This at least, according to Pikitup, who is leading the Separation at Source programme from 1 July across the City.
Pikitup’s managingg director, Lungile Dhlamini, reassured that there will be no negative impact on reclaimers with this programme amidst fears that it would leave them without waste to reclaim.
“We have representatives of the reclaimers meeting with us every month,” he said.
The reclaimers will, he added, still be included in Joburg’s recycling.
But Pikitup maintains it is important that the estimated 6 000 reclaimers organise themselves into groups so that they can better engage with the waste management entity. Nico de Jager, MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Services, said the City is aware of the great work the reclaimers do.
“We do not want to take money from anyone. Separation at Source is about including everyone.”
De Jager believes this programme will make reclaimers’ lives a lot easier.
He said the City is even looking at possibly inoculating them twice a year, as they do with their own Pikitup employees. “We are looking at corporates to provide gear like gloves so that their work is a lot safer,” he said.
But they need to be organised, Dhlamini echoed.
“We can’t sign a formal contract with an individual, we can’t organise 6 000 contracts.”
Dhlamini said, ultimately, Pikitup needs to find consensus with Joburg’s reclaimers.