Turning trash into cash

Waste-Eds Candice Mostert with the workshop participants, from left, Anele Jim; Charlotte Thornton, from Angels Resource Centre; Evelyn du Toit; Wayne Arendse; Russel Williams, from South African Integrated Waste Education, Training and Development; Jeffrey Finnies and Keith van Eeden, also from South African Integrated Waste Education, Training and Development.

The Angels Resource Centre in Fish Hoek is running the Big Waste Wake-Up programme, teaching potential entrepreneurs how to turn trash into cash.

On Wednesday September 26, the centre ran a workshop for entrepreneurs in conjunction with Waste-Ed, which develops waste-management systems for schools, communities and businesses.

The centre is also running a Back A Buddy fund-raiser, where every R5 000 raised will sponsor training for an entrepreneur.

The amount includes R2 500 seed funding, mentoring and training with South African Integrated Waste Education, Training and Development (SAIWETD) and Angels, and some education in setting up their own business.

Waste-Ed’s Candice Mostert said plastics were made from various chemicals, each destroyed at different temperatures, so finding out what could be recycled, and where, was important to keep those items out of the landfills.

“Every recycling location has different machinery that can recycle the items we use. The Western Cape leads the way in recycling, with around a 37% recycling rate, compared to the national average of around 7%. But, we lag behind in educating people about what can be recycled, and what cannot,” she said.

Ms Mostert demonstrated how to make an eco-brick table and stool, and SAIWETD’s Jeffrey Finnies said plastic bottles had many uses other than being landfill fodder.

The workshop showed how everyday items, such as a table and chair, could be made from discarded plastic bottles.

Ms Mostert also discussed how non-recyclable waste, such as foil and chips packets, could be kept out of landfills.

For more information on the Back a Buddy project, visit