Waste Picker Integration in the Cape Agulhas Municipality, South Africa
By Zamawela Shamase.
In partnership with the Cape Agulhas Municipality, the Zero Waste Association of South Africa (ZWASA) has made significant progress with its Zero Waste Pilot Project in Bredasdorp, a small town located in the Western Cape of South Africa.
Their joint project comprises four main aspects: a zero organic waste to landfill pilot project, separation-of-waste-at-source within the municipality, establishing a composting facility, and integrating waste pickers into the zero waste system.
As part of their commitment to integrating waste pickers, they have identified twenty waste pickers working in the Cape Agulhas Municipality’s landfill site, which they have been engaging with at different levels.
This engagement included training ten waste pickers and youth on composting. Furthermore, the trained individuals were then provided with composting tools and equipment to construct a composting facility. This opportunity enabled them to practically implement the skill they learned and resulted in the waste pickers constructing the first windrow composting rows in Cape Agulhas Municipality.
“The composting business has the potential to become financially self-sustainable and to create significant employment for waste pickers, especially once we commence with recycling and other beneficiation projects in the next phase of the Zero Waste Project at Cape Agulhas Municipality,” Keith Roman, director of ZWASA and project manager.