Community News - 1 March 2007


Window of Opportunity to make money with Launch of The Glass Recycling Company

The Glass Recycling Company - South Africa's new national non-profit organization responsible for the recovery of waste glass (cullet) for recycling - is giving the unemployed and historically disadvantaged the opportunity to earn cash for recycling glass.

According to The Glass Recycling Company's general manager, Shabeer Jhetam, a man who comes from a recycling background, there are opportunities for glass collection to yield an alternative income stream for the unemployed.

The collector of the waste glass is reimbursed for the recovery of glass by a local dealer of waste glass (scrap dealer), or by the more established entrepreneur.

The Glass Recycling Company, which has the endorsement of the Ministry for Environmental Affairs and Tourism, has a mandate to set up new entrepreneurs throughout South Africa, who will pay for any waste glass that is brought to them for recycling by collectors in townships as well as city areas.

"Our initial imperative is job creation in the formal and informal sectors. The Glass Recycling Company intends to set up at least 80 entrepreneurs annually, which in turn will see at least 4000 new informal jobs created annually. Conservatively there are already at least 100 existing entrepreneurs throughout the country who have already created in the region of 5000 informal jobs through the collection of waste glass," says Jhetam.

But, adds Jhetam, "Research shows that collectors will only recover glass for a period of about three months and thereafter they either find more formal employment or become involved in other forms of self-employment. This creates a huge challenge for The Glass Recycling Company and will in turn require the constant recruiting of new collectors by this non-profit company. Despite being 100 recyclable, just 20 (140 000 tons) of all glass containers produced annually are retrieved for recycling in South Africa. This means that about 550 000 tons of waste glass finds its way into our landfills annually - glass that could be used to save energy and to earn money for collectors," says Jhetam. He adds that as an organization The Glass Recycling Company is aiming to increase the recycling rate from 20 to 50 within the next five years. "That said, we do not physically recycle the glass itself - rather we promote and educate about the importance of the recovery of waste glass for recycling, linked to the need to protect the environment." The organization is aiming to have additional glass banks at strategic locations throughout the country commencing March 2007. The banks will facilitate the recovery of waste glass from urban consumers and dwellers. "Environmental protection and ecotourism is the responsibility of every citizen and by recycling glass: energy, water and other non-renewable natural resources are preserved. By way of example: the energy saving from recycling one bottle will power a 100 watt light bulb for almost an hour; and a TV for 20 minutes. Added to this, glass is infinitely recyclable and does not affect the quality or integrity of the new product. "For recycling to work, everyone has to participate in each phase of the process. We are therefore calling on the people of South Africa: coporates, religious institutions, community organizations, schools and consumers of glass to help us by making recycling part of their daily routine. So start collecting today and get cash for glass," urges Jhetam.

For further information visit: