Currently about 20.000 tons/per year of PET are consumed in Cape Town and its surroundings only, and more than half of it does not undergo a proper recycling process. As a result, after its use such waste material is abandoned in landfills or directly into the environment.
The collection network is based on the informal contribution of workers coming from townships (waste pickers) who, for a few cents per kilo, sell the material to a dense network of intermediaries.
(T)ricycle provides pickers with tricycles, carts, and individual safety devices for waste picking.
In addition, at the (T)ricycle collection center the plastic material gathered is stocked, selected and compacted into 200-kilo bales, before being sold directly to the final customer (recycling plant) with the added value of selection, transformation, and transport.
The project makes plastic waste picking safer, more efficient, and more remunerative for pickers. Tricycles and carts make it possible to gather more plastic on the same timescale, and adopting a shorter production chain that integrates picking, selecting, compacting and transportation reduces the number of intermediaries and maximizes profit for the pickers.
The project will trace the social and environmental impact generated and will specifically monitor how many tons of plastic are taken to the collection center in a given time unit; how many ZAR the center paid to the pickers; how many tons of CO2 and how many square meters of landfill are saved.