Environmental concerns have long been a hot topic and, in South Africa, which has an estimated population of 58.6 million people, it has been projected that the country only has a mere six years of municipal landfill airspace left. This dilemma is the premise behind Kerby, a kerbside recycling company that helps divert waste from landfill and educates communities on recycling, explains Greg Player, the founder and director of Clean C, a non-profit that’s been collecting ocean waste off beaches and in communities around Cape Town for the past four years. “Kerby is being established as a standalone and profitable purpose-driven operational unit by a partnership between Clean C and the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship South Africa,” says Rowan Le Roux, operations director at the Branson Centre. “OceanCollective will support Kerby by taking their waste-collection operations one step further to ensure the recyclable waste is sold or made into new high-value products.”
1. Households separate their waste into recyclable and non-recycable piles, and place the recyclable items in a clear bag.
2. The bags holding the recyclable waste are placed on the kerb for collection by Kerby, a local private waste collector, or by the municipality in some areas.
3. The bags are collected and transported to a central sorting centre.
4. At the centre, Kerby agents sort the content into different types of materials, such as glass, paper, metal, and the various plastics (PET, HD, LD, PVC, PS and PP).
5. The sorted materials are either sold to “buy-back” centres who process them further or are processed by Kerby. Processing involves cleaning the material and converting it into reusable raw material such as paper pulp, recycled plastic, and metal.
6. The recycled material is used to produce new packaging or other products and the process starts again.
Article originally appeared in Fast Company SA’s December 2019/January 2020 issue.