Richard Dobson & Tasmi Quazi
There has been renewed media interest in AeT’s Inner-City Cardboard Recycling Project which has been featured in one of South Africa’s premium financial newspapers, Business Day, on 24 March 2014 in Page 7. The article written by Patricia McCracken focuses on the socio-economic benefits of informal recycling as a livelihood strategy, and its connection to various formal sectors. In addition, it profiles AeT’s project and operational approach, with particular focus on its Research Officer, Tasmi Quazi.
AeT’s Inner-City Cardboard Recycling Project was initiated as a City-based “Imagine Durban” demonstration pilot to the value of R100, 000 in 2010. Notwithstanding the vulnerability of the informal recycling sector, the project has been sustained for over 4 years, even after the funds from the pilot phase have been expended.
Some reasons this project has been sustained is eThekwini Municipality’s continued support – with efforts to invest in further research into the sector, as well as exploring the implementation of innovative informal recyclers’ facilities. This is combined with reduced levels of police harassment and social stigma faced by the informal recyclers participating in the project, with similar positive impacts for neighbouring recyclers in the City.
Secondly, the Project participants have become organised as working committees and through progressive engagement with the Project, they have been enjoying improved status – affirming themselves as “professionals”. Read more here.
Lastly, the project interventions such as the custom-designed trolleys and the social work support services of UNISA’s Bright Site Project that the informal recyclers have been receiving has sustained the Project. AeT believes that these subliminal signals continue to attract media interest, which in turn, serves as external evidence of the Projects sustained impact.
To read the online edition of this newspaper article, click here. To read other media articles about this Project, follow the links below:
- Imagine Durban Informal Recyclers Runner-up in the Community Conservation Award
- Press coverage: “Recycling for the Future”
- Press Coverage: AeT’s commendation at the AfriSam-SAIA Awards 2012
- Cardboard Recycling Project in the News
- “Waste Not Want Not”
- “Maria – Queen of Cardboard”
- Cardboard Recycling Project Profiled in Delivery Magazine
- Imagine Durban Cardboard Recycling Project in the Metro Beat – 03/12/2010
- AeT Intern Wins Prestigious Architectural Students’ Competition
- Growing Importance of Informal Recycling with Growing Concerns of Climate Change
Feature image: Informal recycler leader, Maria Vilakazi pictured with bundles of cardboard recyclables which she sells on a daily basis. Photo: Thomas Ferreira.