Tshwane and other cities of South Africa for selected solid waste items with resale value which they load onto makeshift trolleys. On foot and with sheer muscle power they pull their loaded carts for many kilometers through the streets to privately owned buyback centers where the waste material is weighed and sold.

Recyclers operate independently of labour regulations and protection, without employee benefits, using improvised transport, and frequently inadvertently contravening bylaws and city rules in their living and working activities. But they are intimately entwined with the formal, recognized systems of urban life: essential suppliers to registered recycling businesses, intense users of city roads, sidewalks and public spaces, specialized reclaimers competing daily with the crude appetite of the City’s Pikitup trucks.

 The aim of Volition is to acknowledge the hard work that goes into informal recycling which is not seen as a “normal” job.  South Africa benefits from 85 000 recyclers or waste pickers cleaning urban and suburban spaces, Pretoria houses 6 000 of these waste pickers.  These recyclers are not criminals, homeless or jobless people, but rather entrepreneurs generating their own income.  By using the Tekanô model, we aim to support these entrepreneurs with needs such as bank accounts, housing, legal documents and other needs to further their business.  

 Another big need is a space that recyclers can use to store and sort their materials and a buy back centre that is not focussed on profit but rather on supporting their community.  Recycling work involves gathering and then later, sorting the load prior to having it weighed at the depot. Recyclers need space for separating and sorting bulky items and they need time to do this sorting. They also need place to stockpile items until they have amassed enough of a particular material to make exchange at the depot worthwhile.  Some recyclers travel up to 40 km per day with their makeshift trollies, transporting more than their body weight to buy back centers that pays them a small amount of money.

The aim of  Volition is:

·        to support these entrepreneurs to further their business.  

·       to open numerous Buy back Centers that address the need for fair prices and equality

·       to restore the dignity of waste pickers, and acknowledge the hard work that is done for the benefit of the community and the environment


RecycleRecyclers are not criminals, homeless or jobless people, but rather entrepreneurs generating their own income.

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