Recycling involves the collection and processing of discarded materials that would otherwise end up as waste and then transforming them into new products. South Africans currently produce approximately 122 million tonnes of waste annually. However, only around 10% of this waste is recycled or repurposed, leaving at least 90% to be disposed of in landfills or illegally dumped.

The Recycling Champion Project, also known as ReCha, is an initiative by RLabs aimed at elevating the waste-recycled statistic, reducing the waste-disposed-of statistic and establishing recycling as a standard practice, so it benefits our communities, the economy, and the environment in numerous positive ways.

The goal of the project is to establish 60 recycling champions who are local community members of Mitchells Plain and its surrounding areas. These recycling champions will have drop off points based at their homes where other community members can take their recyclable waste such as plastic, aluminum, cardboard and paper to be traded for cash.

Recycling reduces waste; prevents pollution; conserves natural resources and energy; and benefits the economy by creating jobs (and these are only the obvious benefits).

In partnership with Third Element Holdings, the aim of this initiative is to simplify the recycling process by reducing the inconvenience of having to travel outside your area to recycle. Additionally, everyone who participates in this recycling initiative will be rewarded for their efforts!

The recycling champions have already started their training and will soon be equipped with the necessary tools to open up their doors to the community. Now, you may be wondering how this works?

Well, the process is quite simple, waste collectors would sort their waste into plastics; aluminum; cardboard; and paper (they’ll collect bags from their local ReCha). Once their bags are full, they’ll return them, where they’ll be weighed. They will be paid in cash according to the weight of each bag and material being recycled.

So why not start recycling today? If you don’t need the extra cash, please help collectors in your community by sharing your presorted waste with them. Another aim of this initiative is to provide collectors with a more dignified process of turning waste into an income.

Keep an eye out in your community for your local Recycling Champions!

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