New East London waste collection unit to create many more jobs for recyclers

East London’s DNF Waste & Environmental Services, which creates work for over 3,000 waste collector jobs, on Friday received a second collection unit from Packa-Ching, which will allow DNF to add another 500 collectors to its growing team.
East London’s DNF Waste & Environmental Services, which creates work for over 3,000 waste collector jobs, on Friday received a second collection unit from Packa-Ching, which will allow DNF to add another 500 collectors to its growing team.
Image: SUPPLIED

East London’s DNF Waste & Environmental Services, which creates work for more than 3,000 waste collectors, on Friday received a second collection unit from Packa-Ching, which will allow DNF to add another 500 collectors to its growing team.

Deidre Nxumalo-Freeman, who founded DNF in 2008, said Packa-Ching had decided to sponsor a second unit after the success of the first, which is operated by DNF.

Packa-Ching is a mobile separation-at-source recycling service founded by the Polyolefin Responsibility Organisation, and sponsored by Shoprite and Sasol.

Packa-Ching operations manager Megan Swart said that nationally the system had allowed waste collectors to earn more than R2m from the collection of 2,5-million kilograms of recyclable waste.

Swart said: “We are excited by our goal of growing Packa-Ching to a total of 25 units operating across SA within the next four years.”

A recycling unit consists of a collection truck and trailer. It parks at collection points within a community for a few hours each week, collects used recyclable packaging material from collectors and pays them immediately.

Nxumalo-Freeman said the first Packa-Ching unit was introduced to Buffalo City Metro, in association with DNF, in April 2019. To date, DNF has collected 1,093,380kg of valuable waste, mainly from communities and schools, with a payout of R582,142.

Deidre Nxumalo-Freeman at her DNF waste & environmental services in East London.
Deidre Nxumalo-Freeman at her DNF waste & environmental services in East London.
Image: MICHAEL PINYANA

“Our systems allow us to keep very accurate collection and payment records,” Nxumalo-Freeman said.

The first unit services Duncan Village, Mdantsane, Beacon Bay, Gonubie, Braelyn, Amalinda Forest, North End, Pefferville and Parkside. Community members exchange plastic, paper, cardboard, tin and glass for eVouchers that are redeemed for cash or spent at various outlets across BCM.

“With the second unit many more areas will be covered, such as Orange Grove, Greenfields, Westbank, Cintsa, Qonce, as well as schools in the area,” Nxumalo-Freeman said.

 Sanjeev Raghubir, Shoprite Group's sustainability manager, said: “We’ve already seen the positive impact of this programme on local communities for those generating an income from recyclables. We’re confident that this new unit in East London will increase our reach and impact even further by promoting recycling and removing waste from our communities.”

Kelley McGurk, Sasol’s senior manager of strategy and sustainability, said DNF’s success with the first unit had prompted Packa-Ching to invest in a second  unit.

McGurk said: “This additional unit will contribute towards an even greater collection of recyclable materials while simultaneously creating economic opportunities for the local community. Sasol is committed to preventing plastic waste leakage into the environment and we believe  Packa-Ching’s social enterprise business model has the potential to contribute meaningfully towards this goal.” 

Nxumalo-Freeman said recent positive developments had convinced her that the war on waste could be won.

She said that on May 5 DNF would launch its most ambitious programme of setting up “buyback” static collection containers in areas that had never had regular, and in some cases any, refuse collection or recycling.

She said: “Each container will have a solar-powered scale and people delivering recyclable trash will be paid immediately via a voucher sent by SMS, which is retrievable at most supermarket brands, either in the form of goods or cash.

Nxumalo-Freeman, who called herself an eternal optimist, believed a recycling tipping point had been reached, as people realised waste could be an invaluable commodity that lifted them out of poverty and joblessness.

“It’s taken a dozen years of reinforcing the message, but it is sinking in, and my hope is to one day have a litter-free environment.”

For more information contact DNF Waste & Environmental Services at 078-602-0532 or 060-564-4289, or e-mail info@dnfwaste.co.za

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