Regenize

South Africa | Waste Management/Plastics

The problem

In South Africa, there are high processing rates, some higher than those in more developed countries. Yet, there are low household waste separation rates; only 7.5 per cent of South Africans separate their waste. How is this possible? It’s thanks to waste pickers. South Africa has over 90000 waste pickers that save the government up to $50 million a year through landfill airspace. They’re also responsible for collecting up to 90 per cent of all the paper and packaging waste we recycle. Yet, they work in dangerous conditions, scratching through bins or landfills as they do not have access to clean separated recyclables. 

The company

Regenize is a recycling collection solution that’s on a mission to make recycling more accessible, inclusive and rewarding. We provide a freemium recycling collection service that incentivises residents with Remali, a virtual currency that can be redeemed for various rewards, such as airtime, data and grocery vouchers. Our free model ensures we reach the majority of residents through our decentralised recycling operation that integrates and supports waste pickers with uniforms, fossil-fuel-free recycling tricycles, equipment, mobile devices, access to clean recyclables and a decentralised recycling hub. 

Project description

Our free recycling collection service in lower-income communities provides recycling collection services to residents that generally do not recycle at home. Each household that decides to join gets onboarded with a starter pack that teaches them how to recycle. The collection is performed by the integrated waste pickers that operate from our Decentralised Recycling Hubs (DRHs). We integrate and support waste pickers with uniforms, fossil-fuel-free recycling tricycles, equipment, mobile devices, access to clean recyclables and a DRH to sort and store recyclables in a safe environment.

We are not just integrating them, but also dignifying their role, and assisting them with getting bank cards, providing training on technology and customer service, getting a stable income, enabling access to PPE and to micro-loans. Furthermore, all residents earn a virtual currency, Remali, each time they recycle. Remali can then be redeemed for various rewards, such as airtime, data and grocery vouchers. Alternatively, they can use a QR code to access their Remali at a local shop in their community. Within the next 16 months, we aim to provide our free service to 4000 households, set up seven new DRH’s and integrate 21 informal waste collectors. ​

Founder and Co-founder

Chad Robertson and Nkazimlo Miti

Message from the Founder

“The fight against climate change will be more powerful when the majority of the population have the ability to join the fight.”

Organisation size

Six members of staff