Free info session to help SMMEs grow their recycling businesses yields much interest

Free info session to help SMMEs grow their recycling businesses yields much interest
20 Oct 2017

Free info session to help SMMEs grow their recycling businesses yields much interest

More than 80 enthusiastic attendees joined WMRIG (the Waste Minimisation and Recycling Interest Group), Western Cape at this free information-sharing and networking event, held at Philippi Village on Thursday 12 October. Informative and encouraging presentations were given by the Product Responsibility Organisations (PROs), PETCO (the PET Plastic Recycling Company), Polyco (the Polyolefin Recycling Company) and PRASA (the Paper Recycling Association of South Africa).

Says Kirsten Barnes, Chairperson for WMRIG, ‘At WMRIG, we are passionate to see our vision of a world without waste realised. We see wastepreneurs as a key sector in the waste economy and, as such, a key priority for us is to improve the jobs and conditions that they work in. We need to have more collectors move up the value chain into more decent work – rather than just having more and more people collecting from landfills and from bins. This future is what WMRIG is working hard to support through our networking and information-sharing strategy.”

Belinda Booker of PETCO emphasised sound business practice, and honest dealings in building one’s reputation as a collector and sorter. PETCO offers support by training, as well as funding equipment to SMMEs, including personal protective gear (gloves etc), cages, balers among other offerings.

Polyco’s George Blackwood highlighted Polyco’s financial support through grants or interest-free loans, through which assets such as trailers, balers, cages, scales, pallet jacks, granulators, bags and bins may be funded.

Ursula Henneberry of PRASA brought her passion for recycling and personal growth for SMME owners in recycling. ‘Write your vision big and bold’ was the advice, while planning, organising and marketing were all identified as key aspects to any growing business.

For an inspiring SMME, look no further than Blue Sky Recycling – “By Pickers, For Pickers” – co-founded by John McKerry and Gershwin Kohler. John shared of his passion to provide income opportunities for waste collectors in informal areas, and reminded the audience to value the hard and effective work the collectors in our country do. John encouraged the audience to take advantage of opportunities offered and plan for growth in their businesses.
WMRIG was also privileged to have Andile Magadla of the City’s Enterprise and Investment Department speak about the City’s Business Enquiry Service providing extensive support to SMMEs in the City; as well as Reza Gallant and Melissa Axford of Black Umbrellas. Black Umbrellas was recently recognised as the best business incubator globally. Reza emphasised the need to communicate the “why” of your business, to hit the heart and demonstrate the passion for what you do – and wake up with a goal every day.

For presentations from the event, please see here, or contact Kirsten Barnes.

For more information on the PRO’s, see: PETCO –; Polyco –; PRASA –

For more information on Blue Sky Recycling, see