Locals recycle for free

At the age of 25, young men and women are often seen studying, living their dream career or partying until late at night. But for two young men from ward 60, taking up a challenge to clear their community of all sorts of waste seemed more interesting at the time.

Chad Cuddumbey from Lansdowne and Wade Kleinhans from Crawford, now 27, combined their ideas to provide a beneficial service to the community and established New Earth Projects in 2015.

The organisation offers a free recycling collection service dedicated to residents in the Crawford and Lansdowne area between Kromboom and Turfhall roads.

The aim of the initiative is to create a zero waste community through the service, explains Cuddumbey.

“We operate on the same waste collection days as the City of Cape Town, and provide each resident with two plastic bags next to their bins, for the separation of their recycling goods.

“The City only clears residents’ bins, and the remaining trash next to the bins is not collected – that’s why we provide these plastic bags weekly. The residents would then fill the bags and leave them next to their bin for our recycling ambassadors to collect.

“We also provide pamphlets to educate residents on what can be placed in the bags for collection. To add, our bicycle recycling ambassadors will conduct the collection working alongside security companies to ensure a clean and safe community.”

He explains the project started out small from a backyard with only one employee and two vehicles used for pickups.

“To add, we sorted the materials ourselves at the time. Over the years we grew much bigger by collecting more waste and providing jobs for the unemployed in the community and we initially registered our services about a year and a half ago.

“We have changed so much since the start and I am proud to see how we have grown since then. There are people that are still unfamiliar with our services and we hope to have them make use of this method.”

Cuddumbey says while the usual City truck gives off extensive pollution around residents’ homes, a usual complaint in most areas, their recycling ambassador travels around by bicycle to avoid health hazards.

“With us dropping the vans last year, we decided to start using bicycles with a trailer attached to it, where all these collected bags are stored. Once all bags have been collected in the area, our ambassador heads to our warehouse where the recycling materials are divided in groups of the same kind,” says Cuddumbey, as he explains how the team is able to make money and pay salaries.