Giving Compass' Take:

Khotatso Tamane describes her experience as a waste entrepreneur and her efforts to educate others about the benefits of recycling.

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Growing up in the bustling township of Soweto in the south of Johannesburg, Khotatso Tamane was always concerned about the amount of waste produced in one of South Africa’s largest residential areas.

Soweto is home to over 1.5 million people, and here, waste is produced faster than it can be cleaned up.

This is where Tamane comes in. She has been working as a waste entrepreneur in the area for eight years. Besides putting food on the table, her job also gives her the satisfaction she gets from looking after the environment.

Her father was a waste entrepreneur and always took her around the township on weekends to collect bottles, cans, papers and other waste. She now works in a cooperative with other women from Soweto.

The cooperative is part of a large-scale industry wide initiative by the PET Recycling Company (PETCO) — to educate consumers, encourage visible recycling, and maintain the financial health of contracted recyclers.

The initiative has created more than 1,500 new income opportunities in South Africa.

PETCO is supported by partners, including Coca-Cola Africa, and believes that that companies that produce beverages and other packed products should be at the forefront of promoting environmental health.

The company works with communities and partners like PETCO to collect waste and give it a second life by recycling it into new packaging and products like t-shirts, carpets, or furniture to minimise impact on the environment.

Read the full article about waste entrepreneurs by Lerato Mogoatlhe at Global Citizen