Turn Waste into Life



Waste ambassadors become independent entrepreneurs

Bergrivier municipality in South-Africa runs a programme called "Garbage and waste as an opportunity".

Garbage and waste as an opportunity

in South Africa

In the beginning of 2019 it was decided to start composting the green waste of Bergrivier Municipality with the participation of so called waste ambassadors. To start this process in a effective and efficient way Exchange expert Myriam De Munter visited in April 2019 and initiated the waste ambassadors in composting.

And with success! Curently, the Velddrif team, one of the 3 teams of waste ambassadors, is producing compost of good quality.

Our coach, Katia T'joen, went on site to map, together with the municipality, the current challenges and to define the next steps of the programme. Since the funding which was used to pay the salaries of the waste ambassadors will be depleted by the end of this year, the three waste ambassadors groups (Velddrif, Porterville and Piketberg) will have to register themselves as independent entrepreneurs, also called co-ops. This will allow them to sell the compost and earn a living with the generated income from these sales. Till the end of 2021 these newly formed co-ops will be regarded as part of the VVSG project/programme. This set-up gives the co-ops the time to professionalize over the coming two years.

Moreover, in South Africa several instances that guide small business towards professionalism are active. LED Bergrivier will take on a role as facilitator. It is then up to the co-ops themselves to take the next step and enrol in the proposed training-programmes. The technical department will monitor the progress of the newly formed co-ops, and see to it that the necessary trainings are received.

During the coming two years, issues like land use, namely the amount of compost to be given back to the Municipality, should be tackled.

It was decided to focus on following actions:

  • Exchange will seek oversees expert advice from a well-established composting business.
  • Site visits for the whole Velddrif team to Lumbri Compost in Witzenberg Municipality, a neighbouring Municipality that also works with waste ambassadors, and to local farmers with good composting practices will be organized.
  • Two-weekly visits to the newly formed teams in Piketberg and later Porterville will also be organized.

To help the co-operations during their transition period, the LED proposes to call in the help of mentor students. Two are already assigned to Porterville and Piketberg. A third one will be requested for and then allocated to Velddrif. These students have a degree in agriculture and will be with the municipality for 18 months.


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