Experiences With and the Viability of a Recycling Pilot Project in a Cape Town Township
This paper documents the experience with an NGO-initiated recycling programme in Hangberg Township, Cape Town. The 11-week trial project achieved 70% sign-up but suffered substantial drop-out. The NGO's attempt to brand block leaders as 'eco-heroes' was unsuccessful and there were concerns about the distribution of project benefits. The project diverted 26% by mass of the estimated solid waste refuse stream of 2.5 kg per person per week and made R1752 from selling 1.965 tons of recycling. Some 970 kg of compostables were diverted but not processed as part of the project. Project accounts revealed a benefit-cost ratio of 0.123 in which the sale of recyclables and landfill costs avoided were the only benefits and wages and consumables the main costs. While a more equitable distribution of benefits could improve the cost-benefit ratio, there are other good reasons for donors to fund projects of this nature.