Recycling is a money-maker — a fact that has been lost on many in a country that posted a 26.7% unemployment rate in the first quarter of 2018. So says Maxwell Ndlovu, owner of Okuhle Waste Management, who has been in the business for 15 years. "When you go out and collect these 2l bottles, you will not go to bed hungry. If there’s one thing I know it’s that people must just recycle, and in return they will get money. But most of the time they are not aware of that." Around 37,000 people rely on recyclables for their daily bread, according to the Paper Recycling Association of SA (Prasa). Last year the PET Plastic Recycling Company (Petco) recorded an approximate value of R430m paid to collectors by contracted recyclers. (PET, the term for these common plastic bottles, stands for polyethylene terephthalate.)"Informal waste collectors can often be seen as a nuisance, especially when hauling overloaded trolleys along busy roads; but these people are making a living by recovering recyc...

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