Logistics making the circular economy possible

The implementation of the circular economy presents unique opportunities in the creation of reverse logistics networks, new processes and development of new industries.

In the South African context, the tyre waste stream has been used as a proof of concept in the development of a successful circular economy approach. A cornerstone of the implementation is transporters and their role in the collection of tyres from micro collectors and dealers, and delivering them to approved depots and processing plants.

The transporters receive an SMS detailing where to collect the waste tyres from identified tyre dealers. Transporters are then expected to deliver the waste tyres to the approved depot or recycling plant. Once the collection and delivery is complete, the transporter electronically confirms the amount of tyres loaded and delivered to the destination.

Zodwa Mlangeni from Witbank owns Mementoes Trading which is part of an established and growing transporter network. She shares insights into her entrepreneurial journey. “Having worked at a bank and losing my job I know the challenges of being unemployed. This pushed me to start my own business and eventually I found out about REDISA which led me to becoming a transporter. Although I am now a transporter for waste tyres I can see the positive impact I have on other people and my community. I have also been able to employ two people and purchase my own truck which enables me to do my job effectively.”

Transporters form an integral part of the logistics process that brings the REDISA Plan to life. Once the transporter delivers the load, a depot manager inputs information into the system via a tablet. The back-end of the system keeps track of all data such as tyres collected and payments made, and orchestrates the onward transport to recycling centres. It allows for seamless management and richer information collection and reporting.