Waste is an inevitable by-product of the current linear, take, make and dispose production system. The waste that is produced is not re-used and it has no future value. This way of thinking is being challenged by The Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa (REDISA). REDISA has implemented a concept of turning tyre waste into worth and challenges everyone to look at waste differently.
Through the Waste into Worth concept, REDISA has managed to create a system of empowerment that is not reliant on the government fiscus for support. Tyre producers pay a waste management fee directly to REDISA which is then used to create a value chain that empowers South Africans, while developing a whole new industry.
The value chain established by REDISA includes the micro collectors who pick up the spent tyres discarded in dumps and informal settlements, to the transporters who collect these tyres both from the pickers and from the tyre dealers where most waste tyres are exchanged. Also included in the chain are tyre recyclers and other processors.
Most of these enterprises are entirely new businesses which tick all the boxes for environmental remediation, social upliftment and effective economic empowerment. The REDISA incubation programme provides businesses with access to technical staff who do site visits across the supply chain to provide support to small business owners, ensuring compliance to the legislative environments, providing advice in terms of day to day operations, as well technical support.
Everyone who is involved in the value chain is empowered and supported by REDISA. This model has shown that such an initiative can be a success without being reliant on the government fiscus. The Waste into Worth model can be implemented in other waste streams in order to create a sustainable, empowering value chain.