Waste-preneurs Changing The Face of Recycling in SA

Collecting waste has become a whole lot easier, the PET Plastic Recycling Company, joined a team from Wildlands in handing over PETCO-sponsored trollies to Waste-preneurs* in Cato Manor in Durban.

Image 1 – Lucrecia Mseleku proudly standing next to her newly acquired trolley – made possible through a partnership with Wildlands and PETCO.
Group Image 2 (From L to R) – Wildlands’ Waste-preneurs – Dudu Geraud, Lucrecia Mseleku, Nonhlanhla Makhoba, Rosina Mathebula and Bongekile Khanyile, all standing proudly next to their newly acquired PETCO trolleys.
Group Image 3 (From L to R) – Dudu Geraud, Nonhlanhla Makhoba, Bongekile Khanyile, Lucrecia Mseleku and Rosina Mathebula, who all received trolleys today to assist them with the collection of their waste which is ultimately helping them earn a living for themselves.
Image 4 – Lucrecia Mseleku with her son Wonder, who she has managed to send to the eThekwini Community College through collecting and bartering waste with Wildlands.
Photographer Jordan Milton

“The plan for 2017 is to grow and support our Waste-preneur network, with a specific focus on PET* plastic bottle and can collection,” said Louise Duys, Director of Marketing, Partnerships and Events for Wildlands. “Our partnership with PETCO (the organization responsible for fulfilling the South African PET plastic industry’s role of Extended Producer Responsibility), the Gary Player Invitational and Coca-Cola, is transforming the lives of thousands of community members around the country.”

PETCO handed over 5 trollies to 5 Cato-Manor-based Waste-preneurs (namely Dudu Geraud, Rosina Mathebula, Lucrecia Mseleku, Bongekile Khanyile and Nonhlanhla Makhoba) that will help them with the collection and transportation of waste. PETCO has donated 20 trollies in total to the leading environmental non-profit, Wildlands, and they will be used by Waste-preneurs in Colesberg, Durban, Pietermaritzburg and Richards Bay.

Says PETCO Collections and Training Project Manager Belinda Booker, “At PETCO, we greatly value the work these Waste-preneurs do. We believe they are true entrepreneurs and contribute significantly to growing the recycling industry. Through similar support in the past, we have seen Waste-preneurs grow to own formal businesses and employ others in their communities – which is our vision for all Waste-preneurs.”  

Financed by a voluntary recycling fee paid by converters on PET resin purchased and grants from brand owners, resin producers and retailers, PETCO’s support for PET recycling efforts ensures an on-going monetary value for post-consumer PET bottles. This sustains collection interest and reduces the volume of post-consumer PET bottles in the waste stream.

When asked how she felt about receiving a trolley to assist her with collecting waste in her community Lucrecia Mseleku said: “This trolley will help me a lot! I walk all around Cato Manor, around the Pavilion Shopping Centre and sometimes as far as Chesterville, collecting waste. The children in Cato Manor also help me collect waste and then I reward them with a packet of chips or something in return. Collecting waste and bartering it with Wildlands has helped me send my first-born son, Wonder, to eThekwini Community College. He is studying to become an electrical engineer.”

Her son, Wonder Mseleku said: “I am very proud of my mother. She is a hard working, strong woman and I believe it is no mistake that God chose her to be my mother. She is an amazing example to me and my siblings.”

“PETCO – thank you for helping us change the lives of these individuals while simultaneously assisting us in cleaning communities, we are so grateful for donors such as yourselves,” concluded Duys.


  • PET refers mainly to bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate
  • Waste-preneur: – a community member that collects recyclable waste and barters it with Wildlands in exchange for a rebate.
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