Press releases

Sustainable solutions for Western Cape schools and communities programme

Mpact Recycling runs a national schools and communities programme as part of its post-consumer portfolio. These programmes play an important role in that they enable consumers to interact directly with the business, and both the Mpact and Mpact Recycling brands.

Mpact Recycling runs a national schools and communities programme as part of its post-consumer portfolio. These programmes play an important role in that they enable consumers to interact directly with the business, and both the Mpact and Mpact Recycling brands.

The schools and communities make use of a similar framework throughout the different regions, which includes the use of a paperbank for the storage of paper recyclables on site at schools and communities. The paperbank is then emptied and collected by a specific vehicle. This created an easy solution for learners and consumers to recycle by allowing a variety of different recyclable paper grades to be placed into one receptacle, which is then collected by Mpact Recycling. 

The responsibility of sorting and upgrading the material is then left to the Mpact Recycling branches. Sorting of material, however, is not only an added cost to the branch, but also requires the space to do so.

Challenges

The Western Cape region has 94 active community sites along with 251 active schools, that bring in a considerable number of recyclable materials. The region, however, faced two major challenges with the running of the schools and communities programme.

Firstly, the costs associated with collecting recyclables this way and secondly, the limited space available at the Parow branch to sort the mixed material.

Further to this, major policy changes in 2019 for international exports resulted in a prolonged oversupply of material across South Africa. This especially affected some of the grades that Mpact Recycling’s post-consumer programmes collected as there was just too much material in the market to be used.

As a result, Mpact Recycling had the opportunity to re-evaluate and adapt the programme, not only to continue educating the youth on recycling but also to increase environmental sustainability in the communities which it serves.

The solution

The solution was to convert the Buy-In-Centre located opposite the Parow branch into a sorting facility that could be easily managed. The focus areas were on managing the sorting site and getting more tonnage. This could be achieved by bringing on more suppliers as well as increasing the amount and types of recyclables in this programme to ultimately make it more sustainable.

The new system saw the mixed material collected from suppliers and tipped at the sorting site. The material is sorted by this team and is then sent to the branch. Payment to schools & communities still remains in place. By keeping the sorting off site, as opposed to inside the branch, we were able to ensure efficiencies and safety of people on site.

Income opportunities

Coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic, the schools programme is expecting upward growth as the economy recovers.

This should lead to an increase in tonnages and a more stable increased trend in income opportunities. The greater the tonnage that goes through the sorting site, the better the profitability all round for schools, communities and the branches.

This project plays an integral role in educating the youth about recycling. This in turn results in behavioural change and becomes part of their lifestyle. 

Awareness is key in motivating this change in behaviour and Mpact Recycling understands the importance of building cooperative relations in the communities in which it operates to achieve a cleaner, healthier environment.