A recycling business focused on creating opportunities for others – that’s Waste Want, a family-run business based in Stikland and Elsies River, where homeless people are offered an opportunity to rebuild their lives through employment!
With a staff complement of 29, Waste Want employs 15 people from homeless shelters on a full-time basis.
Co-founded by Lydia Anderson-Jardine and her husband, Anthony Jardine, Waste Want opened its doors for business in August 2010 with 12 permanent staff. It has since secured a number of big waste management contracts, including a City of Cape Town tender worth over R3 million and a pilot project with Quality Beverages and Maynard Mall, through Redefine Properties.
Lydia’s son, Rowen Anderson, is the brains behind the business’ social responsibility arm, Waste Want Youth. It is through Waste Want Youth – which also works with local schools to encourage recycling – that homeless people are recruited into the business.
The night shelters pick youngsters who demonstrate the willingness to improve their lives and Waste Want trains them to sort recyclables and grade different materials. Those who successfully complete the training are offered full-time employment.
Waste Want initially recruited youth from the Elim Night Shelter in Elsies River, but they’ve recently also started working with a shelter in Kensington.
“Our aim is to expand this programme to different shelters in the Cape Town area before branching out nationally,” explains Rowen.
He says that his family is very passionate about its social responsibility and that, because its business is of low skilled and high volumes nature, Waste Want can create more jobs for people in the night shelters. The company’s other social responsibility project is the Young Recycling Cooperative that focuses on youth development, job creation and empowerment.
Waste Want operates as a buy-back centre, meaning that it provides a fee in return for recyclable items. It handles the collection, sorting and processing of recyclables, most notably plastics and paper. There are also two municipal drop-off sites contracted by Waste Want where the public can drop off recyclable items.
The business is a participant in the Sanlam Enterprise and Supplier Development programme which enabled their business to establish the financial and business base for securing the procurement of equipment such as trucks, trailers, grinders and saws, all of which assist in processing increased waste volumes with quicker turnaround times.
Waste Want is looking to expand its footprint, with two new sites earmarked to open in 2016. Rowen says they want to get a bigger foothold in the Western Cape, gain more traction and then begin to look nationally.