Supporting Local Work
Asiye eTafuleni, a local NGO, works with informal recyclers in the inner city to promote their legitimacy and build dignity. They do this by facilitating organization of the recyclers, designing carts to facilitate the collection of recyclables, giving recyclers uniforms to improve their presentation, and running a Friends of the Recyclers Program which aims to improve the relationship between the recyclers and local businesses. The project has been successful in increasing the recyclers' weekly income, improving co-operation among recyclers, and lifting their ability to interact with other members of the public. In the next phase of the project, Asiye eTafuleni will be working with the recyclers to identify public space issues and designing creative infrastructure solutions to help integrate the informal recyclers into the city.
As Asiye eTafuleni advocates participatory methods, the project began with an initial research phase where SCI interviewed cardboard collectors in the Durban inner-city to find out about their experiences and challenges as informal recyclers. Based on these interviews different trolleys were designed and tested by recyclers for the transport of cardboard material. In order to improve the image of the recyclers, the recyclers were provided with identification cards and uniforms. In addition a "Friends of the Recyclers" programme was implemented to enhance the relationships between business and the recyclers. This has resulted in recyclers having access to more cardboard from businesses and has helped to increase their income and dignity in the inner-city.