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What we do

Ekurhuleni Coops

Collection Partner – Johannesburg, South Africa


In the past few years, the metropolitan municipality of Ekurhuleni (approx. 3 million people) has been testing a new model of social enterprise in the waste management sector. This model, sponsored by Oxfam SA, relies on a vast network of cooperatives, operating in the collection of plastic waste.


The strategy, is based on constant dialogue with the public sector, with the aim of integrating the cooperatives into the official waste collection system. The municipality provides free space, energy and other services to cooperatives, in addition to a license for door-to-door collection in a number of neighbourhoods. Furthermore, Oxfam promotes innovation and education in plastic recycling, in collaboration with schools and local communities.


While significantly improving the existing waste management system, the project has created job opportunities within the community, especially for local unemployed women, and is encouraging training and capacity building to develop workers’ skills, promoting stability and growth.


waste cooperatives involved + local SMEs + informal players

people involved

municipal districts testing the project

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