How much you going to pay me?

waste picker

I am doing waste collections for the past 10 years, with my dad on my side.


We have come along way, even waver the storm during Covid-19 and an Ano-Fistula.




In our 10 year tenure there is one question that gets ask, by everyone. The rich with their 3 million rand house or the maintains guy at a factory and everyone in between.


The question is:




Usually these things collected is rubbish, mostly you just want to get rid of it, but somewhere in the back of your head someone told you you can make some money off it.


Now let me give you some insight, into the process of waste collections.


1. In our instance, a vehicle gets dispatch to your home, office park, factory or retail outlet.

i. The vehicle needs Fuel to get to you, (fuel cost)

ii. If a new vehicle, monthly installment cost, insurance cost, maintenance cost.

iii. Driver and labourers cost.


2. NOW, the material collected gets transported to a facility.

i. This place is 95% rented property, thus rent or a bond must get paid.

ii. This place needs water and electricity to be able to function.

iii. Phone lines, internet and anything else needed for a business to be able to do business.


3. At the facility this material now gets off-loaded.

i. Labourers must do that, oops another cost.

ii.So what happen now? Mmm well these stuff need to get sorted into it different types of materials. Recyclables gets separated from none recyclables as well as color and number sorted.

iii. Non Recyclables gets bag.


4. None Recyclables, which add to a lot, gets now transported to a landfill site, dumping fees must be paid as well as a transportationĀ and labour cost.


5. Recyclable material after sorting gets baled. This makes the product dense, so it becomes transport effective.


6. Material gets loaded and transported to a recycling facility.

i. Labour to load and off load.

ii. Transporting to and from the facility.

iii. Time spend in line to off-load.


7. Materials sold is sold at a very low price, market gets ruled by these companies who actually recycle the material. They in turnĀ resell the finished recycled material back to the consumer as a new product at quadruple the cost paid for buying the waste. They recoup all there cost and even receive government subsidies.


Thus the collector is the one that struggle to survive, then people still ask?




I pay you if you do all of the above on my behalf and do the cost to company calculations

Waste-pickers lady