Sometimes a company’s story just makes your heart sing, and such is the case with Tshepo Mazibuko’s K1 Recycling, a company that operates as a buy-back centre, purchasing and selling waste recyclables.
Tshepo founded the business on the back of making a living as a plastic waste collector. In the process, he says he realised just how far the many people who search through dustbins for plastic and paper to recycle had to travel.
This triggered an idea to become a transporter for the other collectors I worked with, rather than just picking up waste. I pitched the plan to the other collectors and they all promised to support me. My wife obtained a loan and we purchased a small bakkie, before registering the company formally in 2011.— Tshepo Mazibuko, K1 Recycling
K1 Recycling collects over 80 tons per month and has over 1 000 suppliers, mostly women who are from very poor communities.
It then sells these to processors of solid waste recyclables, which granulate, wash and extrude the recyclables turning them into pellets or flakes.
K1 recycling is currently only a collector of this waste, but with the volumes it collects and my understanding of the business, it has huge potential to become a processor and maybe even a manufacturer of end user plastic products.— Tshepo Mazibuko, K1 Recycling
Of course, we need funding to purchase the equipment for this, but have identified it as the next stage of growth for the business. I am eager to take things to the next level, as I have been in the shoes of those we buy from and am highly driven to continue making a difference in all of their lives.— Tshepo Mazibuko, K1 Recycling
Listen to the full interview with Tshepo Mazibuko below to hear more about his business...