This article was written in response to a query from an interested party in South Africa.
Income through recycling is perhaps most obvious at two levels.
Firstly, the poor such as the homeless can secure a daily subsistence through the collection of recyclables such as cardboard, cans, bottles, scrap metal.
They would ferry these to depots e.g. as in Retreat here in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town.
Alternatively some of the unemployed secure employment at municipal sites such as those at Lady's Mile also in the Southern Suburbs.
Not a pleasant way to earn income but it is all relative.
Secondly, the business level.
Normally these are outfits with transportation capacity and they provide convenient removal from business and industry of recyclable 'refuse'.
A magnificent example is Why Waste in Ladysmith, KZN.
There are small businesses that do a similar type of function, filling in the gaps using small bakkies (South African for pickup).
Municipalities in South Africa typically do not provide the service of removing separated waste, a frustration to the households that seek to not be part of contributing non-separated waste into landfills.
The alternative is for these households to separate and take to municipal recycling sites such as Lady's Mile themselves.
Or to have one of these small outfits collect and deliver (and even separate).
Perhaps that might be an avenue.
We would recommend that your Clients be asked to do the following:
1. Separate themselves on the fly, from kitchen into outside containers.
2. Bag the separated waste in see through refuse bags.
3. Five types:
a) paper b) cans c) glass d) hard plastics e) soft plastics.
If it is all done on the fly there is no need for human hands to have to work through unpleasant material to separate subsequently.
You can think of it as a courtesy to those who have to do the further processing.
For soft plastics, the plastic bread packets are useful items to shove the cling wrap etc. You end up with a "plastic sausage".
Soft plastics can be recycled into synthetic fibres, as per one of the Why Waste income streams.
Organic waste such as potato peels etc can all go into a compost heap.
Also consider vermi-culture i.e. 'worms'. The Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town uses these!
Households that follow these options can have municipal bins that are 90% empty when they are put out for collection weekly.
Imagine all the households in Cape Town reducing their landfill waste by 90%.