Ricochet News

A passion for turning waste into valuable products

Feb 8, 2017
A passion for turning waste into valuable products

Rea Ngwane is a young woman who is passionate about recycling waste and is currently a depot manager in Rustenburg, one of REDISA’s national depots.

Working with men who are either her age or older, in a typically male-dominated industry hasn’t been easy, especially getting them to take her seriously as their “boss” or as a role-player in the industry. But that has not discouraged Rea from following her passion and fulfilling her role as depot manager.

“My journey as a REDISA Depot Manager began in June 2015 after resigning from the previous company I co-founded and starting a new one almost immediately with a continuous focus on the recycling industry. Having started my career in the waste management and recycling industry, I have always been curious about what else we can do with the waste on our streets and in our landfills,” says Rea.

The depot facilitates the storage and pre-processing of scrap tyres before they are sent to recyclers for conversion into various new valuable materials that can be used in other industries and markets, for example, creating astro-turfs, and extracting liquids and gases using the pyrolysis process. This means industry does not have to constantly rely on virgin materials.

In three years of operation, REDISA has made significant strides towards building a viable and sustainable waste management industry focusing on tyre recycling. According to Stacey Davidson, REDISA Director, “through our initiative we are creating jobs and enhancing skills for depot operators, transporters and processors.”

In terms of the depot manager mentorship initiative, “a suitable candidate is selected and mentored by a REDISA employee who has a number of years’ experience working within the tyre industry. REDISA is proud of the mentorship programme and we are especially proud of young people like Rea who are part of our team,” commented Davidson.

“Being a part of the REDISA programme has definitely contributed to my efforts in empowering our communities and those who work with us. It has equally allowed the team to see the possibility in using resources and materials that are in our surrounding areas, largely contributing to the circular economy and eradicating the societal challenges we face as a nation,” says Rea.