P.E.A.C.E. Thinana Recycling Cooperative

Transforming trash into cash for local communities
2015 SEED South Africa Award Winner Waste Management Limpopo Province, South Africa

The enterprise trains staff and community members on waste collection and recycling. Through its purchasing scheme, it pays fulltime, contracted collectors and casual community collectors for waste collected from dumpsites and shopping centres. From its collection points, the waste is transported to its purchasing centre where it is sorted, weighed and baled for sale.

To meet the challenge of generating adequate waste volumes in rural recycling, the enterprise’s waste collectors use non-motorised trolleys and donkey carts, with animal care training provided to donkey owners. 

The community is provided with permanent and casual jobs, with women occupying nine of the 13 jobs at the centre. A permaculture garden and student engagement programme serve to educate the community on environmental issues.

Eco-Inclusive Impacts

P.E.A.C.E.-Thinana Recycling Cooperative promotes waste reduction through recycling and discourages waste burning and illegal dumping. The community is provided with jobs and an engagement programme that addresses environmental issues.
  • Generating sustainable income for cooperative members and staff through permanent employment, and additional income for community members who collect and sell waste on an ad-hoc basis.
  • Promoting women’s leadership and entrepreneurship, as women occupy 70% of the jobs at the centre. 
  • Promoting waste reduction through recycling, discouraging waste burning and illegal dumping.
  • Reducing GHG emissions by reducing landfill and utilising non-motorised trolleys and donkey carts.
  • Fostering environmental understanding through recycling education programs and a permaculture training centre.
  • Establishing an effective and profitable waste management network for the local municipality, economically empowering community members.
  • Increasing the value of donkeys by improving their health and expanding their contribution to generating income.



This enterprise is supported through its partnerships with various stakeholders, ranging from national and international organisations, investors, research institutes, suppliers, governmental bodies, NGOs, other social and environmental enterprises and more.

Planning, Education, Agriculture, Cooperatives and Environment Foundation Trust initiated the project, fundraises and supports monitoring and evaluation.

Thinana Waste Management and Recycling Cooperative is responsible for running the day-to-day business of the enterprise.

Blouberg Local Municipality supports the enterprise and provides waste transport services.

PET Recycling Company of South Africa (PETCO) has conducted training at the enterprise, and has assisted in opening up of markets to sell the waste.

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