It is estimated that there are over 85 000 waste pickers across South Africa, who rely on selling recyclables to earn their income. Buy Back Centres (BBCs) form a vital part of the recycling value chain in South Africa and essentailly act as localised aggregation points for recyclable waste. By doing this they provide a local market for informal waste pickers (Urban Miners as we like to call them) and waste or recycling collection companies, making it easier for them to sell the recyalbles they collect, without having to travel far distances and thereby increasing recycling activity.
The majority of BBC suppliers are Urban Miners who collect their recyclables from bins and other sources and transport with trolleys for sale to BBCs. As they are looking to maximise their income (directly correlated to weight), such Urban Miners will often try to increase the weight of their recyclables through adding other waste materials or foreign objects, or leaving water or sand in containers.
The quality control (QC) features of BioExTech allow us to asset tag and track bags of recyclables from suppliers and if any unwanted waste or foreign materials appear – we can trace these back to the supplier and record this against their profile. This means that the next time the supplier arrives at our door, we can address the specific issue with them and proceed how we feel best, whether to deduct the value from their account or penalise them. This is resulted in huge quality improvements on our supplier side.
Due to BBC’s buying in small quantities and weighing on platform scales and selling in bulk where often weights come from their buyer / customer’s weighbridge there are often discrepancies in weights between what was bought and sold by the BBC.
With BioExTech’s data reporting and insights tools, we have been able to identify such discrepancies and raise queries with our buyers which has resuted in buyer payments being increased to be fair and accurate. BioExTech provides the essential tools to enable us to run our business well and ensure our procurement and sales are accurate and efficient.