Stellenbosch Community Recycling

  • Technology › AMS-III.AJ (CDM) Recovery and recycling solid waste that would otherwise have ended up in landfill, using DEFRA 2018 conversion factors.
  • Project developer › CL Waste and Scrap Metal

Description of Project

The project developer of the Stellenbosch Community Recycling project, CL Waste and Scrap Metal, assists local communities and local governments in realising the virtuous cycles between human and ecological wellbeing. One of the ways in which they do this is by enabling the establishment of local recycling operations, focused on community-based waste collectors or “waste–preneurs”, schools and local businesses in the Western Cape. These waste collectors, schools and businesses collect recycling, sells it to CL Waste and Scrap Metal who then further process and trades this recycling material that would otherwise end up in a municipal landfill and water bodies. Stellenbosch Community Recycling is one such project.

The word “wastepreneurs” was coined by the Wastepreneurs intiative, however, the Stellenbosch Community Recycling project is independent of  Wastepreneurs and its projects.

A brand-new trailer, purchased with the proceeds from Carbon Credits, will aid in the collection of materials in outlying areas.

The Stellenbosch Community Recycling Project aims to generate carbon credits through their innovative waste management interventions. These carbon credits will be sold through the Credible Carbon registry, either on the open market or to partner businesses wishing to offset the emissions resulting from their operations, to generate funds for their commitment towards a low-carbon future and economic community development.

The Stellenbosch Community Recycling Project is committed to the supply of credits that align with internationally approved methodologies. All traded credits should relate to greenhouse gas savings that are measurable, permanent, and additional to business as usual, and attributable to deliberate project interventions on the project sites operated by CL Waste and Scrap Metal. The way that the Stellenbosch Community Recycling Project recycles solid waste is distinctly different to the norm within South Africa in relation to waste management, and the basis for ‘additionality’ in this project.

A local waste-preneur drops off recycled material at the buy-back center and receives immediate payment at market-related recycling rates.

Trading Period

Accounting period:
• Start date: 1 June 2019
• End date: The project will run for an initial period of 10 years after which the baseline will be reassessed.

Trading period
• Starting date (first audit): June 2022
• End date: December 2031

The Stellenbosch drop off site with the iconic Stellenbosch Mountain featuring in the background.

Project Benefits

The project sees local households, schools, restaurants, and commercial ventures reducing their quantity of waste to landfill. This shift is responsible for a suite of local benefits:

  • An increase in recycling (including e-waste and other low value recycling materials)
  • An increase in the reuse of materials (rather than to landfill or recycling)
  • Money saving and value creation
  • Sustainable job and enterprise creation through waste and recycling management i.e. transport, collection, & processing
  • Income and job-creation through the on-sale of recycling
  • A reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
  • Reduction in freshwater contamination and ocean pollution
  • Reduction in biodiversity loss as a result from landfill creation and expansion
  • Setting a replicable precedent for community-scale dry and wet waste recycling and management solutions

Project Locations

The project involves eight collection and processing sites located in and around Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa namely their Stellenbosch, Strand & Killarney site as well as five shopping centres in and around Stellenbosch and Cape Town. The project boundary may be expanded in 2022 to include additional sites to enable local waste–preneurs to have a site located close by to make drop offs more financially feasible and to save on travel expenses which may lead to more greenhouse gas saving.

CL Trading waste collection points

Locations of CL Waste and Scrap Metal’s waste collection sites which includes Stellenbosch, Strand & Killarney, Western Cape, South Africa

Sustainable Development Goals

1% of the global urban population make their living from recovering recyclable materials from waste. CL Waste and Scrap Metal enables 350 to 400 (and in peak times up to 600) informal waste–preneurs to earn an income daily by their on-site waste collection and buy-back scheme.
SDG 3Less disease cause by open dumping and burning at landfills and micro-plastics that end up in human bodies through contaminated freshwater systems.
SDG 6Micro-plastics are tiny plastic particles that result from the breakdown of larger plastics. When plastic waste is not properly disposed of micro-plastics end up in freshwater sources where they act as a pollutant, which can be harmful to the environment and human health.
CL Waste and Scrap Metal promotes sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for about 85 permanent employees, and 600 waste–preneurs who were all historically disadvantaged in the South African context.Through CL Waste and Scrap Metal’s on-site waste collection and buy-back scheme designed for waste–preneurs, they provide financial support to hundreds of individuals.
SDG 9CL Waste and Scrap Metal uses some of the collected scrap metal to retrofit their own transport fleet with the necessary pulleys and steel cages to transport their recycled material. They also provide retrofits to the bicycles of some of their long-time waste–preneurs to enable them to easily convey more recyclable material in one go.
To ensure sustainable waste services, CL Waste and Scrap Metal values their waste workers by offering good employment rates and by providing the necessary personal protective equipment to ensure safe working conditions. CL Waste and Scrap Metal also provides market related rates to waste-preneurs making their waste collection efforts economically feasible. Whenever urban waste services and management systems are poor or fail, inhabitants suffer bad living conditions.
SDG 12CL Waste and Scrap Metal substantially reduces waste generation through the recycling and reusing of solid waste.
SDG 13Within ten years dumpsites could be responsible for up to a 10% of manmade greenhouse gases. CL Waste and Scrap Metal diverts waste from dumpsites by recycling this waste
SDG 14The ocean drives global systems that make the Earth habitable for humankind. The oceans, seas and marine resources are under constant threat from pollution, warming and acidification that are disrupting marine ecosystems and the communities they support. Much of the waste that we produce on land ends up in the ocean, chemicals seep from immense quantities of dumped waste, poisoning groundwater, streams, and rivers. CL Waste and Scrap Metal plays a vital role in reducing waste generation and keeping waste from ending up in freshwater systems and the ocean.
SDG 15Life on land can only be healthy when waste is properly managed. Waste is polluting the air we breathe, and the creation and expansion of landfill sites cause habitat and ecosystem loss.
SDG 17CL Waste and Scrap Metal provides ideal opportunities to collaborate and work in partnership through sustainable waste management – the wealthy and the poor, the formal and informal, communities, business, governments, and the international donor community.

Local waste–preneurs making their way to CL Waste and Scrap Metal’s Stellenbosch buy-back centre.

Project Idea Note

A Project Idea Note (PIN) was drawn up to formalise the project scope with regards to carbon credits. 



In South Africa 87% of all recyclable waste either ends up in landfill or is dumped illegally. Even though the National Waste Management Strategy of South Africa aspires to reduce the amount of waste disposed of, the reality is that most local government authorities are struggling to simply maintain basic service levels and has relatively little technical or financial capacity to support the beneficiation of waste. Currently no laws in South Africa requires the diversion of recyclable waste from landfill.

Financial viability

Proceeds from Carbon Credits will improve the financial viability of establishing additional waste collection drop-offs across the Western Cape to afford more “waste-preneurs” the opportunity to collect and on-sell waste.

Proceeds from Carbon Credits will also change the financial attractiveness for low-value recyclable materials (polypropylene, LDPE) to promote the collection thereof.

The project does unfortunately not receive any government funding, subsidies, or incentives.

“Business as usual”

Most operating recycling companies across South Africa fear for armed robbery and do not provide informal “waste-preneurs” with monetary incentives. Out of the fear of vandalism and arson most companies electrify their premises and do not even allow non-employees (let alone informal “wastepreneurs”) to enter their premises.

This project seeks to address this default position by making recycling easier (through the provision of safe and inclusive drop-off sites) and by creating monetary incentives for currently unemployed people to be active in waste collection and waste sorting.


The CL Waste and Scrap Metal carbon project accounts for the saving in greenhouse gases attributed to solid waste recycling on site as part of their transition to a low carbon economy.

The estimates of greenhouse gas savings at the CL Waste and Scrap Metal carbon project, to be verified by a third-party auditor, are based on the following methodology:

AMS-III.AJ (CDM) Recovery and recycling solid waste that would otherwise have ended up in landfill, using DEFRA 2018 conversion factors.

More than 14 000 tonnes of solid waste is recycled annually. DEFRA coefficients are used to estimate the emissions savings that result from diverting this waste from landfill and towards recycling enterprises.

CL Waste and Scrap Metal’s employees sorting collected waste in different categories.

Audited CO₂e sequestration and reduction

Total avoided emissions 39 977 tCO2

Poverty Alleviation Impacts:

CL Waste and Scrap Metal has about 85 permanent employees and has established buy-back centres serving and financially supporting between 350 and 400 waste–preneurs (and up to 600 during peak times) daily by providing market related prices which is paid out immediately.

CL Waste and Scrap Metal has a direct impact on the livelihoods of waste pickers by:

  • Establishing and maintaining local recycling centres (saving hours of arduous trekking across town to on-sell their waste will increases their earning potential substantially as they are able to collect more waste per day)
  • Creating awareness around waste management and employment opportunities for the unemployed in the regions served by CL Waste and Scrap Metal
  • Strengthening relations and engagements with waste pickers
  • Providing relevant support to waste pickers (covered, secure, safe space to sort materials and providing education on qualifiable recyclable material)
  • Improving the conditions and incomes of waste pickers
  • Providing consistent, and fair prices which is paid out immediately to waste–preneurs
  • Ensuring equitable distribution of profits in the value chain
  • Increasing the collection of recyclables with low market value;
  • Ensuring a steady supply of recyclables
  • Include waste pickers in the transformation of the of the industry
  • Expanding the industry to utilise increased volumes of recyclables

Employees of CL Waste and Scrap Metal collecting waste from the beach at Bloubergstrand, South Africa in an effort to combat plastic pollution in the ocean.


The project’s first audit  was for the period 1 June 2019 to 31 May 2022 (both inclusive) completed on  15 August, 2022. Click on the link below to download the document.
22045 – Stellenbosch Community Recycling Project audit 2019-2022 rev 1

Total Audited Credits: 39 977
Total Credits Sold: 6 594
33 383 Credits available
1 Carbon Credit = 1 Tonne CO2 Offset