Women Unlimited implemented an empowerment initiative to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable women and youth, through a waste for livelihoods project focussed on bottle recycling. This was made possible by support from UNDP through Catalyze under the Waste For Livelihoods and Resilience Project.
Women Unlimited recruited 31 waste collectors which are a group of women and youth who were trained in waste collection and bottle recycling. Waste collectors crush clear glass before selling it to Ngwenya Glass Eswatini. The organisation set up a glass sorting and recycling centre complete with a glass crusher machine and facility for processing both coloured and clear glass. The recycling site is complete and fully commissioned with temporary shelter, electricity, water tank and glass crusher. Beneficiaries have been formally incorporated as a company and will now be expected to take up the project as it begins to be profitable.
The recyclers who have since registered as a company called Waste Life Investments were taken through the registration process by the organization and also received protective clothing, wheelie bins and a bottle-crushing machine, which speeds up the work for more production of glass.
The land for the site was acquired from Chief Zembe Dvuba, which will also be used to setup decorative concrete slab moulding from coloured glass. The Glass Sand will be used as a coarse or fine aggregate, or as a partial cement substitute in a wide range of concrete-based products namely: Floor and wall tiles; Tombstones; Table counter tops; Benches; Vanity counters; Decorative cement pots and Garden furniture.
Women Unlimited will continue her mentorship and support, to guide and provide project oversight to the Waste Life Investments executives towards the same. The organisation also anticipates to build upon this initiative for future interventions and continue to expand the project.