Company N

Company N: was established in 1994 as a family business in Keetmanshoop. Initially, the company started with scrap metals recovery but at the time of research the company was collecting and processing carton boxes, plastic paper, glass, , metal cans and scrap metal ferrous and non-ferrous. Raw materials were collected in and around Keetmanshoop, Karasburg, Ais Ais, Nerkatal dam, Gondwana lodges and NWR in the south. Most of the raw materials in Keetmanshoop were recovered from the dumpsites by contracted workers who collected about 15 000kg of plastics per month. Individuals who brought recyclable raw material were paid but the practice was said to be creating challenges as the people ended up stealing from each other for the sake of getting more money. After collection, materials were sorted, crushed, baled and transported to SA. Plastic and paper was chipped and used to make pillows and duvets. Apart from this effort, the company was educating people about benefits of recycling which was met with resistance. The researcher found out that anyone who was known to support the initiative was discouraged and vandalism of equipment was evident. Efforts to open recycling stations in Karasburg and Luderitz were futile due to lack of cooperation from the people. Despite these challenges, the company was working hard to promote a culture of recycling in southern districts of Namibia. The company worked hand in hand with all recyclers from top levels down to grassroots levels. In 2013 the company was involved in a cleanup campaign, which took place at the /Ai-/Ais Resort, which yielded 17 357kg of glass in the form of bottles, 1 684kg of tins and 1 641kg of steel metal. The dumpsite was established in the early 1960s and had accumulated domestic and industrial waste over the years. The Company later donated metal bins and plastic collector bags, which were used to store the materials. The raw material was transported to Keetmanshoop, where it was weighed and the proceeds were divided among the volunteers, as a token of appreciation and also as an incentive for future initiatives.
Company K: Only one company was involved in e-waste recycling at the time of study. This was a Windhoek based company whose main business was transport and logistics and e-waste was being done as a sideline business. At the time of study, this company was involved in the collection and processing of e-waste from any generator such as residence, government institutions, commerce and industries. Collection was done for free. However, some of the materials were brought in by the residents themselves. With the cooperation of the corporate world, the company introduced some drop off points at colleges, schools and universities and other institutions in the City. Generation of e-waste has increased in Namibia just like any part of the world due to more usage of electronic gadgets, in homes, institutions, retail and industries. A wide range of products is given in table 4.7 in chapter 4. Before the company involvement in e-raw material recycling, all e-waste generated in the country was disposed at landfill and dumpsites or left idle in homes, institutions or industries. Even up to this day not all e-waste is being recycled in Namibia. Outside Windhoek, e-waste is still being disposed at dumpsites, since this company is only operating in Windhoek and does not take e-waste from outside the capital due to a number of logistical and legal issues. Legally the local authorities act stipulates that each local authority is responsible for its waste hence recycling across local authorities is seen as illegal. Therefore, in small towns e-waste is still finding way to dumpsites together with general waste despite known hazards to the environment and humans (for recycling to be effective and contributory to waste management this issue needs addressing). E-waste processing involved sorting, dismantling of the different components of the gadgets, baling of precious minerals and their transportation to markets and subsequent disposal of unwanted materials such as plastics to Company D and scrap metal to Company E or to the dump site. A visit to the company found that this was done in a metal structure which was going to be replaced with a bigger and better structure as the current one was not up to standard. However, on the day of visit, the researcher was not able to see them working and taking of photos was not allowed. The researcher was able to see a variety of e-waste raw materials that were still to be sorted and dismantled.
Company D: The Company was started in 2008 and its core business was the production of plastic pellets from recycled waste plastic materials. Plastic was the only raw material which was processed completely in Namibia and the establishment of this company was key to complete the recycling loop. About 60% of plastic raw materials were recycled to pellets at this company. Pellets are the main raw material for the manufacturing of plastic products. The recycled pellets are considerably cheaper if compared to virgin pellets. A kilogram of recycled pellets is sold for N$3 compared to N$20 per kilogram for virgin pellets as reported earlier. Companies involved in plastic manufacturing reported that this was quite important as this reduced their costs of raw materials.
Scrap Metal Processors
Of the 15 companies that were under study, companies E,F and N were into scrap metal recycling. Although, the researcher identified 6 scrap metal recycling companies only three were interviewed. The rest of the small companies were not keen to participate in the study.
Company E: This is a scrap metal processing company which is the largest in Namibia with branches all over the country. The company began recovery activities of scrap in 1982, as a business idea by the owner after completing tertiary education. From a small collecting truck, the company had 82 heavy trucks and an assortment of machinery for the business. The core business is the collection and part processing of scrap metal, both ferrous and non-ferrous. Company E has branches in Swakopmund, Walvis Bay, Rundu, Ondangwa, Oshakati and the head office in Windhoek. There are two branches established in Angola and the company is also a major shareholder in Scrap for Africa in Cape Town, which consists of two scrap yards. The company has contractual agreements with various industries in vessel shipping, agriculture, fishing, transport, mining and manufacturing industries where they collect any scrap metal. Since the company only does semi processing of the products, further processing and manufacturing is done in SA and other Asian countries. Materials processed included batteries, microwaves, irons, fridges and stoves from the e-waste collected from company K, vehicle bodies and parts, steel, aluminum, copper or any scrap metal they could lay their hands on, big and small. Due to a good network of existing infrastructure, the company has gained market leadership in scrap recycling in Namibia. To promote the industry, the company was also supporting their own workers to start their own businesses in metal recycling. A visit to some of the small companies was done by the researcher and even though was not allowed to interview the companies, through observations, there was proof of scrap metal recycling that was going on.
Company J: This was a small scale scrap metal recycling company born out of the major company E. The owners were mostly former workers of company E. As a way of empowering them; some of them were given choices to start their own businesses. Their operations were not very different from those of Company E. As small businesses, their operations such as lifting of heavy goods, storage space depended on company E. At the time of study this company, was involved in the collection; recovery and processing of scrap metal for onward transmission to Asian markets such as India and Indonesia through Company E.
Manufacturers (B, C, H)
Companies in this category were involved in manufacturing business of raw material obtained from recyclables. These companies complete the plastic recycling loop in Namibia.
Company B: Company B is a leading company in the local manufacturing industry. The company is involved in the manufacturing and distribution of plastic packaging products in Namibia, Angola and the Northern Cape. The researcher found that products of the company span a wide range of the Namibian market such as the retail and wholesale businesses, industrial, agriculture, mining sectors, meat processing, fishing, dairy, catering and food processing industries as well as any other segment that requires packaging products. Products included the manufacturing of LDPE, HDPE and LLDPE products, and plastic bags, and sheet such as shopping bags, wrapping bags, household bags, shrink film, and many more. During manufacturing process, there was the waste factor of about 10% of a carry-bag due to cut-out for handles and sizing. As a result of increased waste, the company failed to handle it all and this prompted it to open up a branch just for recycling plastics in Okahandja: company D. To date, the company is one of the largest plastic recycling companies in Namibia with 60% of plastics in Namibia being recycled there to produce pellets. Together with other private companies, this company spearheaded the starting of recycling stations in Windhoek at shopping centers in order to promote the industry. Today, the company as a main producer of plastics, a product which is non-biodegradable, is in the forefront of promoting recycling efforts in Namibia particularly plastics.
Company C: Indirectly, the company is supporting recycling in Namibia by buying locally produced recycled raw materials for manufacturing pipes and tanks. The company has been in the business of pipe manufacturing since 1968 producing PVC- M and PVC-U pressure pipes; PVC solid wall sewer pipes for water supply and drainage etc. Before 2008, their raw materials were sourced from SA, which was quite costly in different ways. However, at the time of study, the company got 10% of its raw materials locally from company D in the plastic recycling business. So the company products were for both the Namibian and regional markets such as Angola, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Company H: This is a company located in the northern parts of Namibia close to the Angolan border established in 2003. Plastic is being recycled to produce pellets for use in the manufacturing of their products. The company was manufacturing various plastic products, initially using virgin raw materials. At the time of research, online secondary sources revealed that the company was also using secondary raw materials from recycled plastic which the company was collecting from around Oshikango and some bought from company D in Okahandja. The Company specialized in the production of a wide range of plastic products which included buckets, chairs and tables, shopping bags and much more for both the local and international market. Although, the company is into manufacturing, it is also trying to promote the concept of recycling among the people as they observed poor management of waste in the northern regions of the country. The company is well equipped with latest heavy machinery including injection molding, extruders, printing machines, sealing machines, treatment machines and grinding machines.
According to EPA (2016) complete recycling involves three major steps: collection and processing of raw materials, followed by manufacturing, and finally purchasing of new products made from the recycled materials. The loop is not considered to be complete without purchasing. The study revealed that companies were involved in recycling in different capacities in all the three processes.


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