ABI Schools

Edge redesigns waste collection programme to achieve results.

Amalgamated Beverage Industries (ABI), is the soft drink division of The South African Breweries Limited and is one of the leading soft drink businesses in SABMiller plc. ABI makes a concerted effort to ensure it maintains its reputation as a good corporate citizen, and hence has embarked on a recycling program that encourages school learners to take ownership of the preservation of their environment, creates jobs for previously unemployed youth and supports the growth of emerging waste collection / recycling businesses.

ABI’s primary school recycling program, piloted in 2012, was one such initiative. It comprises of a competition between 120 primary schools; the top 3 schools to collect the most waste received infrastructure improvements from ABI e.g. a sun shade for assemblies or a laboratory.

It was clear that in order to expand the number of schools and enhance the performance of the project, a revised program design needed to be developed.

Edge Growth developed a new revised program for 240 (instead of 120) schools including 3 new components to streamline the process and address the issues with the current process. This included:

The call centre informs collectors when the bags are full and ready for collection. The Recycling Soldiers, a group of previously unemployed highschool graduates, are employed to support, motivate and monitor the schools, ensuring they are committed and enabled to collect as much waste as possible. The soldiers report back weekly on the successes and challenges they face and receive accountability and support to create solutions. In addition Edge Growth provides SME support to the waste collectors who pick up the paper, cans and plastic from the schools, and ultimately deliver it to the recycling companies.

The ongoing support provided will ensure these collectors build sustainable, profitable businesses.

The ABI schools program therefore provides a waste to solution in the townships and teaches children to become accountable for looking after their environment. In addition it creates much needed employment for young graduates as well as improved efficiency for the business owners who collect the waste, ensuring their businesses are sustainable. It is a testimony to the power of good intentions coupled with good program design and implementation.

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