SA Women in Recycling – Happy Women’s Day!

August 8th, 2012 / Berenice Westmore / Postwink

August is the month of celebrating women. And with good reason, as it is said that women are better for the planet – we recycle more, we are more keen to be green, we drive slower and shorter distances, we eat less meat and we make more eco-purchases(1). Further to this global trend, South Africa is blessed with many woman entrepreneurs who are making an impact in the sustainability front.

Compiled below is a shortened list (compiled by Postwink) of South African Women Entrepreneurs who are making things happen in the Recycling Industry, and for whom we should be grateful for our recycling rates increasing.

Due to sheer space, we have had to leave out all the many, meaningful women in business and government, who make a significant difference via their daily roles in sustainability or solid waste management, or via their involvement in corporate Green Teams. We have also excluded all those women who are champions in the other aspects of sustainability, including energy and water conservation, nature and wildlife conservation, sustainability reporting, sustainability education and consulting, environmentally-friendly media and stores, as well as social sustainability.

I (Grace) am honored to be included into this list, but agree that there are many more women doing amazing things with their Green Teams, government and communities.

Here are some of the women entrepreneurs making a difference in recycling (in alphabetical order by their first name):

1.Adri Spangenberg, director at the Polystyrene Packaging Council – The Council sets up resources and mechanisms to deal with projects that enhance the reputation of polystyrene packaging and projects that grow the industry whilst ensuring effective recycling of polystyrene in South Africa. (

2.Anthea Hartzenberg, owner of Recycle1st– Anthea’s company ensures that Cape Town’s individuals and businesses are able to recycle by doing weekly or personalized recycling collections. (

3.Catherine Morris, owner of Green Home – Green Home is a leading biodegradable food packaging supplier, with all their products are made from natural resources and are fully compostable. (

4.Cecilia Sentson and Bev Mejelo, owners of BethaNeland – established in 2003, BethaNeland provides training, consulting and products to Gauteng schools and businesses in the Environmental Protection and Recycling Services Industry.

5.Chantal Chambers, owner of Cortal’s recycling – one of the only woman-owned recycling collection companies in her town, Chantal’s company has been collecting recyclables in Tzaneen, Limpopo since March 2010 (

6.Cheri Scholtz, CEO of PETCO – PETCO aims to minimize the environmental impact of post-consumer PET in South Africa (where PET is the plastic used for water bottles and many cooldrink bottles). Under her management, PET recycling almost doubled in tonnage recycled during the 4-year period from 2005 to 2009. (

7.Colette Erwee, owner of RecycleDrive – Based in Johannesburg, RecycleDrive is a waste management company, which is highly focused on recycling collections. (

8.Gail Bester, Executive Director at Oasis Association – this Cape-Town based NGO uses recycling to generate income for its core purpose: providing for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Oasis’s recycling services are well established and include recycling collections from businesses, as well as a drop-off service for members of the public at their offices in Claremont. (

9.Grace Green, owner of – offers recycling guides and office greening guides and will try to partner you with a recycling collector in your area, among other services. (

10.Grace Stead, owner of Steadfast Greening – well known in Cape Town for assisting clients with greening their events, Grace would ensure that your event adheres to the three “R”’s – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – among other things. (

11.Lesley Jones, owner of SaveAll – Previously a recycling collector in Cape Town, Lesley now focuses on custom- designed Environmental Training & Initiatives for companies and schools, with a strong focus on recycling awareness workshops.

12.Lise Kuhle, owner of the Recycling Box – a creative entrepreneur, Lise focuses her boundless energy on creating recycling bins, corporate gifts, shopping bags, geyser blankets and other supplies for the hospitality industry (among others) – all made solely from recycled and recyclable materials, and manufactured mainly by previously-disadvantaged communities. (

13.Lize Moldenhauer, CEO of Omni HR Consulting – Omni HR Consulting has a Green division, with training workshops focusing on waste awareness and training company cleaners and sorters about recycling, including how to sort the various types of waste. (

14.Laura Henderson & Louise Simpson, owners of GreenCycle- Greencycle is a non-profit organization which provides a convenient and inexpensive recycling collection service to the homes and businesses of Port Elizabeth. (

15.Lorraine Jenks, founder of GreenStuff – Focused on the hospitality industry, Greenstuff is a free online directory of suppliers with eco-friendly products and services. Lorraine and her team also offer carbon audits, workshops and consulting on green procurement, backed by her 20 years of experience. (

16.Maria van der Westhuizen, member of Beyond Education NGO, and manager of the Swop Shop – based in a Cape Town township called Du Noon, the community of Du Noon is given the opportunity to help themselves by collecting recyclable items. They are then able to exchange the bags of recycling at the Swop Shop for essential personal and household items, as well as school supplies.

17.Mariella Kayat, Sue Mimm and Niki Glen, owners of Go2Natural – those three green ladies, based in both KwaZulu Natal and Johannesburg, will do sustainable training and assessments and set up recycling initiatives for clients, with a special focus on the hospitality industry and tourism. (

18.Mary Murphy, owner of FullCycle – Based in Noordhoek, FullCycle focuses on organic waste and vermiculture products and services. For example, they collect organic waste from the local restaurants and café and use this in their worm farm. (

19.Melanie Jones, owner of Zero To Landfill Organics – Zero to Landfill Organics provides training, educational material and separation systems for the setting up of food waste separation programmes for Cape Town businesses. (

20.Sonja van Wyk, head of Recycling Warehouse – previously trading as Dylmeg, Sonja’s recycling venture is now married to Cater Warehouse, a well-established business in Pretoria which focuses on supplying the hospitality industry. The Recycling Warehouse is a separate arm of the business which focuses on supplying recycling products from its showroom in Pretoria. (

21.Sheryl Ozinsky, acting CEO of POLYCO – Sheryl has a comprehensive and respected “greenCV”. After having helped establish PETCO and consulting on various environmental and recycling initiatives, Sheryl is now acting CEO of POLYCO, which started its operations in April 2012.POLYCO aims to promote the recycling of Polyolefins, which include a large family of plastics (such as PP, PE-LD, PE-LLD and PE-HD). (

22.Susanne Dittke, owner of Envirosense – since 2000, German-born Susanne has advised and personally trained her company’s many (and diverse) governmental and business clients on the practicalities of day to day waste and pollution prevention. (

Thank you again to all the above women for their contribution to the South African Recycling industry!