Buhle Waste is a second-generation, family business that is 100% black-owned and managed. It strives to achieve excellence in all its activities within the communities in which it operates, and aims to be the embodiment of Ubuntu, knowing that it takes a community to help raise a business.
The company is founded on the belief that homes and cities must be beautiful spaces; a love for its people and work should be fostered; and a respect for the environment is to be maintained. Buhle Waste strives for beauty, love and respect in all that it does.
In 1997, medical practitioner Dr PD Sekete recognised that the township in which he was living was plagued by poor service delivery. Waste was piling up and rubbish heaps lined the streets – areas that had become the playground of children. Sekete’s medical practice was full of patients who were suffering from ailments caused by this waste mis-mana-gement. Dedicated to preventative health-care, Sekete committed himself to bringing efficient waste management to the townships around South Africa.
Buhle Waste began in the dusty streets of Katlehong, South Africa, with a single truck and seven staff members, managing the waste of local communities in an effort to bring a sense of beauty and pride to their environment. Over the years, the company has gained invaluable experience through the trials of business hardships and successes. It now operates nationwide, with around 350 staff and a fleet of more than 70 trucks. Buhle Waste has offices, warehouses and treatment plants in the Gauteng, Free State, Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces.
Dedication to the community and respect for the environment continue to form the basis of Buhle Waste’s business operations to this day. Built into the foundations of its opera-tions is the perseverance, resilience and dedication to achieving success for its clients.
As a business, it has continued to evolve and adapt to the changing circumstances. Like the environment it serves, the company has taken on its most resilient characteristics – innovation forms a pillar of the business’ ongoing growth and success. It continues to invest in technologies that will assist it in achieving its zero-waste-to-landfill goals, while simultaneously differentiating its value pro–p-osition in the market.
In the early years, the business was heavily dependent on other, larger waste management companies that were involved in the treatment and disposal of waste. Today, it is one of the largest waste-management companies in the country.
To achieve its zero-waste-to-landfill vision and minimise its environmental impact, Buhle Waste has invested in green technology that has zero emissions and reduces waste from treatment to disposal at landfill. Its commitment to environmentally sustainable technology and ensuring that the benefits are seen throughout the country is further highlighted in the company’s investment in treatment technology at its flagship treatment site in Seshego, Limpopo.
The converter is a revolutionary technology that, using friction from rotating shredder blades in a sealed chamber, generates heat to sterilise and destroy dangerous waste, rendering it non-hazardous. The machine reduces the original input by about 70% in volume and 60% in weight. The waste by-product retains a calorific value that is greater than that of coal, enabling the company to explore ways in which it can be used to generate energy. Waste is converted into a refuse-derived fuel (RDF) that presents a wealth of opportunities on a continent that is energy starved.
Currently, Buhle Waste is piloting the use of this RDF as an energy source within various industries. The technology is an essential component in the company’s mission of achieving zero-waste-to-landfill by 2025.
The company manages general, industrial, hazardous, chemical, sanitation and medical waste. And because it manages multiple waste streams, this makes the company an ideal partner for businesses that manage their waste on-site – clients are able to leave their waste for Buhle Waste to handle while going about the business of serving their own clients. It’s a partnership that ensures the clients’ success because they are not overly encumbered by the burdens of their waste.
It is Buhle Waste’s mission to achieve its zero-waste-to-landfill goals through the investment in technology and its people. It’s imperative that the company, as a collective within its communities, collates resources and intellect to achieve the great positive impacts of beautifying communities and ensuring environmental sustainability.
The initiatives it undertakes in the communities combine the resources of companies to address the immediate needs of underprivileged young adults, especially women, and provide environmental protection solutions to ensure there are no negative unintended consequences for our environment.
Additionally, the company provides scholarships to students who wish to study towards achieving environmental and community sustainability and excellence. It has further introduced a graduate recruitment programme to engage the youth in economic participation and encourage future leaders to remain cognisant of their contribution to environmental sustainability. Buhle Waste needs the help of the community if it is to achieve our zero-waste-to-landfill objectives. The pillars of its business will operate in a synergistic fashion to ensure it continues to hold true to the Buhle Waste values of beauty, love and respect.