Sample: ITEKE Waste Recycling Co-operative Concept Document

ITEKE is a community based waste collection project, in Ivory Park, Midrand. It was established in 1995 and mainly collected tin cans. It was made up of ten members, with an even balance of men and women. By 1999 ITEKE has grown to about 16 members, 8 of whom are executive members. It has expanded its activities into collecting plastics, cardboard and paper.

ITEKE has its own operational site with an office and a shed. Donor support has been forthcoming from the United Nations, the Eco-city Project, Mondi and other NGOs. However, at this moment funding sources are drying up and the organisation has been given a final helping hand by the Eco-city project to turn its operations around. Funding has been provided for a six month period for a full time manager.

It is in this context that COPAC has been brought in to assist ITEKE decide on conversion to a co-operative. At the first workshop held on the 26th and 27th September, about 14 members attended and it was unanimously agreed to adopt the co-operative option. It was felt ITEKE already operated as an informal co-operative working with cooperative values like tolerance, solidarity, community involvement and co-operation. Hence, the co-operative conversion was merely about consolidating, into a more formal framework, what already exists.

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