Journal Articles

The N2 scrap collectors: assessing the viability of informal recycling using the sustainable livelihoods framework

A group of women in the rural Eastern Cape Province of South Africa
earns a living collecting scrap metal and paying to transport it for sale in
Durban. The sustainability of their livelihood is in question because of an
ever-shrinking supply of recyclable metals, fluctuating commodity prices,
and the logistical difficulties of transporting the materials to buyers further
along the recycling value chain. Using the sustainable livelihoods framework, this paper highlights the opportunities and challenges facing these
informal recyclers. It shows how the women have fashioned a livelihood
practice in the context of widespread rural poverty, isolation from recycling markets, and limited community assets. Implications for community
development include the need for a participatory sustainable livelihood
analysis to evaluate ways to counterbalance the instability and uncertainty
involved in informal recycling and to raise the incomes of the women
involved in this activity



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