Gauteng entrepreneur wins R1-million for 'Cash4Trash' idea

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A Johannesburg-based entrepreneur named Mary-Anne Mandishona has won a R1-million prize for her innovative sustainable business idea, ‘Cash4Trash’. Mandishona says that her business would encourage community recycling by offering South Africans cash for their waste items, delivered to recycling vending machines at local shopping centres.Her ‘Cash4Trash’ idea earned Mandishona the top spot in the inaugural Redefine Properties Innovation Challenge; a national competition that allows citizens to submit their ideas on how Redefine Properties can help create a better South Africa for all. The competition focused on those ideas that have the potential to revolutionise the retail, commercial, industrial and property sectors through better business opportunities and customer experiences.‘Cash4Trash’ was selected from a group of five finalists in the competition. Over 1250 entries and ideas were submitted to the Redefine Properties Innovation Challenge from all over the country. Mandishona’s vision is to pay citizens for their recyclables, via recycling vending machines installed at shopping malls owned by Redefine Properties. Citizens would receive cash from the machine or shopping vouchers in exchange for their plastic bottles, cans and paper.“We were able to access a lot of resources on this journey from the proof of concept to the prize and I am looking forward to working with Redefine and the mentors I met through the competition to help further develop my idea,” says Mandishona. She will now start the process of negotiating financial support for her start-up with Redefine Properties.Andrew Konig, chief executive officer (CEO) at Redefine Properties, says that the Innovation Challenge lived up to its purpose of being an informed and targeted competition. “We aim to create a movement and understanding that innovation and entrepreneurship can be manufactured in our communities all over the country with the right mentors and support," he says. ___Averda is a leading waste management provider with over 50 years of experience across three continents. Through growth, transformation and engagement, we strive to find new ways of managing waste while protecting the community and environment. ___By pairing international expertise with local insights, we have secured our position as one of South Africa’s most respected providers of waste management and industrial cleaning services. We also operate in the recycling, pipe inspection, CCTV, infrastructure inspection, hydro-demolition, high-pressure water jetting and catalyst handling industries. ___Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for the best tips on recycling and the latest industry news. See our Instagram and YouTube channels for more insights into environmental affairs and our work with local communities.