Community Empowerment

Refiloe Makes a Living Cleaning 240ℓ Wheelie Bins

Days of rummaging into bins in search of food to survive are now a thing of the past for Refiloe Ntsie who now scrubs wheelie bins to make a living.

Refiloe (24) is a young man who grew up on the streets begging for food and sleeping under the Geldenhuys interchange bridge in Germiston.

Now he is a well-known 240ℓ wheelie bin cleaner in the Edenvale area.

Refiloe’s life took a positive turn when an Edenvale resident spotted him in the streets begging for money, and offered him work for the money he needed. That was in March 2019 – a day that marked a turning point in his life.

“*Suzie said to me she can only give me money if I work for it. She owns a block of flats in Edenvale and they usually need someone to clean the tenants’ wheelie bins after they have been emptied by the municipality. That is how I started to live a different life and earn a living,” said Refiloe.

Every Thursday he reports for duty from 06h30 in the morning to wheel out all the bins at the complex in readiness for collection. He charges R70 per wheelie bin. There are 10 apartments rented out by *Suzie, which means Refiloe makes R700 every Thursday.

“I’m my own person now. I own a shack at Makause informal settlement in Germiston and I’m proud of the person I have become. I make good money in this business and am now able to buy nice clothes and I also use my own washing detergents to wash these wheelie bins,” said Refiloe.

*Note her real name