Denzil Bosman’s recycling facility in the Hermanus Industrial Area not only fulfils a vital role in keeping our town clean, but also provides a lifeline to several locals who would otherwise have been destitute. Which is why he gave his business the hopeful name, Ingomso Lelethu, which means ‘Tomorrow is ours’.

Theo Malgaas, Emmanuel Douglas, Clifford Louw and Nofikathini Makhekhe with Denzil Bosman at the Ingomso Lelethu Recycling Facility in Hermanus. (Their driver, Frederick Steenkamp, was absent when the photo was taken.) PHOTO: Hedda Mittner

No stranger to setbacks himself, Denzil has a background in hospitality and moved to Hermanus from Cape Town with his family in 2010. While working front-of-house at Rossi’s he became friends with owner Bruce Geddes, who is one of the biggest supporters of Denzil’s new venture.

Passionate about protecting the natural environment, Denzil started by collecting recyclable litter and encouraging vagrants to pick up cans, which he bought from them. “Stomping” the cans himself, he soon realised that he needed proper equipment and saved up to buy a recycling baling machine, which compresses paper, cardboard, cans and plastics. “It’s essential for cutting down on transport costs, reducing carbon footprint and minimising storage space,” he says.

Just after he’d opened Ingomso Lelethu in Roman Close, the country went into lockdown. It was a devastating blow, but as soon as the lockdown moved to Level 3, Denzil got back to work. “I took in people who were homeless and unemployed to give them a chance to help themselves – and the environment,” he says. “Providing a meaningful service to the community has instilled them with pride and they call this ‘our place’. We work here shoulder to shoulder.”

Denzil says his clients have been very supportive and even set up a Facebook page for his business. “There is plenty of goodwill in Hermanus but we need more support from local businesses in order to survive,” he says.

Three months ago Ingomso Lelethu relocated to the Mimosa Centre, where Denzil has since also added a glass crusher. “We recycle everything from cardboard and white paper, to PET plastic bottles, aluminium cans and glass bottles. The only items we don’t take are garden refuse and food waste. We also do rubble removals and small household removals, and confidential document shredding has been added to our business portfolio at a competitive rate.”

Recycling efforts in Hermanus came to a standstill when the Overstrand Municipality’s Material Recycling Facility (MRF) was destroyed during the 2018 unrest. For a while, Walker Bay Recycling stepped in to fill the gap, but was forced to close its doors at the beginning of the year after the market for recyclables took a nosedive and the business was no longer viable. The municipality’s new MRF currently under construction in Schulphoek Road is expected to be completed by June 2021.

Ingomso Lelethu is currently the only operating recycling facility in Hermanus. Please support them and assist in keeping our area litter-free. You’ll find the facility at Mimosa Centre Unit 12, Mimosa Street, Hermanus Industria. For more information, contact Denzil on 063 572 3230.

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