Fairlady - - AMAZING WOMEN -

‘We need to be re­spon­si­ble earth cit­i­zens and pro­tect the planet for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions,’ says Pa­tri­cia Schroder, whose pas­sion for pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment and pro­tect­ing com­mu­ni­ties from pol­lu­tion in­spired her to start Re­clite SA. The com­pany helps off­set global warm­ing through the re­cy­cling of e-waste. Re­clite SA col­lects, trans­ports and re­cy­cles all light­ing, bat­tery and elec­tronic waste – all clas­si­fied haz­ardous – and has de­vel­oped award-win­ning so­lu­tions in man­ag­ing these waste streams. Pa­tri­cia says her goal is also ‘to di­vert the cur­rent lin­ear busi­ness eco­nomic cul­ture (buy, use, throw away) to cir­cu­lar econ­omy prac­tices (buy, use, re-use and re­cy­cle)’. She ap­plied for fund­ing to the In­dus­trial De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (IDC) and was asked to present a busi­ness plan and de­liver pre­sen­ta­tions on the con­cept. ‘Of course, there was no ref­er­ence point for this kind of busi­ness – it was the first of its kind in South Africa. So to­gether with the IDC we es­tab­lished a com­pre­hen­sive due dili­gence process which had to meet strict cri­te­ria and project a sus­tain­able prof­itable out­come,’ says Pa­tri­cia. In Au­gust 2016, this pow­er­house

I see the busi­ness be­ing the state of the art African “hub” for all light­ing, elec­tronic and elec­tri­cal equip­ment waste.

suc­cess­fully lob­bied the gov­ern­ment to amend reg­u­la­tions to ban toxic e-waste from land­fill. Next she drove changes within the light­ing and elec­tronic in­dus­tries, mak­ing them im­ple­ment ex­tended pro­ducer re­spon­si­bil­ity pro­grams. As­ton­ish­ingly, she’s also cre­ated new raw ma­te­ri­als and prod­ucts that re­place im­ported prod­ucts, as well as de­vel­oped the process for the man­age­ment of waste types – for which she’s won en­vi­ron­men­tal and in­no­va­tion awards.

De­spite these amaz­ing ac­com­plish­ments, Pa­tri­cia still has big dreams for Re­clite SA and won’t rest un­til the busi­ness has a global foot­print (they cur­rently man­age e-waste from neigh­bour­ing coun­tries Swazi­land, Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia and Zam­bia).

‘I see the busi­ness be­ing the state of the art African “hub” for all light­ing, elec­tronic and elec­tri­cal equip­ment waste. It will grow and ex­pand to cater for other chal­leng­ing waste streams that cur­rently end up in land­fill,’ she prom­ises.

Win­ning the 2018 FAIR­LADY Women of the Fu­ture award, says Pa­tri­cia, is recog­ni­tion for all the hard work she and her team have done, and a re­minder that hard work does pay off in the end.

‘It would also serve as an in­spi­ra­tion for other women to chase their dreams, chase their pas­sions, be­cause you CAN be suc­cess­ful.’

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