From Scraps to Riches – Monika Singh

It is the first and only one of its kind of manufacturer in Fiji and it is working hard to become the best in the country.

South Pacific Waste Recyclers started its operations in 2012 with an initial investment of $5million by the Charan Jeath Singh Group and today it has a successful operation which also helps in keeping the environment clean.

Managing director of the CJSG Charan Jeath Singh said he established the factory because he wanted to actually do something for the environment.

Mr Singh said his company managed to help in import substitution because they collected raw materials and the whole process for the final product was all done in Fiji.

“Secondly all the waste paper that were previously being taken to the landfill in Naboro are now being collected by the factory and processed into toilet tissue. People were paying to clear waste paper from their homes and offices but we do it for free.

“Thirdly, with the opening of the factory we provided employment to 100 people,” he said.

Mr Singh said the company produced toilet tissue and with its introduction in the local market, the price of toilet tissue sold by other distributors went down.

As the name suggests, the company specialises in recycling waste paper and the best part about the company is that it goes out and collects raw materials (loose paper, newspapers, cardboard boxes) from sites.

Lawrence Naidu, who is the chief engineer for the company, said the raw materials were collected on site from homes and other locations every Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm.

The waste papers are then brought to the factory where they are sorted into different categories and from there they are sent to the pulping area. The pulps are then dried and converted into paper. The papers are then made into toilet tissue and cut into the standard size and then packed for distribution.

According to Mr Naidu the white paper is used to make toilet tissue (Nambawan brand) while the rest of the coloured paper are used as filler materials and also as fuel for the factory.

“Certain percentage of waste paper go into the machines,” he said. Mr Naidu said as any other business would do, their business too had some challenges which they were working to overcome.

He said although they collected waste paper free from the community, people were still unaware of who they were and what they did.

“Now we have started approaching schools in the community to accept papers from the community and we then collect them from the designated schools,” he said.

Mr Naidu said they received all kinds of waste paper such as cheques, past exam papers and other documents but stressed members of the public should not be concerned about their cheque details etc because there was constant security on the factory premises.

“We have CCTV cameras inside the factory where the papers are sorted out and people should be rest assured that their personal details would not be leaked,” he said.

He said shortage of skilled labour was another issue they faced.

“This is the only recycling company of its kind and so it is not surprising that we face a shortage of labour who are skilled at this work. However we do have in- house, on the job training for staff members,” he said.

High cost of labour, collection of raw materials and importation of spare parts for the machines and processing chemicals were other challenges for the company.

Mr Naidu said they would gladly accept any financial help from the Government to ease the burden because they were a locally-owned company producing Fiji-made products.

He said they faced competition from other manufacturers who were known to import products and sell them in the country.

“Even though we are local company we still face a lot of competition from companies that are buying their products from overseas and selling them in the country. We want to sell our products at comparative prices and we want to appeal to the public to go for Fijian made products,” he said.Meanwhile, Mr Singh said although the company was helping the environment in reducing waste paper they had not received any help from the Government or non-government organisations which deal with the environment.

“We are looking forward to technical and financial help from the government or NGOs so that we are able to advance our operations and achieve what we set out to do in the first place,” he said.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015. The Fiji Times, Fiji