Johannesburg’s municipal refuse collection agency, Pikitup, has a list of recycling buy-back centres in Gauteng, as well as 41 garden refuse transfer sites. Pikitup provides containers to dispose of light garden waste at these sites.
Various sites have extended their services to accepting ewaste and used oil. Ewaste refers to electronic and electrical waste such as computers, entertainment electronics, cellphones, household appliances, spent fluorescent tubes, batteries and battery-operated toys.
There are also containers or receptacles to deposit reclaimable products, such as paper, plastic and cans. Pikitup also runs a separation at source project. Residents are encouraged to divide up their waste for recycling and collection by Pikitup. Its website lists areas participating in this project.
My Waste is a simple online application that helps you find recycling centres close to home; simply enter your suburb and the product you need to recycle and you’ll receive a list of companies with contact details and maps for each.
Netday recycles used computers for use at disadvantaged schools. Phone +27 (0) 11 403 5997.
Mzansi Office Recycling and Consumables recycles toner cartridges and raises funds for WWF, Childline, SPCA, Cotlands and the HIV Paediatrics Foundation. Phone +27 (0) 11 493 5700.
Habitat for Humanity accepts leftover building material such as good quality bricks, SABS approved paint, tiles or other materials and will collect big loads. Phone +27 (0) 11 836 0710.
MPact, formerly Mondi Recycling, places paper recycling bins at retailers, churches, schools, old age homes, community centres and dump sites in large metropolitan areas. The green bins are labelled “Mpact Recycling”; some may still be orange with the Mondi logo. Phone 0800 022 112 or
+27 (0) 11 538 8600.
Collect a Can has a guide to setting up a recycling committee at your school, and a list of what can and cannot be recycled. Drop off cans – remember to separate aluminium from tin – at a Collect a Can depot. Phone +27 (0) 11 466 2939.
The Glass Recycling Company accepts glass beverage bottles and glass food jars only at its banks. The website has a comprehensive list of glass bank drop offs. Businesses, schools, townhouse complexes and malls can also apply to host a glass bank, as long as there is enough traffic to warrant it. Phone +27 (0) 11 803 0767.
PET Recycling Company has 430 recovery stations for plastic bottles throughout South Africa, while locally recyclable plastic bottles can be taken to municipal sites; check which recyclables your site accepts. Municipal collection points in all major metropolitan areas have set up plastics recovery stations and recyclers will collect from these centres. Community-based organisations also offer this facility, as do some shopping centres. Phone 0860 147 738 or +27 (0) 21 788 9954.
eWaste Association of South Africa (eWasa) oversees a sustainable environmentally sound ewaste management system for South Africa. The non-profit organisation works with manufacturers; vendors and distributors of electronic and electrical goods; and ewaste handlers, including refurbishers, dismantlers and recyclers, to manage ewaste effectively. Phone +27 (0) 31 575 8119.
Plastics Federation of South Africa lists drop offs for plastic waste. Phone+27 (0) 11 314 4021.
The Polystyrene Packaging Council provides information on drop-off sites for this type of plastic. Phone +27 (0)11 793 2658.
The National Recycling Forum is a non-profit organisation created to extend the interests of the formal recycling industry in South Africa. It has information on its members as well as links to the latest legislation, recycling resources and advice on how to recycle. Phone +27 (0) 11 675 3462/4.
Cities have specific waste collection strategies. Check their websites for information: Cape Town, Durban, Tshwane, Bloemfontein, Mahikeng, Mbombela, Polokwane.
The Pikitup Waste Recycling Programme directly to households, Separation at Source Programme, is currently only operational in Avalon Farm (Orange Farm only), Marlboro Depot Area, Southdale Depot Area, Midrand (Diepsloot only), Zondi and Central Camp depot areas.
In these areas, Pikitup, in partnership with cooperatives and SMMEs made up of youth, reclaimers and informal recyclers, is collecting recyclables directly from households. Pikitup provides the plastic bags for this collection and issues households in the areas serviced by the Separation at Source programme with a starter pack comprising:
• A clear plastic bag for recyclables (polystyrene, tins, plastic, glass); and
• A hessian bag for paper.
In areas not yet covered by this programme residents can deliver all their recyclables to all Pikitup garden sites where waste entrepreneurs collect these for recycling purpose. All recyclables besides metal are collected i.e. oil (garden sites only), glass, paper, cartons, e-waste, and cans.
The separated refuse is collected by Pikitup’s partner cooperatives and SMMEs. After collection they are delivered to various private- and City-owned sorting facilities where they are processed and sold by these cooperatives and SMMEs for their own benefit.
In areas where the Separation at Source programme has not rolled out, Pikitup takes all the refuse to the landfills but residents are encouraged to deliver recyclables to any of the Pikitup garden sites. Pikitup is in the process of building sorting facilities in three of its landfill sites to ensure that even the waste that goes to the landfill is further sorted before final disposal.
BUYING ECO-FRIENDLY PRODUCTS
The Green Shop sells eco-friendly items sourced from all over the world, from toys for children and gadgets for executives, to interesting and funky lights or items to help you recycle. Its products are powered by a range of alternative energy sources, such as solar, wind-up, hydrogen and push power. Phone 083 629 7986.
The South African Vegan Directory is a guide for environmentally friendly toiletries and cosmetics, as well as to vegan-friendly restaurants, shops, food and drinks, products and accommodation around South Africa.
Eco Smart sells environmentally friendly cleaning products. Phone +27 (0) 11 477 8936