From 1 July, recycling will be mandatory in Johannesburg homes. There will be a phased approach and our hood isn’t one of the areas that will be immediately affected, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t hop on the bandwagon now.

What will it mean?

The programme is called “Separation at Source” which means that we need to put paper in one bag, other recyclable materials (like plastic, glass and metal) in another, and non-recyclable waste in the regular black bin. It’s easy-peasy, but the results for the environment are big: less waste goes into landfills and pollutes our environment.

Small things that add up

There are little changes you can make every day that make a difference over time.

  • When you go out, turn down plastic straws and cutlery.
  • If you are a regular coffee take-awayer, invest in your own reusable cup.
  • Take a shopping bag for your groceries.
  • Carry a water bottle (last year a million plastic bottles were sold around the world EVERY MINUTE!).
  • Got a garden? Start a compost heap with your veggie cuttings.

Know what you throw

The following products are widely recycled:

  • Paper, including magazines, egg boxes and cardboard
  • Plastic tubs and bottles
  • Metal cans
  • Glass bottles
  • Tetra-packs
  • Clothes

Check the labels on your products to see what they are made of and whether they can be recycled. Things that aren’t recyclable include:

  • Batteries
  • Photos and paper with plastic
  • Ceramics
  • Lightbulbs
  • Glass from car windshields and mirrors
  • Tissue paper
  • Rubber

Where can you recycle now?

There are recycling bins in the Northgate Shopping Centre parking lot (near the back entrance of the Pick n Pay). They even take electronics. You can also contact companies such as Mama She’s Waste Recyclers, Eco Monkey and Whole Earth. They will charge a fee, but you could split the cost with a neighbour.


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