Johannesburg is Making Household Recycling Mandatory From 1 July

In an effort to cut down on pollution and safeguard the environment, the City of Johannesburg will roll out a phased approach to make ‘separation at source‘ mandatory for households from 1 July.

Effectively this means that households will be required to separate certain recyclable materials from other waste before they are picked up for collection.

According to a statement released on Friday (8 June), the City said that the biggest challenge it currently faces is trying to change human behaviour and getting people to understand how they impact the environment in the way they deal with plastic.

Speaking to BusinessTech, city councillor Nico De Jager said that more details on the program will be communicated on 12 June – following which, the City plans to make the details of the roll out known to all residents.

“With mandatory we mean that it will be compulsory, and through the initial stages we will do education campaigns and issue warning letters to get residents to participate.”

“There are no penalties in place at the moment,” he added.

The announcement follows a noticeable push by both the private and public sectors to cut down on plastic and other pollution.

In May, environmental affairs minister Edna Molewa indicated that her department is looking at the possibility of reviewing legislation with a view of phasing out harmful plastic products including straws.

Earlier this week, both Pick n Pay and Woolworths also announced a number of initiatives to cut down on plastic packaging.

Recycling is a key component of modern waste reduction and is the third component of the “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle” waste hierarchy. Thus, recycling aims at environmental sustainability by substituting raw material inputs into and redirecting waste outputs out of the economic system.

Recyclable materials include many kinds of glass, paper, and cardboard, metal, plastic, tires, textiles, and electronics. The composting or other reuse of biodegradable waste—such as food or garden waste—is also considered recycling. Materials to be recycled are either brought to a collection center or picked up from the curbside, then sorted, cleaned, and reprocessed into new materials destined for manufacturing.

Everyone should strive to do as much as they can in order to ensure a sustainable future, and reducing usage is even more important than recycling. To read more about the importance of household recycling, visit the Western Cape Government’s Household Recycling page, and this UK Recycling Guide site.


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Sources: BusinessTech [1], [2]. Image sources: ProjectManhattan [1].