General « Plant A Tree

By: Plant A Tree  11-11-2011
Keywords: recycling, health and safety, Light Bulbs

Recycling for your average suburban household in South Africa is a bit of a schlep: the infrastructure for collecting recyclable material isn’t really in place – yet. Households generally have to separate their rubbish and take the recyclables to a municipal drop-off centre or a buy-back centre because there’s not much in the way of kerbside collection. Many people just can’t be bothered. But, there are also many people out there who would recycle if they knew how to. This guide aims to help you get started.

How good is South Africa at recycling? The recovery rates for various materials are as follows:

  • Cans: 69 percent
  • Paper: 59 percent
  • Glass: About 25 percent
  • Plastic: About 17 percent

Informal recyclers recover much of this material from dustbins and landfill sites. This is not ideal, firstly from the point of view of the health and safety of the recyclers. But also because the recyclable material is contaminated with other waste. First prize would be if households sorted their waste, so that “uncontaminated” recyclable material could be collected.




  • Colddrink and beer cans
  • Food tins
  • Metal lids of glass jars
  • Aluminium cans (eg, Red Bull),  foil and foil packaging
  • Paint, oil and aerosol cans (leave labels on them so recyclers can see whether they contain hazardous material).
  • Rusty cans can be recycled


  • Beverage bottles
  • Food jars such as tomato sauce, jam and mayonnaise bottles

The following CANNOT be recycled

  • Drinking glasses
  • Light bulbs  – ordinary and energy-saving compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) – and fluorescent tubes. NB CFLs and fluorescent tubes should not be thrown away with ordinary rubbish. They contain mercury, a toxin that can leach into the soil and groundwater if not disposed of properly. Take your old CFLs to the drop-off points at Pick n Pay and Woolworths stores where they will be disposed of safely. If you don’t have this option, place your old CFLs in a sealed plastic bag before you throw them in the bin.
  • To dispose of standard fluorescent tubes you can either contact  if you have a lot of them. Also in JHB and surrounds in JHB/surrounds are :
    Brakpan:  – 011-7404330
    Kempton Park:  electric recyclers – 011-979-3017 

    Alternatively you can contact Ewasa (the E-Waste Association of SA) for other contacts.


  • White office paper
  • Magazines and books (as long as nothing is laminated)
  • Newspaper
  • Cardboard (boxes and cereal boxes).

The following CANNOT be recycled:

  • Laminated or waxy paper
  • Punch confetti
  • Carbon paper
  • Stickers

Plastics are made from oil, a non-renewable resource, and much of the plastic packaging we use every day is recyclable. Ice cream and milk containers, fabric softener bottles, plastic bags and even cling-wrap can all be recycled.

Disposable batteries are not recycled – this is apparently because the material recovery rate is too small to make recycling economically viable. But they should not be thrown away with ordinary household waste either, because they contain toxic chemicals that can leach into the soil and groundwater. Rechargeable batteries, on the other hand, are recyclable. Add to this the fact that they last a lot longer than ordinary batteries and you have a compelling argument to buy rechargeables from now on.


You CANNOT recycle

Please keep recycling and spread the word, it is really easy if you put your mind to it.

Contact us for more information and ideas. If you have any home recycling ideas, please send them to us and we will try and share them.

Keywords: Aerosol Cans, Aluminium cans, Bottles Food, Compact Fluorescent Lights, drinking glasses, Fluorescent Lights, Fluorescent Tubes, Foil Packaging, Glass Jars, health and safety, Light Bulbs, Magazines And Books, Office Paper, Plastic Bag, recycling,

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Plant Trees « Plant A Tree

Yes there are hundreds of charities doing their bit and raising awareness but it will all be in vain if we as humans do nothing about it. We are doing our best to plant trees and we have already planted 10 trees this month and hope to push those numbers up. Go to your local nursery and speak to someone, tell them you are looking to plant something in support of arbor week.