Hassle-free recycling hits PMB

2010-06-24 00:00

AT the moment the World Cup is turning us all yellow but by the end of the year Pietermarizburg could be orange. On rubbish collection days that is. The Msunduzi Kerbside Programme, which involves putting recycleable waste into orange bags, is being extended so that it will be operating city wide by the end of the year.

The aim of the programme is to provide residents with a convenient and hassle-free recycling collection service at no additional cost. This involves the householder receiving a three- month supply of orange bags for the collection of paper, cardboard, plastic and cans directly from your verge, and these will be collected on the same day as the municipal refuse collection. The programme already operates throughout the eThekwini Municipality.

The Msunduzi Kerbside Programme is a joint venture between Mondi Recycling and the Msunduzi Municipality, supported by the Department of Agriculture, Environment Affairs and Rural Development and Hulamin.

All you have to do is place your recyclables (see box) into the orange bags, place them outside along with your black bags, and the municipality and Mondi’s agent in Pietermaritzburg, Central Waste, will take it from there.

“Households will be given a three- month supply of bags,” says Roseanne Griffin, Mondi Packaging KZN marketing executive. “They can put in any­thing recyclable — newspapers, cans, cardboard and plastic — anything except glass.

“The Msunduzi Kerbside Programme was launched in the Chase Valley area as a pilot project in February 2009,” says Griffin.

“It was something of an experiment. We started with 800 households,” she says. It proved so successful it was expanded to three new areas last May — Montrose, Prestbury and Athlone. “That went so well we are now extending it to all Pietermaritzburg suburbs.”

Clarendon, Wembley, Blackridge and Boughton have joined the programme, and the next three areas to be included are Scottsville, Pelham and Hayfields. The aim is to have the entire Msunduzi area covered by the end of 2010.

When the programme was first introduced there were a few hiccups that saw municipal workers collecting the orange bags at the same time as the black rubbish bags. “That appears to be under control,” says Ward 23 councillor Glen McArthur, whose ward includes Wembley, Clarendon, Boughton, Blackridge and Prestbury.

McArthur has also arranged for Jonathan’s Spar in Mayor’s Walk to supply bags. “If you go to the cigarette counter you can get them there,” he says. “But they will only give them to you if you live in the area.”

Bags are issued to households but what about complexes and flat blocks? “Complexes are a specific problem,” says McArthur. “They tend to put everything into the black bags. I am approaching managers of complexes to bring them on board.”

Ward 25 councillor Dave Ryder has done a stocktake of flats and complexes in his ward which includes Chase Valley, Athlone, Montrose, Town Bush, Northern Park and Chasedene. “There are 89 of them and I’m finding someone in each to be a stockist and distributor of the bags. Similarly with households, I cluster a number of streets and find someone in the neighbourhood who is willing to carry and distribute stock.

“People need to have easy access to bags when they run out, so we need to set up more effective forms of distribution,” Ryder says. “I produce a notice that has all the information about what should go in the bags with contact details of the local bag stockist.”

Once you have the bags it’s simple, says Terence Lloys-Ellis, manager of Central Waste. “You put them out at the same time as you put out the black rubbish bags. The municipality take the black bags and we collect the orange ones.”

The orange bags are then brought to Central Waste in Willowton and the recyclables are separated. “Sometimes this is a problem because people put ordinary household rubbish, even nappies, in the bags.”

“We must get across the message that people just have to telephone and get bags if they run out,” he says. “Give a bag full of rubbish and we give back another. It’s a system that should work.”

So far so good, but is this recycling roll-out viable at present, given the current breakdown in rubbish collection throughout the city? Central Waste is finding that residents are putting ordinary rubbish into orange bags, knowing they will be collected.

Will the municipality be running a public education and information programme to coincide with the roll- out of the recycling kerbside programme? Will municipal workers be educated and informed about the roll- out of the project to avoid the earlier hiccups?

Comment on all these issues was sought from Mandla Zuma, chairperson of the Msunduzi Recycling Kerbside Committee (which includes all those interviewed above) but he did not respond to telephone calls and neither did the municipal spokesperson. Questions were then sent via e- mai­l to the municipal spokesperson and to Zuma’s personal assistant. No reply was received.

• If your area is included in the Msunduzi Kerbside Programme and you don’t receive the three- month supply of orange recycling bags, or should you require more bags, call Central Waste at 033 397 0758.


• newspaper, brochures, catalogues, telephone directories, pamphlets, magazines;

• plastic bottles, plastic bags; and

• cans.


• fruit, vegetables and other kitchen waste;

• garden clippings;

• paint tins; and

• glass.



Recycling is the process whereby discarded products and materials are reclaimed or recovered, refined or reprocessed, and converted into new or different products.


• Less waste to landfill sites.

• Conserves natural resources.

• Job creation.

• Fewer polluting emissions to air and water.

• Uses less energy.

• A cleaner environment.

• It is the right thing to do.

• Decreases necessity to import raw materials.



• South Africa’s paper recovery rate is 58,4%.

• Only 30% of all magazines in this country are recycled. Magazines have a way of piling up. One way to clean up the mess is to recycle them. Magazines are easy to recycle and are accepted by all community recycling programmes.



• Increased job opportunities.

• Income-generating.

• If all household paper and cardboard were recycled, ¾ million m3 of landfill space would be saved per annum (local authorities would in the process save substantially in costs per annum from reduced collection and landfill costs).

• 40% less energy is required to manufacture paper from recovered paper.

• Recycled fibre reduces air emissions in papermaking by 70%.


• 3 m3 of landfill space is saved. This reduces costs to municipalities in that their transport costs are reduced and it frees up space at landfill sites (visualise 1 030 000 tons of paper at a landfill site).

• 17 trees are put to other uses. Trees sequester carbon. (It is noteworthy that growing trees for paper manufacture is done in a reponsible way. Trees are a renewable resource and in SA 80% of our plantations are FSC certified — the highest in the world.)

• A substantial amount of energy is saved. Energy saved from paper recycling per annum is sufficient to provide electricity to 512 homes for a year.

• There is a reduction of coal- based emissions of one ton of CO2.



• The cans you use on a daily basis can all be recycled. There is no reason to throw them away. Can recycling also creates employment and conserves irreplaceable natural resources such as iron ore, coal and limestone. Recycling cans also saves energy, as 95% of the electricity used to process steel is saved when recycled can material is used.

• Tin-played steel cans are manufactured from nonrenewable resources. During the recycling process, the tin content of steel cans is dissolved and made into ingots which are sold to companies that use tin.



Making aluminium cans from aluminium takes only five percent of the power it takes to make new cans from bauxite, an ore that is mined from the ground, does. Recycling one aluminium can saves the energy to run a TV for three hours.



You can place all plastic into the orange bags.

This includes:

• cooldrink bottles, shampoo and detergent bottles;

• milk bottles, cleaning products, cosmetics and toiletries;

• clear trays for food, clear bottles;

• frozen-vegetable bags, rubbish bags and soft, squeezable bottles; and

• ice-cream tubs and margarine tubs.

If you have any queries concerning this programme contact Central Waste at 033 397 0758 or mwewaste@mweb.co.za

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.