Joburg to get recycling laws

2011-08-01 08:54

Johannesburg - Johannesburg residents will have to do their own waste separation or risk being fined if proposed new waste-management bylaws are put in place, according to a report in The Times on Monday.

The spokesperson for the City of Johannesburg, Gugu Mathibela, said the new bylaws were being drafted and would be available for public comment in four months.

He said it would be part of a "carrot-and-stick" approach to help the city meet its obligations in terms of the domestic waste collection standards set by the National Waste Act, which was launched in January.

"National legislation has set targets for waste minimisation and this has implications for local governments. It forces the city to meet its legislative mandate and the bylaw will facilitate that," said Mathibela.

The bylaws would be introduced following the findings of a pilot project by Johannesburg waste management's Pikitup.

The pilot project, which started in 2009 and involved 35 000 households, had achieved varying degrees of success, said Pikitup spokesperson Pansy Oyedele.

Residents were asked to sort their recyclable waste, putting paper into orange bags and glass and other recyclable items in clear bags.

Environmental Affairs spokesperson Albi Modise said the department encouraged the adoption of a new regime in which less waste was produced and cities across South Africa were required to have recycling systems in place.

  • Tamz.S - 2011-08-01 08:57

    Brilliant! These needs to happen all over the country!

      Gary - 2011-08-01 09:24

      Indeed. There is no reason why we all shouldn't be asked to do it. But pickitup are a private firm right? So in other words they are going to sell off our pre-sorted gear for a profit right? I hope that this is being done for the right reasons.

      McDaNife - 2011-08-01 09:53

      I already do it, just for paper. Glass and recycable items if introduced wont be a problem.

      Riaan - 2011-08-01 11:01

      It has already been implemented in the Western Cape a few years back. Surprise, surprise.

  • Linda Brown - 2011-08-01 09:03

    I already do it...

  • Thor - 2011-08-01 09:07

    I do this voluntarily already. I do however not support a law on this. Not until I trust the city of joburg and law enforcement at least. Just opens up a new avenue for corruption and punishment for law abiding citizens.

  • Newsferret - 2011-08-01 09:11

    Will love to see this applied in Alexandra and Soweto to name but two areas.

      lollie sue - 2011-08-01 11:52

      Hillbrow as well

  • Mike or Mpho - 2011-08-01 09:16

    This is great news! As Thor commented, I also worry about this system turning corrupt very quickly, as others being implemented by this useless government. But alas, it is a thought process in the right direction and I will support it.

  • maneki - 2011-08-01 09:18

    About time! Now if we can only get Pikitup to do their part...

  • Exoteric - 2011-08-01 09:19

    All of you good citizens dont realise that they just throw it all together when it gets to the landfill anyway, good intentions...

  • annie.kalahari - 2011-08-01 09:19

    Why do SA authorities always immediate start making threats even before citizens haven't complied with new rules? Seperating trash is no big deal and most people who care for the environment already don't mind doing it at all.There's something eminently satisfying in realising that trash has value too: in the Netherlands, most of my trash is recycled into valuable products such as resaleable compost, toiletpaper, cardboard: or used as an energy source to generate electricity.

      Gorilla - 2011-08-01 10:34

      Annie, all legislation in SA these days seems to be centered around generating cash for the cookie jar. With the projects and needs of communities needing cash on the increase, and the pool of available cash for these funds decreasing, you can bet that the methods of obtaining cash from certain sectors of the population is going to get more and more creative.

  • Mike - 2011-08-01 09:22

    And let me guess, some tenderpreneur is waiting in the wings to make hundreds of millions from winning the recycling contract. Cynical? Show me one initiative that was done with pure motives to date.

      Vernon - 2011-08-01 10:32

      And not to forget - the next step will be separate "wheelie bins" that every houshold will have to purchase - despite our fellow citizens view that everything needs to be provided "free". Also who takes responsibility for the mixing of the household refuse by the "bag ladies" that make a point of sifting through the refuse when it is put out for collection? BUT I do support this exercise, just that it has not been thought through properly.

  • HowardX - 2011-08-01 09:37

    Dumb idea, and ignores reality as usual. Haven't they noticed that the streets are full of rubbish picking "recyclers" every rubbish day morning? These ppl pick what they can sell which is, by definition, recyclable. Why not support and enhance that informal industry and by so doing provide jobs at the same time? Unfortunately, the Joburg leadership is unanimously too switched off, incompetent and downright stupid to see opportunity like that.

      Mike or Mpho - 2011-08-01 09:42

      Or, you can employ them (by the recycling companies) stable job = stable income = less unemployment = reduced crime rate.

      Mike or Mpho - 2011-08-01 09:45

      Assuming off course that the unions do not mess this up and force their people to strike every month...maybe I am being too optimistic here

      HowardX - 2011-08-01 09:57

      I see it as being similar to the petrol station pump jockeys - we're the only country in the world where someone fills up for you, but that's because there is a supply of cheap labour and people are willing to pay a few rands every time. Let recycling be the same - let people make a living and allow the market or subsidies determine the recyclable value of goods.

      Shorts1 - 2011-08-01 10:14

      Have you watched these so-called female street cleaners employed by the Jhb. Metro, dressed in their orange work clothes?? They wander around together in their designated areas in two's & three's, chatting with each other the whole day, every day, as, in between tea and lunch breaks, they usually fill their bags with rubbish that has already been placed by more caring residents in the bins situated on a number of the street corners. There does not appear to be any supervision of these so called 'workers?'. A complete waste of time & money. But just watch the energy levels when it comes to them 'toy-toying' whilst on strike action demanding higher pay.

  • kitchenboy3 - 2011-08-01 09:43

    so will we get a rubbish police as opposed to police that is rubbish?

  • LCBXX - 2011-08-01 10:02

    Perhaps Government should first teach the masses about throwing their trash INTO trash receptacles before embarking on an expensive exercise on recycling?

  • Shorts1 - 2011-08-01 10:03

    Sort out your pathetic financial administration, stamp out corruption & wastage of funds within the municipality, properly address your service delivery inefficiencies, charge realistic prices for valid & effective services and we will happily sort out our rubbish.

  • Douglas Hendry - 2011-08-01 10:03

    Put refunds on all bottles and cans. The unemployed can collect them, and get the refunds. Reduces waste and unemployment in 1 stroke.

      Looter - 2011-08-01 15:41

      and why cant people like you get paid high sums of money to solve our problems...what you stated in one sentence would have cost us tax payers hundreds of thousands to solve this issue!

  • Ismail - 2011-08-01 10:05

    Good initiative as long as they improve the collection service. where the project is being piloted the paper and glass dont always get collected

  • Badballie - 2011-08-01 10:15

    Don't have a problem with it if the bags are actually picked up, I put out the different bags and normally have to put the orange and clear bags into black bags to get rid of them the following week because no one has come around to collect them

  • Genevieve Pearson - 2011-08-01 10:16

    Excellent news! Long overdue....

  • gr3nsl3ves - 2011-08-01 10:27


  • Lida - 2011-08-01 10:28

    LCBXX I agree with the first part. Educate them in throwing thrash in bins. Some areas are filthy. I already split paper plastic etc. and street collectors come before pick it up to take the recycle items. Good for them it gives them an income

  • AJ - 2011-08-01 10:28

    fantastic. Its about time people take responsibility for the rubbish it produced. As long as the people who collect it keep it separated.

  • Bessie - 2011-08-01 10:33

    I live in an area with the pilot project. There is a significant decrease in "other" if you recycle - would be wonderful if it is rolled out across the whole of Johannesburg. But then again, I've always tried to recycle as much as possible. Maybe it is just a question of attitude and your sense of duty.

  • Stryder - 2011-08-01 10:39

    Love to see this happen in complexes where the wheely bins are communal. Fully support the initiative though.

  • Mike Hoxbig - 2011-08-01 10:52

    I don't mind, but how will this be enforced in informal settlements?

  • Arno van der Merwe - 2011-08-01 10:54

    If they give us the means to do this, I'm all for it. But this just looks like another good idea that won't be properly enforced. I haven't received my orange bag for the last 3 weeks.

  • WillF - 2011-08-01 11:05

    In most suburbs in Cape Town this has been going on for about 2 years. You put all your recyclable material together in a clear plastic bag that is provided. It is put out with your black bag. Wasteplan collect the clear bags and the municipality collect the black bags. The bag is clear so that can give it a quick visual - no containers containing food etc. In Europe they are also moving away from having 6 bins in the house to 1 recycling bin - even in Germany they were getting confused what goes where. Interestingly one of the poorer suburbs - Maccassar - has one of the highest recycling rates in the WC through this municipality initiative.

      Ulrich - 2011-08-01 12:26

      I love it!

  • Joerg - 2011-08-01 11:21

    Why do we need by-laws? Any environmentally conscious person would do it voluntarily. You just need the proper infrastructure. Some of the bigger shopping centres in JHb offer recycling bins already. We need more of those not silly by-laws. Who is going to enforce them anyway? Traffic cops? SA is always good at promulgating laws and regulations but very poor at enforcing them!

  • v3 - 2011-08-01 11:21

    I hope that during the next municipal workers' strike they remember to trash the streets in separate piles. Perhaps this should be part of the new by-laws.

  • Horza - 2011-08-01 11:23

    Yeah sure whatever, good plan. Who is getting the money?

  • PaddyP - 2011-08-01 11:56

    Absolutely wonderful! I already recycle all paper (thanks to Mondi's Ronnie Bag - wish they would roll it out to more areas. They pick it up from my pavement & throw the bag back over the wall. It's great. I will be an active participant. My sister in Ireland has to do this & they get separate bins for this purpose.

  • madras - 2011-08-01 12:07

    If they supply the bags or container, I will do so, if not, no chance.

  • dk.nicky - 2011-08-01 12:18

    Been doing it in the Cape for years now. Now only have one shopping bag of items going to the dump for the MONTH. Rest is all recycled and food items goes to the worm box!!! And it takes zero effort!

  • African_meisie - 2011-08-01 12:31

    Excellent news!! I have been recycling for years!

  • Robbie - 2011-08-01 12:45

    No need to have a law... sort at the tip site as many places do overseas. BUT reward citizens that do sort with a cut in rates!

  • zackie - 2011-08-01 13:01

    this is a good idea but can they implement it successfully as govt tends to messup

  • BigA - 2011-08-01 15:38

    we don't need it. i have an "entrepreneur" every week going through my garbage sorting things out. Job creation.

  • Stirer - 2011-08-01 18:48

    What's the point? It all ends up the the same Pick It Up truck as though it wasn't separated in the first place.

  • Joy Thorpe - 2011-08-02 12:15

    It's about time !

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