Be responsible, RECYCLE

2016-02-02 06:00
Keep Hillcrest Beautiful Marge Mitchell and employee Welcome Ngcobom at the Drop off Centre with orange bags for recyclng plastic. Photo: Kalisha Naicker

Keep Hillcrest Beautiful Marge Mitchell and employee Welcome Ngcobom at the Drop off Centre with orange bags for recyclng plastic. Photo: Kalisha Naicker

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THE recycling centre in Delamore Road is managed by the Keep Hillcrest Beautiful Association (KHBA) and is well supported by recyclers.
It has served the public for eight years, and employs three previously disadvantaged people.

However, Marge Mitchell of the KHBA said there are some community members who don’t abide by the centre’s laws and because of this it has erected CCTV cameras to keep track of offenders.

“We have in 2015, at our own expense, erected surveillance cameras. In December, 2015, the cameras picked up a silver Toyota double-cab, dumping banners from a well-known retail business. On checking the registration number with SAPS, it turned out that the number plates were false and belonged to a yellow Datsun. That is the kind of selfish, irresponsible behaviour we face at the site.

“What is not realised perhaps is that KHBA has to dispose of refuse and rubbish left by such persons at our own expense.”

Up to 25 tons of recyclable material is collected every month, consisting of paper, cardboard, cans, polystyrene (from appliances) and glass bottles. 90% of all income derived is paid to the staff.

Mitchell said that for eight years plastic has been accepted.
“This used to be collected unsorted by a service provider. Four years ago it was required to sort the plastic into seven categories. Soon after, they suspended plastic collection altogether as it was a loss leader.

“Then followed a frantic time of finding service providers who were prepared to pick up from our site. We employed an extra person just to sort the plastic. However, the task of sorting has become so onerous, with no return, that it was decided in January to stop accepting plastic at the recycling site. We apologise for any inconvenience.”

She said the community should be aware that the municipality has an “orange bag” system whereby one puts plastic into orange bags, which are then placed on the pavement on normal refuse collection days.

“Plastic has become a worldwide pollution problem, polluting our waters, seas and land, killing fish and animals and filling landfill sites.

“We urge the public to try and limit their use of plastic as much as possible and help make 2016 a plastic-free year.”

The Plastic Recycling Association of South Africa explains the problems associated with plastic recycling, and the following are three main barriers to increased plastic recycling:

• Insufficient separation at source: domestic and office waste should be separated at source. Without separation, recyclable material becomes mixed up with non-recyclable material and arrives at municipal dumps in a form that is difficult for on-site waste pickers to separate.

  • • 22 plastic recycling streams: there are six major grades of plastic and within each of these grades are a number of sub-grades all of which are recycled separately. Recycling collectors need to be able to identify and separate out these grades prior to sale to organisations that convert the plastic waste into a reusable form.

  • • Many plastic products can’t be recycled: A number of plastic products simply can’t be recycled, for instance plastic carpeting that has been glued down to flooring. In recent times advances in packaging technology have also led to the emergence of plastic pouches made from more than one type of plastic. These pouches increase the shelf life of products that they hold, however they are not recyclable with current technology.

“Please think about trying to reduce your use of plastic,” she added.
For more information, contact Mitchell on 083 419 3807.

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