Reduce, reuse, recycle

2016-02-16 06:00

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THE article in the Hillcrest Fever (2 February), titled “Be responsible, recycle” has resulted in many concerned and responsible recyclers contacting the Hillcrest Drop-off Centre about plastic recycling.

The main and most pressing question is, “why are you no longer accepting plastic?”

Marge Mitchell of the Keep Hillcrest Beautiful Association, who spearheaded the drop-off centre, said that the very short answer is that they are merely a drop-off centre.

“We do not recycle. The service providers and/or collectors who collect plastic from us require the plastic to be washed and blow dried before collection. Payment is poor – R100 per month for some 10 or so sorted bags of plastic, which has taken hours to sort,” she said.

Marge provided a graph to explain this.

  • The graph indicates the amount of plastic that is recycled in SA – approximately 20%. Therefore 80% goes to the landfill site. Plastics/SA statistics is that 280 000 tons, equivalent to 20% of plastic, was recycled in 2013. Simple arithmetic gives the figure of 1.4 million tons going to the landfill sites.

  • The reason why plastic has a poor recycling record is best answered by the South African Plastic Recycling Organisation (Sapro). Find it on the internet and inquire.

  • Also contact Plastics/SA on 011 653 3764 for more information on this issue.
    “One just has to look at the mountain of plastic that was washed into the Umgeni mouth recently to realise how big the problem of plastic is in SA.

  • Our site in Delamore Road, which is managed by volunteers of the Keep Hillcrest Beautiful Association, is merely a drop-off site. Our collectors such as Mpact, Collect-a-Can, and Consol Glass are the actual recyclers.

    “Having material dropped at a central site makes it easier for them to collect relatively larger quantities, making the process viable for them,” she said.

  • eThekwini Municipality has the “orange bag” project for the collection of plastic.

    Residents place their plastic into these bags which are put out on normal refuse collection days for collection by agents, who deliver to a local plastic recycling company.

For more information or explanation, contact Marge Mitchell on 083 419 3807.

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