Update

This recycling guide was produced in 2011 and some of the information is now out of date. We will be updating this guide in the near future but for now we recommend you download the 2018 edition of The Beginner's Guide to Recycling which contains more up-to-date information on recycling. The guide is free to download.

Where to take your recyclables?

(We are in the process of updating this page, so consider it a work in progress. It’s been quite a while since we first compiled this information and a lot has changed. But now that we have updated the Beginner’s Guide to Recycling in South Africa, we intend to update the information on this page as well. Please feel free to send us information about recycling in your home town to add to this list.)

You have three recycling options: (1) organise yourself a kerbside or office collection service; (2) take your recyclables to a municipal drop-off point or a buy-back centre; (3) let informal recyclers take your recyclables to a buy-back centre.

1. KERBSIDE / OFFICE COLLECTION SERVICES

These are run by private companies and you generally, but not always, have to pay for the service.  Fortunately, they aren’t prohibitively expensive and the convenience factor often makes the price worthwhile. The beauty of kerbside or office collection services is that that they give you a list of the material they collect and all you have to do is rinse off the food residues and pop it into a bag or a wheelie bin (or whatever receptacle your service prefers).
Then once every week or fortnight, you put your wheelie bin or bag on the pavement and a truck comes and takes it away. This makes recycling so easy that you won’t find it a hassle at all.

National

Remade has offices in Gauteng (in Germiston, Jeppestown, Newtown, Wynberg,  Randfontein, Springs and Pretoria West), in Nelspruit in Mpumalanga and Rustenburg in North West. The company offers a variety of recycling services, including commercial, industrial, office and domestic. It also runs a network of buy-back centres that cater to hawkers.

Johannesburg

Ecomonkey. This collection service operates in Johannesburg in the following suburbs: Douglasdale, Lonehill, Jukskei Park, Magaliesig, Dainfern, Olivedale, Sharonlea, Jukskei Park, Johannesburg North, Northwold, Kya Sands, Honeydew. The company is setting up recycling centres in Pretoria, on the East Rand and in Cape Town. It is also planning to open recycling centres for the Vaal and Hartbeespoort. In fact, its aim is to eventually go national. The service provides wheelie bins for your recyclables and has a weekly or fortnightly collection options. The website has more detailed information about what recyclables are collected and prices.

Whole Earth Recycling charges a monthly collection fee and carries out weekly collections from houses (including complexes and estates), offices and schools in most suburbs in Johannesburg – these are listed on their website www.wholeearth.co.za.

Whole Earth Recycling provides you with 10 blue recycling refuse bags every month. All of the recycling (paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, cans, cartons such as Tetra Pak and electronic waste i.e., anything with a plug) can be placed into the same blue bag. You put your recycling outside on your kerb every week on your designated recycling collection day and the company will collect it. For more information go to www.wholeearth.co.za or phone (011) 791- 4537 or (011) 791- 4558.

Cape Town

Clearer Conscience. This company operates a kerbside collection service in Cape Town’s CBD, city bowl, Atlantic seaboard and southern suburbs – and is looking to expand. On their website there’s a useful list of what you can recycle that you can print and stick on your fridge. You can have your recyclables collected once a month or twice a week – it all depends on your particular needs. They also take clothes, plants, e-waste and green waste if you make a prior arrangement.

Recycle 1st is a new business collecting recyclables from homes and businesses in Cape Town’s northern suburbs. Collections are twice a month. The website has a list of prices and the recyclables that are collected. For information you can contact recycle [at] recycle1st.co.za.

2. DROP-OFF POINTS AND BUY-BACK CENTRES
If you go this route, you will have to separate your recyclables at home and have somewhere to store them until you take them to a drop-off site or buy-back centre.

GENERAL RECYCLABLES
My Waste is a really useful resource to help you find out where you can take your recyclable materials. It lets you search for the drop-off points and buy-back centres around South Africa by the type of material you want to recycle.

METAL
BEVERAGE CANS
Collect-a-can is the main collector of used beverage cans. They have offices in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Vanderbijlpark, Durban and Cape Town, as well as Botswana, Namibia and Lesotho. (See their website for more information and contact details.)

GLASS
If your looking for information about glass banks visit the Glass Recycling Company’s website and choose the “Find a Glass Bank” menu.

PAPER & TETRAPAK
Mpact Recycling operates a kerbside collection service using the familiar green Ronnie bags. They also offer collection services for offices, small businesses and schools. They take paper and Tetrapak. For information visit