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Sandton Central, and many of its local businesses, has welcomed the implementation of the City of Johannesburg’s mandatory separation-at-source programme.

With the City’s landfills fast running out of space, fast, its voluntary separation-at-source programme, launched in 2009, has had some impacts –  but not nearly enough. To increase recycling, separation at source has now become compulsory in many areas of the city, including Sandton.

Elaine Jack, City Improvement District Manager of Sandton Central Management District believes the area is set to increase its positive environmental impact through the programme.

“Sandton Central is home to what is arguably the continent’s biggest number of certified green buildings in a CBD, it’s an international example of eco-mobility, and it has three lovely green parks – it’s a world-class leading city that prioritises good environmental practices. To those who are already recycling, we say well done and thank you. The more we work together, the bigger our positive impacts,” she says.

Recycling made easy

The mandatory separation-at-source programme will be phased in and the focus for phase one will be in areas where it has already started. Each home will receive a clear or blue plastic bag weekly, in which to place recyclables such as paper, plastic, metal (cans) and glass for collection.

Multi-unit dwellings, like residential apartments and complexes, will receive recycling bags through their body corporates or chosen body. (If you’re not receiving bags, call Joburg Connect on 0860562874).

By placing dry recyclable waste in a separate bag for collection, less waste will go to the city’s landfills, and more waste will be reused and recycled. Keeping it simple, recyclables are collected on the same day as refuse.

The right thing to do

Recycling in this way will also continue to support waste pickers, with more recyclables available at the point where they typically collect what’s valuable to them.

In areas where the separation-at-source programme is still not rolled out, residents are encouraged to take recyclables to the nearest garden site/drop-off centre. Garden waste, however, must be dropped at a Pikitup drop off site for compositing or further processing.

“There are no penalties to enforce mandatory separation at source; but that’s not the point. It’s the responsible thing to do, and the environmental cost of not recycling is huge,” says Jack.

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