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Households are taking to Pikitup’s Separation at Source pilot recycling project, with more and more people coming on board and using the three receptacle system.
ITS Separation at Source recycling project is going well, says Pikitup. The project has been running for over a year.


Waste is put in separate bagsSeparating waste at sourceThe communications manger of Joburg’s integrated waste management company, Pansy Jali-Oyedele, says: “In November 2009, Pikitupidentified the Waterval area as a pilot site for the Separation at Source project and, due to its success, it is running even to date.”

She explains: “The main goals of the Separation at Source initiative were to ensure full adoption of the waste hierarchy by the City and the community and to effect waste reduction by introducing community-based separation at source of recyclable waste.”

It needed to comply with the provisions of the National Environment Management: Waste Act and help to reduce the demand for waste collection and disposal services. Thus its success would be determined by whether it could develop self-sustainable waste recycling programmes among the community.

A pilot project, it was done to establish sustainable measures so that it could be extended to other areas of the country.

“To garner full community support, a community education and awareness campaign was developed,” says Jali-Oyedele.

This included door-to-door education about recycling, door-to-door distribution of educational recycling pamphlets, information stickers on 240-litre wheelie bins, participation on radio talk shows and exhibitions at shopping centres and malls. Schools and churches were also visited.

On average, each month 204 tons of recyclable waste has been diverted away from landfills.

“The participation rate of households in the project has also gradually increased from 4 318 households in November 2009 to 6 946 households in December 2010. The December 2010 participation rate reflects a participation rate by households of 20 percent, which is exceptionally high for a project of this nature.”

Moving forward, Pikitup would like to promote the establishment of bottle banks at strategic sites, including at garden sites, to cut transport costs. It would also like to extend the three receptacle system used in the pilot project. In this system, the 240-litre wheelie bin is used by households for non-recyclable waste; they are given a clear plastic bag for dry recyclables such as plastics, cans and glass; and a separate orange Mondi Ronnie bag for paper.

All of these are collected weekly by Pikitup, on the same day.

Separation at Source
The project began in the northwestern areas serviced by Pikitup’s Waterval depot. The bags are distributed in Parkview, Fleurhof, Fairland, Victory Park, Emmarentia, Linden, Bosmont, Forest Town, Berario, Westcliff, Richmond, Greymont, Montroux, Greenside, Mayfair, Triomf and Martindale.

Each house receives a clear refuse bag for recyclables such as cans and bottles, and an orange Mondi Ronnie bag for paper and cardboard, to add to their 240-litre black wheelie bin for wet and dry non-recyclable material. All the waste is collected by Pikitup on the same day as the usual refuse collection.

One of the most important aspects was telling people about the project. At the time of its launch, Jali-Oyedele said: “Residents need to be further educated about separation at source and how recycling can have a positive impact in their personal lives as well as on the environment.”

It was the first project of its kind in the province, and was aimed at encouraging residents to help minimise waste at landfills through recycling their own waste. Through it, people also learned about recycling and its value.

Recyclable materials are paper, cans, glass bottles and plastics; non-recyclable waste includes items such as light bulbs, food scraps and broken crockery.

“It must be emphasised that the Separation at Source project is a pilot study intended to yield data that will inform Pikitup of the sustainability of such a project as well as the best way to implement separation at source throughout Johannesburg,” she said after the launch.

A by-product has been job creation – training is needed to implement the door-to-door education campaign.

Legal dumping
In another effort to reduce the amount of waste that is taken to landfills, earlier this month, Pikitup announced the go-ahead of legal dumping.

This means building contractors are able to dump their building rubble at two designated landfill sites – at no charge. The sites are the Marie Louise Landfill on Dobsonville Road in Roodepoort and the Robinson Deep site on Turffontein Road in Turffontein.

The rubble must be clean and must consist of materials that are less than the standard brick size, while the soil must have a maximum particle size of 20mm.

Jali-Oyedele says that as part of its recycling strategy, Pikitup’s disposal management division usually re-uses the building rubble as cover material at landfill sites.

“The only requirement for this free service is that construction companies and contractors must open an account with Pikitup,” she says. ”This will enable them to dispose of clean and uncontaminated rubble at the two landfill sites.”

This free service was introduced in a bid to combat illegal dumping since rubble constitutes a significant amount of illegally dumped waste. This service is also open to the public if they open an account with Pikitup.

For more information on the disposal of building rubble at the sites, contact Joburg Connect on 011 375 5555 or send an email to More information is available online.

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