Recycling wobbles

Serious about the environment? Great! But what do you do about it in Cape Town, RSA?

We know where to take paper, and cardboard’s easy, as there’s always a visible streetperson collecting board to exchange for a few Rands at a depot. What about the glass, cans & plastic? That’s another matter. There’s no website to visit and no lists available in public places (or anywhere for that matter) of what can be dumped where.

I have a number of ancient paint tins to dispose of and phoned City Council for this info, with no joy.  I eventually visited Waste Management in Whale Street, to be told I must take these to the toxic waste depot, somewhere in the sticks, where I will be charged for acceptance thereof! I also asked about batteries, as we all know these are toxic and should not be thrown into the bin. These evidently also must be taken to the same depot.  I wonder how many batteries are thrown into dustbins daily and what the effect of their poisonous leakage is?



  1. Glen said,

    May 3, 2007 at 3:33 pm

    The City of Cape Town really has to do more to encourage recycling. I take my recycling to Footprints in Wynberg and there are a few other places. It is crazy that you have to pay to dispose of hazardous substances, no wonder landfill sites are toxic.

  2. Fiona said,

    August 28, 2007 at 12:59 pm

    For general recycling (including glass, cans, plastic etc), there’s a door-to-door recycling collection initiative that you might want to check out – for a small monthly fee (R20), Abundance Recycling Service will collect all your recyclables (not sure about batteries and other toxic stuff, though) and deliver it to Footprints in Wynberg or Oasis in Claremont. Here’s their url:

    You can also take a look at the Council’s Integrated Waste Exchange site – – they match “waste material generators” to “waste material users”, though again, this is probably not that helpful for disposing of the nasties. Still, it’s a useful source of all kinds of odd things.

  3. Anne C said,

    February 25, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    Glen, I hear you! It’s a nightmare out there.. I’ve found a company that’s very helpful in telling me who recycles what where when and how – i don’t know if they do hazardous substances but they’ve told me where to take (actually, they’ve collected) all of my questionable stuff before, so maybe hopefully they’ll point you in the right direction..

    We must create a demand and voice it loudly for these things to be picked up by council. no demand = no action, it seems..

    Anyway, try Clearer Conscience (sp?).. I don’t know the landline number offhand, but the cell is 084 603 0961.

    Hope you come right.


  4. Leo said,

    April 22, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    Experienced a similar problem in QLD, Australia.

  5. Andy Conder said,

    May 11, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    I have a small recycling service called Clearer Conscience. We’re starting to make big inroads into Cape Town’s recycling problems. Please call us on 084 603 0961, or email on and we’ll let you know what we can do for you.

  6. Madeleine du Toit said,

    October 14, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Do any of you have contacts in Pretoria??? I live in a retirement complex – a small one, not much more than a dozen people here, living independently in cottages/simplexes. We already have a recycling bin for paper. I would like us to do more, but I think I should have a solid proposition before I put it to the office.

  7. February 4, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Great ideas, and an interesting discussion topic, more please, thanks.

  8. January 24, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    I recently did a “school” project on Cape Town recycling and on the surface , ie web sites etc it looks very up togther, so the local council arn’t joining up the dots eh?

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