Landfills in the country are running out of space rapidly. 108 million tonnes of waste is generated by South Africans each year. The rate of waste generation is not the only problem we are facing. The management of landfills is also a dilemma.

This crisis is evident in many cities such as Cape Town, where only 71 out of the 164 landfills are operational. This is a big issue that solved if everyone works together as a community.

So what can you do?


Do your research about the rules of recycling. Find what the recycling symbols mean. Symbol or colours can be found on recycling bins. Different symbols and colours tell you what you can and can not put in them.

Once you know what you can and can’t recycle it’s an easy process.

Reduce plastic

This may sound complicated but it’s a simple concept. You need to be more aware of the plastics you buy. Use canvas bags for shopping instead of plastic bags. Don’t use straws or plastic cutlery. Try to buy food in biodegradable or recyclable packaging.

Food Waste

Food waste is a bigger problem than it is perceived. Some ways to do this is making a meal plan for yourself or your family. You can make sure you buy the right amount of food and don’t have to throw away food that goes off. You can also create a compost heap or earthworm farm to put your food waste to good use. If you don’t have space go to your local compost heap and leave your food there.


Try to be innovative and practical by creating your own cleaning products and other items.

Here is a more easy way to reduce waste.

For some inspiration check out Lauren Singer, a blogger, who kept four years worth of rubbish in a single mason jar.

Waste and recycling drop-offs


There is are a few drop-off sites in Cape Town. Guidelines for recycling according to the Western Cape Government. Here are 23 drop-off sites you can go to in Cape Town.

Think Twice Recycling

Think Twice Recycling is a free recycling service for areas in the Northern Suburbs, the Atlantic area (all the way from Blouberg down to Hout Bay), the South Peninsula, the Helderberg area and Kraaifontein and the Southern Suburbs. They pick up paper, plastic, glass and tin, where you place reusable goods in clear plastic bags. These can be loaded on top of other rubbish in standard black bins. The reusable goods don’t need to be separated, and there is no limit to the number of bags that can be picked up. Collection happens on the same day as your normal rubbish collection day, except in areas provided with specific bins where pick-ups are done the day after standard refuse collection (areas that get their rubbish collected on Fridays will have their recyclables collected on Mondays).

Regenize Recycling Collection

Regenize is in areas from Bellville all the way down to Cape Town and close to the Atlantic seaboard. Regenize motivates people to recycle through a points system. If you recycle at a high rate you can earn vouchers. The only downside is there is a fee but you can also get discounts by getting your friends and neighbours to join the revolution. They offer household recycling, school recycling and corporate recycling.

Clearer Conscience Recycling Company

Clearer Conscience Recycling Company is in areas from Cape Town’s CBD to Fish Hoek Clearer Conscience. The company’s biodiesel fuelled trucks collect pre-separated paper, plastic, tin, glass from residents and businesses from R60 per month. Collections can be made from twice a week to once a month. They also collect other matter, like e-waste and green waste as well as clothes and bric-a-brac, which is donated to charity shops.

You can find maps of various different drop off sites like  Depot Sites, Landfill Sites and Garden Sites


This collection service is in  Douglasdale, Lonehill, Jukskei Park, Magaliessig, Dainfern, Olivedale, Sharonlea, Jukskei Park, Johannesburg North, Northwold, Kya Sands, Honeydew. The service provides wheelie bins for your recyclables and has a weekly or fortnightly collection options for a fee.

Whole Earth

This company offers collection service and sorts out your recycling for you. There is a monthly fee which is custom designed for you. Companies, residents and complexes can use this service. They provide bags and bins for recyclables.

You can find the multiple services that Durban has regarding waste here.


Oricol is a cool and innovative company that offers a multitude of services. It is based in Durban, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth. Go check out their site and see for yourself.

Try to incorporate these tips and ideas to reduce your waste. Once you have gotten a hang of reducing your waste inform your neighbours. Get them excited about reducing waste as well.

It takes active citizens and good neighbours to make a change. Here is a good summary of how we can recycle and manage waste.

From your friendly Neighbours at Ourhood