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How to do recycling without leaving your house.

Last year I took my first foray into recycling. I wasn’t able to find out much, but what I did find was useful. Recycle or trash?

Recycling in Johannesburg

Since then I have found out a lot more. Johannesburg streets often ring with the sound of wheels rattling past our houses in the early hours of the morning.

The sound is the trolleys used by the plastic collectors that are rummaging through our bins for plastic that they can take to the recycling plant to earn a little cash. I recently learnt that if they take any plastic that cannot be recycled; they have to pay the recycling people to have it removed. This may be why you often find a mess around your garbage bin as they separate what they can earn from and leave the rest behind.

None of these people recycle glass or tin cans.

Paper is also collected by Ronnie Recycling, so that is not a problem in most areas.

Paper recycling
Paper Recycling,

You never have to go to the dump again

The trouble with most other recycling is that you have to take it to the dump, or PnP, Woolworths, which have small collection boxes for items like globes and batteries.

Woolworths Recycling bins

Then I found Whole Earth Recycling.  They supply you will blue recycling bags in which you can place recyclable products. They collect weekly or bi-monthly in most areas. The fees for my area are extremely reasonable and work on a sliding scale.

As we begin to work through our weekly sorting goals, this service will come in handy. They collect broken appliances big,and small, including computers, cables and old telephones.

Do you know what to recycle?

There is a full list on their website of what you can and can’t recycle.

I have about 30 glass bottles collecting dust as I did not want to put them in my refuse. If they break they can injure the garbage collectors. I have been too lazy to take them to the dump and now I don’t have to.

Please remember when you recycle tin cans, bottles or plastic that contained food, they must be rinsed thoroughly, before you place them in a blue bag.

Let’s get our country clean and help reduce pollution. Join me in my recycling effort either by signing up with a recycling company or taking your recyclable waste to the nearest municipal dump. I have really only researched Johannesburg, if you are in another area, province or country lets us know what you are doing for your recycling.

As I said, I am using Whole Earth Recycling for my collection. Prices work on a sliding scale but the fee is very reasonable. Go to  www.wholeearth.co.za to find out what it will cost you.

Whole Earth Recycling

Whole Earth Recycling
Whole Earth Recycling

Here is a little about Whole Earth.

Whole Earth Recycling was founded in March 2007 at Cluny Farm. Sorting was done by 4 sorters until 2008. Whole Earth Recycling then moved to Décor Park in 2009 and finally to Strijdom Park where they started their community based project in 2011.

Carmen Rayner purchased Whole Earth Recycling at the end of 2014 and the company hopes to grow from strength to strength. Whole Earth Recycling provides a simple, reliable and hassle-free way to recycle and by supporting Whole Earth Recycling you are supporting a wonderful community based project; a group of sorters calling themselves Hawk Flight.

How did it all begin?

The recyclable material that Whole Earth Recycling collects is sorted by the Hawk Flight team, currently a group of 24 sorters, and they generate an income for themselves by sorting and selling the material to a local buy-back centre. This is their only source of income and without it they would be rummaging through Municipal refuse bins (in most cases mixed with expired food etc.) in order to gather recyclables to sell. By recycling you are contributing towards job creation (a total of around 40 people), directly through the Whole Earth Recycling admin team, the drivers, and the truck assistants (loaders) and indirectly through the community based project, while reducing the impact that we are having on our environment. Every little bit helps.

Their collection service in its basic outline is:

Blue recycling bag
Blue Bags for recycling
  • They provide you with 10 blue recycling refuse bags every month;
  • All of your recycling (paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, cans, cartons such as Tetra Pak and electronic waste- anything with a plug) can be placed into the same blue bag- Hawk Flight take care of the sorting;
  • Place your recycling outside on your kerb every week (different days, for different areas) for collection and they will collect it.

The service costs for a household are as follows:

  • Registration fee (once off) R 114.00 AND
  • Collection fee of R 85.00 (depending on how many households use the service) per month to be paid in advance as follows:

The cost is around   R 85.00 (worked out on a sliding scale) for Feb 2017. Please note that there will be a small price increase of R 10.00 per month (R 2.50 per week) in March 2017 due to the increase in transport costs, blue recycling refuse bags etc. and please note that they haven’t increased their prices in two years.



The bags are included in the collection fee (a limit of 10 blue bags per month are provided. However, you are welcome to purchase extra blue bags from them at R 10.00 per roll of 10 bags or from your local supermarket).

Blue Recycling Bin
Large recycling bin

If you would like to make use of a blue 240L blue wheelie bin we can order one for you at R 855.00 each including VAT, delivery and a Whole Earth wheelie bin sticker. Alternatively, if you have a spare wheelie bin you could place a Whole Earth wheelie bin sticker on your existing wheelie bin. The stickers are R 39.90 each including VAT. Please note that they require the contents of the bin to be in bags for collection purposes. It is not necessary to purchase a wheelie bin; our team is quite happy to collect the loose blue bags.

If you would like to make use of their collection services please contact them on (011)791-4537.

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