Let’s make "separation at source" the heart of recycling.

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Did you know that South Africa now has a fixed set of rules that waste generators and disposers have to comply with? The National Environmental Management Waste Act was introduced in March 2009. Separating recyclables at household level is a requirement in terms of the Waste Act. The National Waste Management strategy requires all metropolitan municipalities, secondary cities and large towns to initiate programmes for waste separation at source by 2016. We can provide tips on how you can be ahead of the pack.

Seperation at Source

"Separation at Source" refers to the practice of setting aside post-consumer materials and household goods so that they do not enter mixed waste streams. This process diverts waste from the rapidly-filling landfill sites. Separating your household waste has a significant and positive impact on the environment. It is as easy as using a black bin for non-recyclable household waste, and a clear durable plastic bag for plastics, glass, cans, paper etc.

After putting out your waste on waste collection day, informal collectors in your area can collect the clear bags. If the municipality truck collects your clear recycling bags together with your black bags, the recyclable bag will reach recycling sorters at landfill site who will be able to sort and sell the material to local recycling companies. Recycling at home should not be a difficult undertaking, once you have given it some thought, it will become a good habit.

Knowing how and what to recycle is a good way to prepare for domestic recycling see http://www.petco.co.za/ag3nt/system/about_petco_07_media3.php?my_item_cnt=0#my_pace for more information.

Starting a domestic recycling station does not have to be an expensive undertaking. It’s easier to keep the recycling habit if you make recycling as convenient as possible. In the true spirit of recycling, try to use existing containers, rather than buying or building new ones to separate your different recyclables.

Did you know?

Did you know that the PET bottles collected from your recyclables are recycled into a local end-use and not exported to China, as is done by many other countries? Recycled PET or rPET is used as feedstock into a number of items we encounter every day: fibre for polyester carpeting, shopping bags, ceiling insulation and geotextiles; fabric for T-shirts, long underwear, athletic shoes, luggage, upholstery and sweaters; fibrefill for sleeping bags and winter coats; industrial strapping, sheet and film; automotive parts, such as luggage racks, headliners, fuse boxes, bumpers, grilles and door panels; and new PET containers for both food and non-food products. Did you know that 19 x 500ml PET bottles make the fibre for a standard pillow?

Now that you know what items you can recycle, find a handy place to store them. Make sure you encourage everyone in your house to think whether items can be reused or recycled before they are thrown away.

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This article has been republished courtesy of PETCO - PET Plastic Recycling Company. For more information about PET recycling, please visit their website, or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

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