Recycling and composting are two of the best ways to reduce the amount of waste that is sent to landfills. These methods also reduce your carbon footprint and improve the environmental performance for businesses.
What to recycle
Certain types of commercial waste such as recyclables, garden waste and clean builder's rubble can be dropped off in limited quantities at the City's drop-off sites for recycling, provided that you use a vehicle with a carrying capacity of 1,5 tonnes or less. Please confirm with the official in charge, as our drop-off sites are primarily intended for receiving household waste.
Please see the table below for a list of recyclable goods and guidelines for recycling them.
|Paper, cardboard, milk and juice cartons|
|Food and green waste|
(Including polystyrene and Tetra Pak)
|Builder's rubble, construction and demolition waste|
Why reduce your waste?
Waste produced by households and businesses poses a significant challenge to the waste disposal industry. This makes it everyone's responsibility to reduce waste wherever possible, and to find environmentally responsible ways of diverting waste from landfills.
When waste, especially organic waste, is buried in landfills, it decomposes to produce a harmful greenhouse gas called methane. By separating recyclable and compostable materials from other rubbish, you are reducing the amount of waste that goes to the landfills – this lowers your carbon footprint and helps to protect our environment. Consider composting your organic waste at home.
For helpful tips on reducing your household waste, please see our Reduce your waste page.
Where do I fit in?
See our graphic below to see how the recycling process works.
Recycling tips for your home and business
By making a few simple changes to your waste disposal system, you can greatly reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill.
- Separating your waste at home or business is the first step in recycling. Have a separate set of bins or areas for your organic waste, recyclables, and the rest of your rubbish.
- Set aside one recycling bin for your paper and cardboard, one for plastic and tins, and a separate one for glass as it can break and contaminate the other recyclables. Paper, cardboard, plastic and tins can be combined to save space if needed.
- Store your recyclables indoors if possible until it is convenient for you to access a recycling service. It is advisable to permanently contract a recycling service provider, if possible, to ensure regular disposal.
- Your organic kitchen and garden waste can become food for your soil through composting. Read about how to start composting at home.
- Exchange your industrial waste using the Integrated Waste Exchange (IWEX) service or via the Western Cape Industrial Symbiosis Programme (WISP) . Find out more about our recycling services.
- Where possible, redesign your products and processes to use fewer resources.
- Repair or reuse items instead of throwing them away. For more tips, see our reduce your waste page.
- Donate unused or unwanted materials or items to charities or sell them at a market or car boot sale.
Commercial and industrial waste refers to any waste that is produced by a business or industry. This may be general office waste such as paper, glass and cans; or food waste such as that produced by restaurants, canteens or hotels; or other industrial waste including general packaging waste; and manufacturing waste which includes general waste or potentially hazardous waste.
Certain waste such as electronic waste (e-waste), used oil and fluorescent tubes is classified as hazardous waste, but can be collected for recycling. Commercial sheet glass can also be recycled. If not collected, this waste is classified as hazardous waste and must be disposed of in the correct safe and legal way, not put out for collection with general waste.
Find out how to dispose of harmful hazardous waste.
Contact your local community centres, churches or schools to see if they are running any recycling or re-use programmes, or explore our recycling activities and programmes by following the City Connect links below.
Solid Waste Management Department