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City of Joburg admits logistical challenges remain for recycling initiative

There are only a few days left until it becomes mandatory for Johannesburg households to recycle waste.

The Robinson Deep landfill site in Johannesburg has a maximum of 3 years left until it reaches capacity. From 1 July, Johannesburg residents are compelled to separate their garbage from recyclable material in an effort to avoid reaching this point. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – With only a few days left until it becomes mandatory for Johannesburg households to recycle waste, the City of Joburg has acknowledged that logistical challenges remain.

The city is warning that it risks running out of space to dump refuse within six years and says recycling is the only way to avoid a crisis.

MMC for environmental affairs Nico de Jager says city officials will intervene in instances where security complexes are not complying, too few bags are supplied or separation is not enforced.

“I think it’s going to be a learning curve for all of us. But if we just get cooperation from the estates, it will really help a lot. We're still going to face challenges but we can only deal with those challenges once we know what they’re.”

WATCH: What you need to know about recycling in Joburg

Once a week, the city will supply all residents living in houses, security complexes, estates in the suburbs or townships, with a clear bag in which recyclable items must be disposed.

The bag will be for glass, plastic, paper, metal and clothes but any food contaminated items must be rinsed beforehand.

Items that can't be recycled and need to be binned in regular black bags, include polystyrene, light bulbs, food, rubber, batteries, nappies, tissues and pizza boxes.

Pikitup will collect all refuse as normal and drop off a new bag once a week, so that residents can repeat the process.

At this stage, the city says that there will be no penalties for those who refuse to comply but it is inevitable that they will be introduced once most residents are on board.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)