Do you recycle?

Landfills emit toxic gases into the atmosphere, which contributes to global warming as well as leach toxic chemicals into the soil and water table. 

Landfills create a noticeable threat to human health as well as a huge threat to our environment.

Recycling can help address these problems. South Africa, specifically Johannesburg, is rapidly running out of landfill space. We need to find new ways of reducing the amount of waste we produce. South Africa produces roughly 540 million tons of waste per year, of which 95% is recyclable but still ends up in landfills, rather than in recycling centres where it can be put to better use.

People are not concerned or even conscious about what they throw on the ground or in the rubbish bin. They have no concern about the damage that they are causing to the natural environment and the ripple effect that global warming has on our global society. However, we can all make easy lifestyle changes and start recycling, which has meaningful and long-term impact. Recycling makes both financial and environmental sense as it stimulates the economy and conserves the environment.

Informal recyclers
We have all seen the informal recyclers pulling their homemade trollies along, going from dustbin to dustbin finding all sorts of waste and junk. We may see it as junk but to these modern day “green-preneurs�?, it is a way to survive. They generate an income by taking their findings to local recycling buy-back centres that then pay the informal recyclers per kilogram of recyclable materials. A recycling buy-back centre is a business that purchases all of the recyclable materials that are utilised in the manufacture of new products. This procedure has a double effect by stimulating the economy whilst at the same time conserving the environment. The world must change to meet the demands of a polluted and degraded environment, recycling is a major component in that change.

Schools and businesses
From an ethical and moral point of view, all sectors of society should be recycling, though it is even more important that schools teach their learners to separate their waste for recycling, as current generations will need to recycle if the massive environmental degradation is to be halted.

Did you know!?

  • The City of Johannesburg is currently in its first phase of implementing separation at source recycling programmes, and is aiming of having it legislated in the near future.
  • Recycling helps conserve important raw materials and protects natural habitats for the future.
  • Using recycled materials in the manufacturing process uses considerably less energy than that required for producing new products from raw materials.
  • Recycling reduces the need for extracting (mining, quarrying and logging), refining and processing raw materials all of which create substantial air and water pollution.
  • The amount of rubbish sent to landfill sites is vastly reduced. 

Talking about everything green, you might want to read about breathing techniques that can reduce your stress.