The two bag system
The Municipal truck usually collects your recycling bags together with black bags. They will will still reach the recycling sorters near the Grahamstown landfill site. They retrieve all our clear plastic bags filled with recyclable materials. They sort through the bags for paper/card, plastics, glass and metal, and sell these items by weight to local recycling companies.
More info: Assistant Director: Environmental Health & Cleansing, Makana Municipality: tel 046 603 6141, fax 046 622 9488, email johann(at)makana.gov.za
(an extract from Makana Enviro-News column 91, Grocott's Mail, Tue 22 September 2009)
Mary, who works as a consultant, confided over a glass of wine that she had doubts about the 2-bag system. Why? I spluttered, nearly spilling my cheap merlot. "Well, everyone tells me that it is all dumped into the same garbage truck, so what´s the point?" Friend Shirley nodded her agreement. I explained to them what happens.
On waste collection day, many people put out their clear/yellow/orange bags filled with all recyclable materials (glass bottles, tins, paper, cardboard, plastic, polystyrene). If there is enough disposable waste, they may also put out a full black bag. (I pause to point out that in my household, we only fill 4 black bags per year; they gasp in surprise.) When the Municipal truck loads recycling and black bags together, they don´t burst.
When the truck gets to the landfill site, it moves slowly forward as it tips its load out. The Masihlule Project sorters move in to retrieve clear/yellow/orange bags and take them to the depot, less than 50 metres away. In the depot, they sort through all the items. I remind Mary and Shirley that `Masihlule´ is isiXhosa for `let us sort´. Best of all, the sorters make a living by selling the materials to local recycling companies
Get involved in the recycling ACTION.
Go to the Rhodes University ENVIRONMENT front page. Suggestions/Questions? Contact environment(at)ru.ac.za