I want to recycle my paper but where do I start?

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According to a 2010 CSIR study, only 3% of urban households recycle regularly. And a significant number of people don’t know why they should recycle or more importantly how to start.

Think about how you started your day this morning. Chances are you connected with some form of paper product. You visited the bathroom. You poured milk into your coffee from a paper-based carton. Perhaps you refilled the sugar canister from a paper bag. You may have read the paper dosage leaflet for your child’s medicine. What about the sneaky breakfast of leftover pizza? And look at what you are reading right now.

Now think about where these paper products usually end up after you’ve finished with them? Paper is an everyday material that is often hidden in plain sight. Also hidden is its value as a raw material for recycled paper products.

PRASA shares some simple steps to get you started on the greener path to managing your waste.

  • Step 1: Choose one recyclable

    If the thought of recycling is daunting, choose one waste stream – paper, plastic, glass, cans. Paper is one of the most recyclable products so it makes sense to start your recycling efforts with paper and board products. When you get the hang of it, start recycling another waste stream.Allow younger children to be part of the recycling efforts in your home.

  • Step 2: Know what is recyclable

    The most important thing to know about recycling is good separation at source. This simply means separating your recyclables from your ‘wet waste’ or general rubbish – at home, at the office, at school.

    Wet waste is that which cannot be suitably or efficiently recycled, or that which is classed as contaminated – wet or dirty paper products, food waste, tissues, nappies, hygiene products.

    Recycling bins

  • Step 3: Get a bin or box for your recycling

    This will help keep your paper clean and dry, maintaining the quality of the paper fibres for reprocessing into new paper products.

    Paper and cardboard

  • Step 4: Put your paper out for collection or drop it off

    Paper recycling collection services and drop-off points are also readily available in a number of areas. Or separate and bag it for an informal collector. 

    Photo: Mpact Recycling

    Photo: Mpact Recycling

Find your recycling groove - collect or drop-off?

Make use of green Ronnie bags

To see when Mpact Recycling collects in your area with the green Ronnie Bag Kerbside programme, visit www.mpactrecycling.co.za/our-operations/kerbside-collection/search/results.

Put your paper in the “bank”

Alternatively, locate your nearest Ronnie Bank through your local school or community organisation and deposit your paper and liquid packaging into the large green “paper banks”. www.mpactrecycling.co.za/our-operations/paperbank-search/search/results

Mpact also offers special programmes for townhouse complexes and housing estates.

Use the MyWaste tool

Go to www.mywaste.co.za to locate other sites.