Recycling has evolved from an environmentally-conscious activity into a business sector that provides jobs for thousands and generates billions for the economy every year. South Africa has an overall paper recycling rate of 62 per cent, which John Hunt, managing director of Mpact Recycling, described as quite high by global standards. Acknowledging National Cleanup and Recycling Week (16 to 20 September), Mpact Recycling has called on the public to reconsider the way they viewed recycling in a bid to bolster the activity and the sector.

"There's clearly room to do more in spite of the fact that South Africans largely agree about the benefits of recycling. To boost recycling further we should treat it as much more than doing a good thing"said Hunt. Recyclable material is processed and used in the manufacturing of new paper and plastic packaging, as well as in the metals and glass sectors. This results in material that would have gone to landfill sites being diverted, contributing to the reduction of carbon emissions. Unlike other business sectors, the contribution made by recycling can be measured in both economic and environmental terms, he said.

"Private companies such as Mpact as well as a number of local authorities run collection operations in addition to normal waste removal. But this... can be costly to keep going if there is not enough material available for recycling7 he said. "Every home and office and other place of business can boost recycling. There are a handful of basic guidelines for separating out different kinds of paper, plastic and so on. Beyond that, it's easy to make recycling a small part of your day at home and at work!'

Source: Roodepoort Northsider; p. 8