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7 Home Recycling Tips for Beginners

08 September 2021
7 Home Recycling Tips for Beginners -  september hoy

Every day we read about the declining state of our natural environment – from plastic in the oceans to overflowing landfills and damaged eco-systems and natural habitats. South Africa might not be at the bottom of the barrel for recycling, but many other countries are a few steps ahead in the recycling game.

Recent statistics revealed that over 90% of waste produced ends up in landfills with only 7.5% of South Africans engaging in recycling efforts. Now is as good a time as any to start doing your part to reduce and become more sustainable in your home.

Every bit helps so here are 10 home recycling tips to start your recycling journey!

1. Sort your Rubbish

The infrastructure for recycling collection in South Africa is not well-established in the country. While some areas do have collection services available, this is not the norm across the country as of yet.

However, there are numerous drop-off facilities that exist that you can drive your recyclables to. To effectively start on your recycling journey, use different bins to store your recyclables in until you are ready to make a mass drop-off.

Be sure to sort your waste into paper, glass, plastic, metal and biodegradable food waste.

Not only will this help you to reduce the number of trips to the drop-off zones, but you will also reduce the amount of waste been sent off to the overstocked landfill sites.

2. Rinse and Repeat

Starting your recycling journey can be tedious and time-consuming but once you get into the habit it can become very rewarding. Your small acts of recycling might seem small but if every household contributes to this noble effort, it will help reduce waste and the global carbon footprint.

Rope in your household, family and even the neighbours to create a joint-recycling effort. This will also help with taking turns to drop off the recyclables at the drop-off facility! has a nifty table plug-in that you can use to find drop-off zones near you for different types of recyclable materials. Simply insert your location and select the type of material you would like to drop off and it will provide you with drop-off suggestions.

3. Keep it Clean

A large amount of South Africa’s recycling efforts come from informal recyclers – people who recover the recyclable materials from dustbins and landfills. While this is not safe or healthy for recyclers, it is a reality.

For this reason, before sorting your materials into different bags be sure to rinse off any leftover food or waste to clean it off. This will also help the drop-off zones when sorting materials.

4. Plastic Recycling

Even though plastic is one of the easiest materials to recycle, it currently has the lowest recycling rate in the country sitting at a low 17%. Plastic is made from oil, a non-renewable resource, which is why it is so important to recycle plastic.

Recyclable plastic types can range from ice cream containers to fabric softener bottles and even cling-wrap!

The easiest way to see if a plastic item is recyclable is to check the label for the recycling symbol. There are seven different categorised types of plastic and each needs to be stored separately so be sure to know which bag to separate the plastic into.

You can check out the different types of recycling logos with this educational article by  

5. Compost your Vegetable Waste

How many vegetable and fruit peels do you think you throw out in a week?

This question is definitely relative to your household and tastes in food but it is definitely relevant to each household. By saving your vegetable and fruit peels, you can create your own homemade compost to be used in your vegetable garden.

And if you do not have a vegetable garden, it will also work spectacularly for your flowers and shrubs.

Good news! We are currently giving away a KitchenCraft Compost Bin in our #GreenKitchen competition. All you need to do is tell us how you plan to reduce and reuse in the kitchen and you are in the lucky draw.

Head to our Facebook page to enter:

Image Credit:

6. Waste Water

You can help the environment by doing more than just recycling – you can also repurpose or reuse. While showering, catch water with a bucket and water your plants outside. Or, if you bath, you can scoop the water out when you are done.

In the same way, you can use your dishwater to water your plants.

7. Waste Not, Want Not

Doing some spring cleaning? We are certain that there are dozens of items that you no longer want or need. Many people struggle to let go of these items because throwing them out feels like a waste – even if they haven’t been used in 10 years!

If you are faced with such a dilemma, pack the items into a box and donate them to a local charity or secondhand store where people can rehome the items you no longer need.

This will help to reduce the waste in landfills, lessen the unnecessary production of products in factories and also free up some space in your cupboards. A win for you and a win for the environment!


How do you recycle in your home? Do you have any tips that you would like to share with our followers? Be sure to do so on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages.

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