Our Planet
    09 September 2019

    Biddi Rorke

    Recycling made easy

    If you don’t already have your home recycling system sorted, National Clean-up and Recycling Week is the perfect time to start.

    Do your bit for the planet by getting up to speed with a recycling system at home this National Clean-up and Recycling Week (9–13 September).

    Where to recycle

    Some people dedicate separate bins for glass, paper, cans and plastics. However, you don’t have to go through the effort of sorting everything, as many municipal recycling initiatives will do that for you. If you don’t have access to a recycling collection service, find out where your nearest recycling depot is. Click here to check Petco’s list of recommended recycling depots. Remember, to give all recyclable items a quick rinse to remove any food residue.

    What to recycle


    Plastics are made from oil, a non-renewable resource. Much of the plastic packaging we use every day is recyclable, including deli-style containers, milk bottles and screw-top jars. To be 100 per cent sure, look at the ‘chasing arrows’ symbol on the container. The numbers one to seven inside the triangle refer to the type of resin contained in the packaging. Anything marked 7, such as Styrofoam containers, shouldn’t end up in your recycling bin.

    Bottles can be recycled


    The good news is that most paper, including coloured paper, magazines and phonebooks, can be recycled. Watch that you don’t include wet or soiled paper and cardboard products. Used paper plates, pizza boxes, toilet paper, plastic-lined pet food bags, disposable nappies or post-it notes aren’t suitable for the recycling process. 


    When it comes to glass, make sure to remove corks and lids. Remember, drinking glasses, light bulbs, crockery, windscreens, windows and the glass used on computers and in laboratories can’t be recycled.


    Feel free to toss metal lids from food jars, aluminium foil, empty aerosol containers, cooldrink cans and food tins into the recycling bin.


    Disposable batteries are not recyclable – but you shouldn’t just toss them in your normal refuse bin because their toxic chemicals can leach into the soil and groundwater. Contact your local council to find out where you can safely dispose of your batteries. Some supermarkets offer collection points too.

    Remember, in addition to streamlining your home recycling system, it pays to reduce the amount of trash you make – or to reuse it in novel ways, such as turning an empty tin into a flower vase. 

    Reuse materials like tins by turning them into pot plants

    How Vodacom is contributing

    Vodacom is launching the Planet pillar as part of our Purpose journey, which coincides with National Clean-up and Recycling Week. Various activities have been planned for employees to get involved. Click here to sign up and connect for a safer planet.

    Furthermore, Vodacom recently became South Africa’s first telecommunications company to replace plastic bags with brown paper bags. We are also looking at innovative ways to help reduce electronic waste. Last year, Vodacom reused more than 180 tonnes of network equipment and rejuvenated more than 74 tonnes of batteries. 

    At our head office, Vodacom has reduced 38 tonnes of waste sent to landfill through a baling operation and has also contracted a company that converts food waste from canteens into compost.

    For more tips on going green as well as how Vodacom is helping to save our planet, visit our sustainability page on the Vodacom website.

    Header photo by Gary Chan on Unsplash

    Biddi Rorke