National Recycling Day

Posted on 17 Sep 2021

National Recycling Day is on the 17th of September 2021. South Africans are familiar with the need to recycle their waste.  The benefits of recycling do not just focus on the fact that waste does not go to a landfill, it also creates jobs which is essential in South Africa as our unemployment rates continue to rise. The CSIR has estimated that the recycling industry has provided income opportunities for about 90 000 waste pickers. The CSIR has also estimated that waste pickers recycle roughly 80 to 90% of plastic and packaging in South Africa, which ends up saving authorities millions in landfill costs. The average South African can also get involved in the circular economy by separating their own recyclables at their households and places of work and giving the separated recyclables to your local collector or dropping them off at a recycling centre.


In order to start off recycling, it is important to know what can be recycled to ensure the correct separation of recyclables and non-recyclables. Recyclables can be divided into metal, glass, paper, plastics and food waste. Examples of recyclable materials are highlighted below.



  • Food tins;
  • Cooldrink and beer cans;
  • Aluminium foil and foil packaging;
  • Metal lids of glass jars; and
  • Rusty cans can also be recycled.


  • Beverage bottles; and
  • Food jars such as mayonnaise, jam and tomato sauce bottles.


  • White office paper;
  • Magazines and books (as long as nothing is laminated);
  • Newspaper; and
  • Cardboard (boxes and cereal boxes).


  • Ice cream and milk containers;
  • fabric softener bottles;
  • plastic bags; and
  • cling-wrap can be recycled.

Food Waste:

  • Food waste can be recycled into compost. Composting is an inexpensive, natural process that transforms your kitchen and garden waste into valuable and nutrient-rich food for your garden.

ENVASS encourages you to take part in recycling in order to reduce your impact on the environment and contribute to job creation within the recycling industry. In addition, to make a conscious effort to limit the amount of waste generated at home, school and businesses that end up in our landfills.