The wide world of recycling

The wide world of recycling

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

South Africa is a long ways off from meeting recycling mandates, and a new report in the U.K. sheds light on how drop-off centers can still be used effectively with curbside collection, which has become increasingly common.

New research has found that South Africa faces daunting challenges in establishing basic recycling infrastructure as required by law.

A study from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research has found that only 3.3 percent of the country's urban population regularly recycled household waste in 2010. Based on a survey, the study also found that 73 percent of South Africans living in urban areas reported no recycling at all, and only 27 percent reported some recycling.

The study also found that many urban South Africans have a negative attitude toward recycling, with many not recycling because of a perceived lack of time, space, untidiness, inconvenience or because they lack the knowledge of what's recyclable and what isn't.

In South Africa, municipalities are required to have waste separation at source by 2016, and researchers found that having household participation will be critical in making these programs work.

"It is alarming that two thirds of the more than 2,000 urban South African households surveyed do not know where to dispose of their household recyclables. Furthermore, the majority of the participants in the study said that they do not know how nor what to recycle," Wilma Strydom, a researcher in the waste management for development research group at the CSIR, said in a prepared statement.

The U.K.'s Waste & Resources Action Programme has published a new guide to help local authorities in England improve the performance of its drop-off sites. The guide was developed to help local authorities manage drop-off sites, the use of which are being reconsidered as curbside recycling service becomes more prevalent.

Councils could optimize the value of these sites by reviewing current provisions and improving performance monitoring, according to the guide. WRAP also has an online tool that helps direct users toward what's most relevant to them, while also covering topics such as communication, data reporting, health and safety, procuring new contracts and quality.

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