ARO collaborates with residents in a number of neighborhoods to implement an efficient separation at source recycling service provided by reclaimers who already work in the areas. The programme is currently underway in the suburbs of Auckland Park, Brixton and Bordeaux. Residents in Randpark Ridge, Northcliffe and Riverlea have expressed interest in establishing the programme in their suburbs.
Stop Johannesburg's R50 recycling fee that threatens reclaimers' livelihood
Why Is This Important?
Starting from 1 July, residents living in houses worth more than R350 000 could potentially pay a R50 “recycling fee” if the City of Johannesburg’s proposed waste management tariff is approved. The City said that the R50 additional levy will go to Pikitup to extend a separation at source (S@S) programme which has already been piloted in a few suburbs in Johannesburg. The City places the bill at the feet of “affluent” residents to extend the S@S pilot programme yet provides no research or statistics to support it. Residents are expected to buy into a system they know nothing about despite having very little trust in the government to provide services and use the money for its intended purpose. Not only does this recycling fee raise more questions and concerns for residents, it is a grave threat to the livelihood of reclaimers who depend on the collection of recyclables for their daily living. The extension of this project will decrease reclaimers’ access to bins which will significantly decrease their income. Reclaimers collect between 80 – 90 % of used packaging collected for recycling, saving municipalities millions of rands per year. The contribution of reclaimers cannot be overlooked or underestimated. There are alternatives to the City’s proposal. As African Reclaimers Organisation (ARO), we have been piloting our own S@S programme, where we work directly with residents in Brixton and Auckland Park who separate materials for us. Instead of destroying our jobs, Pikitup should expand our pilot across the city.