New recycling facility hopes to make recycling easier

Stellenbosch Mayor Gesie van Deventer, members of the Mayoral Committee and several ward councillors on a walkabout in the new facility at the opening last month.

If the commemoration of Global Recycling Day last month was a lightbulb moment which spurred you on to join the recycling “army’, there is good news on the recycling front, as the Stellenbosch Municipality recently launched an advanced recycling facility.

As part of their commitment to becoming a greener and more sustainable valley, the Stellenbosch Municipality launched their brand-new waste material recovery facility (MRF) on Thursday March 25.

Launched by Mayor Gesie van Deventer, this state-of-the-art facility will serve as a place where recyclables are taken to, grouped, baled and provided to companies for use as raw material in the manufacturing of new products.

The sorted recyclables have a much higher value than mixed recyclables and will be easily accepted into the booming recycling market. The facility also features a public drop-off area, which will allow residents to bring garage and recyclable waste to dispose of responsibly.

Landfill sites across the country are filling up, including the one in Stellenbosch, which reached capacity in 2019. Building new landfill sites is not sustainable or environmentally feasible, as there simply is not enough land available to develop new landfills.

The Municipality is currently investing in the expansion of their landfill site, but they have also shifted their focus on minimising waste to landfill by reducing, reusing, and recycling.

Their new facility is part of the process of taking the minimisation of waste to the next level in conjunction with other waste minimisation initiatives. The MRF will allow for recyclables to be handled and processed in Stellenbosch, allowing for faster turnaround times by eliminating the need to travel to Cape Town.

At the same time, it will provide jobs to our residents registered on the unemployment database.

According to the Stellenbosch Municipality, the activating of the MRF is a significant step in preserving their environment and maximising landfill airspace for future generations. Construction of the facility began in August 2019 and the total budget for the project was R29 million. The MRF has the capacity to process 450 tons of recyclable material per month and will employ up to 40 people once it becomes fully operational, from Thursday April 1, 2021.

What you need to know:

• All mixed recyclables collected at households will be brought to the MRF for separation and processing.

• Residents may also bring clean recyclable materials to the facility during operating hours.

• Recyclable material that will be accepted include:

– Paper

– Newspapers

– Magazines

– Cardboard

– Glass

– Plastic bottles and containers

– Food tins

– Cooldrink tins

– Juice boxes

– Milk containers

• Residents may also bring garage waste to the facility for free disposal in vehicles with a maximum carry capacity of 1.5 tons. This will allow residents to dispose of their waste responsibly.

Waste accepted at the public drop-off area:

– Garage waste

– Recyclable materials

Waste not accepted at the public drop-off area:

– Garden waste

– Household hazardous waste

– Builder’s rubble

– Domestic waste

– Kitchen waste

These waste types are, however, accepted at the Stellenbosch landfill site. Operating hours are: Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm; Saturday, 8am to 1pm; Sunday, closed; public holidays, 8am to 1pm; and Christmas and New Year’s Day, closed.