The Best Recycling Companies in Cape Town & JHB

Words: Jess Spiro

‘Reduce, reuse, recycle’ is probably one of the most important buzz terms to come out of the 21st century. The concept itself isn’t necessarily a new one, but the phrase really is easy to remember, seeing as its sing-song sound reminds us of what to do when shopping. And, while we should all be committing to the first two words (reduce and reuse) – so as to avoid using the last (recycle) – making the conscious decision to recycle is a powerful one. To make it easier, we’ve listed the best recycling companies in Cape Town and Johannesburg.


Waste is a worldwide epidemic & South Africans aren’t doing much to help

The average South African generates around 700 g of waste every day, amounting to about 42 million cubic meters of waste being accumulated across the country every year.

To put it simply, 1 ton of waste fills up a 3x2m² room right up to the ceiling. Just let that sink in.

In this day and age, with the realisation of the effect that our modern lives have on the environment, there is actually no excuse for not acknowledging that impact. If you’ve made the decision to recycle, but are not sure where to start, we’ve put together a handy infographic to make it all a little more simple.

Firstly, what can be recycled?

Metals, plastic, paper and glass are the general categories, with a number of products falling under these sections.

What about your garden waste?

Have you done some weekend gardening? Been landscaping? Your garden waste can, and should, definitely be recycled. The best part about recycling garden waste is that all of that good organic matter can be returned to your garden in the form of healthy, nutrient-filled compost. Capetonians, drop your garden waste at any one of these drop off points and help divert it out of landfill.

Now that you know what can be recycled, the next step is knowing how to recycle. Get into a habit of checking whether the packaging can be recycled – the plastic recycling code on the packing will tell you this.

Recycling companies in Cape Town

Recycling paper? It should be stored in a dry space before loading it for recycling, as moisture degrades the material. As for plastic, rinse your packaging if it’s dirty and simply pop it into a separate bin lined with a clear plastic bag. Now it’s time to decide how you’re going to get rid of your recycling.

Recycling Companies in Cape Town

If you’ve claimed to be too busy or that recycling is expensive, there really is no excuse not to recycle anymore. The businesses below have made it easy and affordable to get rid of your recyclables, and some even offer kerbside collections at your house or office. Contact any of these recycling companies in Cape Town and get started:

Mr Recycle is a genius operation that allows you to decide just how much recycling you want to be picked up every week and you pay according to that. The company then comes by after work hours to pick up the bags. Mr Recycle also prides itself on helping the community, as well as the environment, by employing commercially unemployable staff and offering them an opportunity to earn a living.

Clearer Conscience sorts out almost every area of Cape Town, from the CBD to the suburbs, meaning there is no excuse not to recycle. They also offer reasonable rates and flexible collection dates, so you can personalise your service to suit your needs exactly.

Think Twice is a municipal initiative that offers a free (yes, you heard right, free) collection service to a number of different areas across Cape Town. All that is required is for residents to double check that their area is covered, and then place their recycling out in a clear plastic bag with their regular rubbish bins on collection days.

Abundance Recycling collects recycling material from your home on a weekly basis, and delivers it to a reputable recycling depot where it will be sorted and dispatched to the recycling manufacturers.

Recycle 1st is a recycler committed to putting your recycling needs first. They’re based in the Northern Suburbs but operate across the whole of Cape Town. Recycle 1st performs household and small to medium business collections on a fortnightly basis. Collection days are designated per area. You can check their website and view all their collection areas.

Regenize is proof that recycling is cool. This recycling initiative operates door-to-door and collects recycled materials using recycling tricycles and smartphones. They incentivise sustainability efforts with ‘Remali’ – recycling money. With only 7.5% of South Africans recycling, Regenize started its recycling project to encourage residents to employ better sustainability efforts. You can check their website to learn about their collection areas – if your area isn’t listed, you could request to have it added.

Easy Recycling makes recycling a breeze. They do weekly home collections, as well as sorting, making the task so much easier. All you have to do is ensure that any waste residue has been removed from your recyclables, as well as flatten any cardboard materials and plastic bottles for easy collection. Their services include garden refuse removal and garage clearance. Easy Recycling targets southern residential areas, as well as the City Bowl. Check their website to see if they cover your area.

Recycling Companies in Johannesburg

Whole Earth will pick up your recyclable goods from your home, office or complex – for a reasonable fee. You don’t have to worry about sorting anything either, as they will do that for you, just ensure that everything is clean. Even better, Whole Earth supports a group of sorters who are able to keep all the money made from the sale of the materials.

Ecomonkey offers a similar service, covering most of Johannesburg’s suburbs. They have decently priced collection fees, making them an affordable option to go for. Once you’re signed up, Ecomonkey will come past your house once a week to whisk your recycling away.

Mama She’s Waste Recyclers offer a very simple and affordable system. You simply buy recycle bags from them and once filled, they collect them. Send an email to get started.

Remade Recycling aims to help businesses and households manage their recycling in an ethical and customised way. Their Residential Estate Recycling Programme is super efficient and convenient, as they require minimal sorting beforehand. No registration fee is required to be a part of their recycling programme, they only have a monthly levy. Remade recycling handles all recycling materials, including eWaste.

eTope Waste Management deals with school and business recycling group projects. They do weekly collections, free of charge. If you’d like to use their services, simply make sure your waste is separated before collection. eTope’s recycling centre is located in Industria West. Visit their website to reduce your business’ carbon footprint and minimise waste.

Small, Meaningful Changes You Can Make to your Everyday Life

Reduce, reuse, recycle is not only a singalong phrase, it’s also a mantra of sorts. Instead of recycling being your first port of call, consider reducing and reusing first. Admittedly, recycling is not the easiest thing to do in South Africa, but the demand for it should make it more accessible in the near future. Here are some things to bear in mind:

Single-use plastics, such as food containers, are only going to be used once and when you’re done with them, you will dispose of them. But beware, the entire package may not be recyclable. If there is a film sealing it or any polystyrene, it can’t be recycled.

Think about reducing your intake of plastics and single-use packaging as a whole – is there another option for you to buy what you need that doesn’t involve waste? For instance, don’t buy prepped butternut, buy a whole one and skip any plastic containers. It’s also cheaper to buy whole produce.

Introduce reusing into your life too, don’t just recycle every yoghurt container you buy, wash it out and use it as a storage container. This will also save you money because you won’t need to buy as many storage containers.

We live in a fantastic modern world, where everything we could ever want is right at our fingertips – but at what cost to the environment? Your super-efficient coffee capsules may make a great cuppa joe, but for most, the packaging isn’t recyclable, so those little pods are literally clogging up our environment. Make a switch to a brand like 4wks that offer fully compostable pods and packaging. It’s so handy to be able to eat your takeaway with plastic cutlery, but what happens to them after you chuck them in the bin? Look out for a set of reusable on-the-go cutlery, that you can keep on you instead.

You need to be asking yourself these small, everyday questions. We need to do something if we’re going to protect this wonderful planet we live on, so why not start doing that in your own home.

Find out what you should be recycling in SA.


  1. I am a Chairperson in my area. The community is prepared to look into recycling but I need information to assist them. Are you the people I need to talk to? I reside in Athlone.

    • Hi June, we are just reporting on services offered, you would need to contact a service in your area specifically for more details. Best of luck.

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