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How to dispose of your trash during the Pikitup strike

As the Pikitup strike continues, residents around Johannesburg are forced to find other solutions to dispose of their trash. Here are some ideas.

Residents around Johannesburg are in an uproar as 4 000 Pikitup striking workers face disciplinary action this week following an unprotected strike.

City of Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau held a press conference yesterday (29 March) to address the issue that has been plaguing Johannesburg for a few months. He said that the illegal Pikitup strike would no longer be tolerated.

The City has a mandate to keep the streets clean and protect the health of residents against disease but the mayor said that the money that has been paid to contractors who have stepped in, is too much.

Residents still have to pay for the services of Pikitup even though this has been the fourth strike since December. This is how they responded on twitter:


Here are six ways you can dispose of your trash during the strike:

Organise a group collection for your trash


Many people around Johannesburg have come together to collect their trash in groups. Some community entrepreneurs have taken it upon themselves to collect people’s trash at a low cost. Neighbours can come together, create a small fund to pay someone with a truck who can collect the rubbish and dump it at any of the 12 waste management depots strategically located throughout the city. Most schools and communities have depots where you can dispose of the trash.

Take trash to a landfill

Fresh Kills Landfill

There are four landfills around Johannesburg. The landfill is a popularly used method of waste disposal. If you take your trash to any of the landfills in Johannesburg, the waste is buried in the land and the process used also eliminates the odours and dangers of waste before it is placed into the ground. This is not the most responsible waste management system because of the numerous landfill gases and methane presence.

Dump trash at incineration/combustion centres

Block of Acerra incinerator

There is one incineration or combustion disposal method in Johannesburg. This method burns waste to convert it into residue and gaseous products reducing the volume. Thermal treatment where solid waste materials are converted by incinerators into heat, gas, steam and ash. Here are a few places that manage waste in Gauteng.


Recycling Center With Bins for Different Materials

Separating your trash into glass, metals, plastic and compost makes it easier to take to different recycling centres around Johannesburg. There a few recycling centres around Johannesburg but you have to pay for their services:

Lonehill Kerbside Recycling Programme is a pilot project of the Lonehill community to recycle waste at source. Bring banks garden refuse sites are also used for the recycling of glass, paper, cans and plastic.

Ecomonkey’s collection service operates in Johannesburg in the following suburbs:

  • Douglasdale
  • Lonehill
  • Jukskei Park
  • Magaliesig
  • Dainfern
  • Olivedale
  • Sharonlea
  • Jukskei Park
  • Johannesburg North
  • Northwold, Kya Sands
  • Honeydew

Mama She’s Waste Recyclers offer a kerbside collection service. They operate in the following areas:

  • Lonehill
  • Magaliessig
  • Fourways
  • Douglasdale
  • Norscot
  • Fourways Gardens
  • Cedar Lakes
  • Chartwell Country Estates
  • Witkoppen Ext. 3
  • Elma Park- Edenvale
  • Sunninghill
  • Paulshof
  • Edenburg
  • Rivonia
  • Bedfordview

In Northern suburbs, Whole Earth collects for a monthly fee but they provide bags and bins for recyclables and do fortnightly collections.

Create your own garden compost heap

Compost Pile at Community Garden

There are 33 garden refuse sites around Johannesburg. You can create your own garden compost heap by collecting perishable items such as egg shells, fruit and vegetables. Buy a compost bin and place it in a good drainage spot and let the worms do all the work.

Take trash to buy-back centres

Recycling Plastic

At Buy-back centres, waste materials with an economic value are bought from the community and resold to markets outside for a small profit. To utilise these waste sorting facilities you would have to separate your recycled materials at home before dropping them off at a Buy-back centre or Pikitup garden sites.

Remade is one of the companies operating in Johannesburg that caters to 1000 street hawkers who make a living through collecting recyclable material and selling it to the buy-back centres. It operates in Germiston, Johannesburg, Springs, Pretoria and Northern Suburbs. 

Other companies include:

Glass Recycling Company
Plastics SA
My Waste
Waste Plan

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