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reduce recycling collection costsWould you like to reduce your Recycling Collection costs?

As a Postwink reader, client or fan, you will understand the benefits of recycling and keeping recyclable waste out of landfills. And you will also know that recyclable materials have a value – this is why waste pickers collect these and how they make a living. However, do you know why you are still being charged for recycling removal if your recyclables have a value? In short, it’s normally because of the cost of logistics (transporting sorted recyclables from you to the right recycler) is more than the value received for those recyclables (never mind the labour cost of sorting the recyclables into the different streams).

In short, thinking from your recycling collector’s perspective, their costs to take your recycling off your hands include (among other business-related costs):

  • Labour cost of manually sorting your recyclables – for examples sorting plastics into the different types, and paper into the different grades.
  • Rent costs (where the sorting takes place) as well as Storage costs , for storing your recyclables in between the drop offs to the recyclers.
  • Equipment costs required to compact/bale the recyclables into large “cubes” which are more cost efficient to transport.
  • The Transport cost of transporting from their premises (or from you, the client) to the recycler: this is a significant cost. Did you know most recyclers are in Gauteng and many materials are shipped there for processing?

Then, when they deliver the recyclables to the recycler, the recycler will give them a price for the material which depends not only on the type of material (for example PET plastic vs PS plastic), but also based on:

  • The volume of the materials – the more “volume” – in weight (in Kgs) – the more the recyclers will pay the collector;
  • The grade and cleanliness of the material, and whether it is well sorted or not. For example with paper, you could receive anywhere from R0.40 to R2.40 per kgs*, depending on which paper product you bring in and how clean and sorted it is.
  • The demand of the market for the recyclable material – for example, if there is an increased demand for Recycled PET Fabric (also called RPet fabric), the price of PET will then increase (and vice-versa if there is a reduction in the demand for the material.)

So how do these Recycling Prices impact YOU?

Well, it’s basic accounting. If your waste collector manages to get more value for the recyclable materials from the recycler, then he/she will charge you less (or at least you can ask that they charge you less).

So how do you ensure that your recyclables have better value?

  1. You implement waste separation at source – What does that mean? It means you need to separate your “rubbish” before it reaches the “rubbish bin” – normally by using recycling bins. Waste Separation is also made easier by keeping your food waste separate when you prepare meals, and by training your family, scholars or staff about how to use your recycling bins.
  2. Waste separation keeps the Recyclables CLEAN – making it much easier for your collector to sort into the different grades and types of material. Remember, in South Africa, pretty much all recycling sorting is done by hand.
  3. If you have the space, you can store the recyclables on your site for longer between collections (once sorted, the recyclables are “dry waste” and hence should not attract any rodents/flies or bad smells). Ask us for larger units you can use to store recyclables.
  4. Keep your Food waste separate for composting, and if you can, compost on-site: the minute food waste is kept separate, your recycling remains dry AND you can compost your food waste to make valuable food for your soils.
  5. Whenever you support the recycling market by purchasing goods made from recycled materials, you are improving the demand for those materials to be recycled! (for example, purchase T-Shirts made from local PET plastic bottles will indirectly improve the demand for PET plastic bottle collections). So buy smart, and look out for packaging and goods made from recycled paper, recycled plastic or recycled glass.
  6. Keep your hazardous waste away from your recycling – hazardous waste costs your recycling collector money when they need to dispose of it themselves. And that cost indirectly comes back to you. (Hazardous waste includes batteries, CFL bulbs, used Medicines, among others).

Postwink specialises in products that ensure waste separation at source, as well as products that keep food waste separate for composting – so contact us or download our product catalogue for  more information or inspiration.

Are you looking for a recycling collector near you? Again, Postwink can help. View our free listing of recycling collectors in South Africa, Swaziland, Botswana and Namibia on our website.

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