Where to recycle your waste in Woodstock

Posted on 14 December 2011 by Ruan Benade

Recycling is a buzzword and everyone from individuals to government agree that we need to do more of it. Then why is it that I always have problems finding a recycling station? Every week I reduce my waste by more than 50% by separating recyclable material from organic and non-recyclable material. It amounts to a lot of tins, bottles, paper, plastic and boxes standing in bags on my stoep, but I don’t mind as I feel it’s a non-negotiable part of living in a sustainable society.

Consider this snippet taken from www.think2wice.co.za

“In Cape Town we are running out of landfill (dumping) space at an alarming rate. We currently dump approximately 6 000 tons of waste every day. As an example, 1 ton of waste will fill up a standard 3m x 2m room right up to the roof. So imagine 6000 of these rooms being filled with waste every single day.At the current rate we only have enough landfill space for the next 3 years. By the time the last landfill site closes down; we will be building mountains of waste equivalent to 6000 rooms per day.”

Examples of what can be recycled.

Examples of what can be recycled. Picture courtesy of www.thinktwice.co.za

So why is the city not making it easier for us to get rid of our recycling? Why don’t we have sexy multi-coloured bin recycling stations every few blocks? According to a source who operates a recycling depo at a school in the CBD, there is a lot of lip service from business and government – but no real commitment. He has had to move from school to school, battling to keep operating. Currently he is in the process of moving again.

Luckily for Woodstockers there is an effective recycling depo in our neighbourhood. It is situated at the Woodstock Drop Off just off Beach Road near The Old Castle Brewery. In the past it catered only for building rubble and organic garden waste, but now it has a recycling station in the main building. It’s not the coloured bin experience you might expect – just bring all your recycling mixed together, leave it there on the floor and they’ll sort it into bags.

Bags with reclyclable material

It's not sexy but it's efficient. Recycling in progress.

Also of interest: There is ‘junk’ on sale, taken from the rubbish that people throw away. I spotted some valuable items as well such as old radio players. It just depends on what’s in at the time. Other items on sale include wood stripped from houses and garden compost.

Unwanted junk for sale

Unwanted junk for sale. For bargain hunters there may be a treasure hidden in there.

How to recycle?

1. Remove the cap or lid: The cap is often made from material that is different from the container or bottle. In most cases this will be obvious, glass jars and bottles, Tetrapak etc, however with plastics the cap could become a source of contamination for the plastic resin that is being recycled from the bottle. These lids and caps can still be recycled so please don’t just dump them, simply remove them and put them in your recycling bag separately.

2. Rinse: Although the recycling facilities clean the recyclables as part of the process, it is much easier if you quickly rinse your bottles and containers before you place them in the recycling bag. This doesn’t mean you need to thoroughly wash them and please don’t use soap, since that requires time, energy, and quantities of water as well. Simply drain out any remaining liquids and rinse it out briefly.

3. Flatten or Crush: Please flatten cartons and boxes or crush the plastic bottles and cans before placing them in your recycling bag. You will be able to fit much more in your bag, and the recycling truck will be able to carry more too. Cardboard boxes may be too large to fit comfortably inside your recycling bag, so please place the folded boxes next to your bins when you take them out.

3. Recycle: This is the easy part! Just toss the recyclables in your recycling bag and take the bag out with your other rubbish bag as normal. Because the recycling bags are different to normal black rubbish bags we will be able to easily differentiate between recyclable and non recyclable waste when we come to collect it.

Antique radio players

These antique radio players were on display.

What can be recycled?

PAPER: Old letters, computer paper, envelopes, books, coloured paper (invoices, etc.), newspapers, magazines, cardboard
GLASS: Bottles and jars – rinse and remove the lid (which can also be recycled)
PLASTIC: Anything with the recycling logo regardless of the number as well as any bags, bottles, tubs, coat hangers, lids and tops, containers, sweet wrappers and chip packets.
METALS: Cans, Coat hangers, Lids and Tops, Aluminium foil and any Solid metal items.
TETRAPAK: Foil lined cartons and containers mainly from Juice and Milk.
POLYSTYRENE (Styrofoam): Food trays and Packing foam.

What cannot be recycled

PAPER: Paper cups and plates, blueprint paper, cigarette ends, carbon paper, waxed cartons
GLASS: Broken Windows/Windscreens/Mirrors, Glass kitchenware, Light bulbs, Crystal.
PLASTIC: Disposable nappies.
METALS: Electrical appliances, batteries, needles, aerosol cans or paint tins.
ORGANIC WASTE: Food scraps, garden waste, vegetable peelings, Wood.
TEXTILES: Old clothing, shoes, furniture.
OTHER: Any overly dirty or contaminated items.

Source: http://www.thinktwice.co.za/get_involved.htm

Window frames, doors and wooden planks ar for sale.

Window frames, doors and wooden planks ar for sale. Mostly from demolition sites

For more info on recycling also see:

Think 2wice and Mandla recycling informational site:


The Cape Town Solid Waste information page:


A PDF map of Solid Waste Drop Off facilities for the City of Cape Town:



Organic compust is on sale

Organic compust for sale. The building used to be a railway station back in the day.

7 Comments For This Post

  1. GREEnie Says:

    I also take my recycling there – it reduces my rubbish bin by over 80%. Just give the men/women that sort out the stuff, a tip. They deserve it!

  2. Ruan Benade Says:

    Good point. I wasnt sure who to tip as there was no-one specifically manning that part of the room at the time. Also I had painfully sorted my recycling into separate bags before hand, which wasnt necessary after all.

  3. Rachel Strate Says:

    Thank you very much for this post. I was just discussing with a friend this weekend the issue of finding recycling spots in the Cape. I had previously done my research and found a great location… but then it was removed?! Thanks to this post I am back to knowing where to take my recyclables.

  4. Warren Says:

    I’ve taken my stuff to the dump in the past. However, I struggled to get there often enough. I now use Abundance Recycling to fetch my bag of recycling every Monday morning. I think it costs me R80 a month and works very well (sometimes their truck breaks down and they can’t come)…


  5. Dylan Says:

    Thanks for this post – i used to drive to oasis in Kenilworth to do recycling. Eish

  6. Joshua Kerrigan Says:

    This is a great post, I think you should turn it into a 2 or 3 part series.

  7. Nick Says:

    You can find a lot of information about public drop-off’s and residential recycling collections on http://www.wasteplan.co.za/residential-recycling-collections-cape-town. They handle recycling collections in a large part of Cape Town.

1 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. April Family Month – Our Green Home & Lifestyle | Says:

    [...] much as the cooperative food suppliers don’t package their veggies too much) I take to the Woodstock drop off about once a month – they accept just about anything, as long as it’s clean waste. Our weekly [...]

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