Help clean up South Africa this September

  • September 08, 2014

Make a difference by recycling during Clean-up and Recycle Week

Maropeng is calling on all South Africans to help clean up our country in honour of this year’s Clean-up and Recycle Week, which runs from 15 to 19 September 2014.

“We want every person who lives in this beautiful country to play their part in keeping South Africa clean,” says Lindsay Marshall, head of marketing and communications at Maropeng.

“Make an effort to drive recycling projects at home, at work and wherever you spend your time – be it at your local gym, school, vet, doctor’s rooms or shopping centre – and be sure to recycle on National Recycling Day, 19 September 2014,” she says.

South Africa's first National Clean-up Week was held in 1999.

The initiative asks South Africans to take responsibility for keeping their local community clean. The focus of individual clean-ups may vary and will depend on the needs of each particular community. Examples include picking up litter, recycling drives, the clearing of illegal dumping sites, and competitions with a clean-up and recycle theme.

An important part of the initiative is to ensure that the benefits of a clean-up and/or recycle project are sustained beyond the week. For long-term success of a project, educational campaigns and training should accompany all community interventions.

“Gather family, friends and colleagues to give a few hours back to Mother Nature by picking up litter,” says Ursula Henneberry, operations director of the Paper Recycling Association of South Africa.

“Whether you choose a lake or beach, a mountain or valley, a park or pavement, make a morning of it.”

Henneberry asks that employers drive the initiative too. “Allow each staff member an hour during the week to collect litter in the area surrounding your premises – especially parking areas, pavements, kerbs and drains,” she says. “A few hours each day during Clean-up and Recycle Week will make a massive difference.”

She adds that retailers should encourage a litter-free environment around their stores by installing rubbish bins and recycling drop-off points, as well as hosting regular clean-ups.

“Littering does not create jobs – but recycling does.”

What can I do to help?

  1. Visit and to browse clean-up events taking place in your area, or use the same platforms to register your own clean-up operation

  2. Connect with the regional coordinator and register your event to receive special Clean-up SA bags, or simply use standard refuse bags

  3. Remember to wear protective gloves and shoes

  4. Clean up! Separate waste into the various recyclables and non-recyclables. Make it easier by assigning people to collect certain items: paper, cardboard, milk and juice cartons | Plastic, cans and glass | Non-recyclable waste – wet or soiled paper, tissues, chip packets, used cement bags, nappies and food waste

  5. Visit to find your nearest recycling drop-off site

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