Environmental Matters, The Ronnie Bin

Ronnie Bin

The awareness of the impact of our modern lifestyle on the environment has never been more in focus than it has been during the past few years.  Hot on the heels of the electricity cuts and the rise of solar energy as an alternative, in 2015/2016 we again began to experience drought conditions and the depletion of our water resources.  This has particularly been felt in Cape Town where their water crisis has reached catastrophic levels never before experienced in South Africa as the citizens and government in the Western Cape grapple with the problem and seek solutions.

In addition, our landfills are filling up at a rapid pace as the National Environmental Department tries to get to their target of zero waste by 2020.  It has been reported in the Resource Magazine (the official journal of the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa) that Johannesburg, Tshwane and Cape Town each have less than 10 years useful landfill life left.  According to the latest statistics South Africa generated a massive 21.6 million tons of waste in 2011 with 90% of it going to our landfill sites; only 10% being recycled.  When compared with European Countries (between 34-52% recycled waste) and the United States at 31.5% recycled waste, we can see that we still have a long way to go. Available land close to our towns and cities is rapidly reducing with urban development, necessitating the need for waste transfer to more remote landfills.  This affects not only greater transport costs, but also the efficiency of removal with the trucks spending greater time on the road.

The life of our landfills can be extended by the reduction of the landfilling rate.  This can be achieved by the combined implementation of reuse, recycling, composting and alternative treatment technologies.  It is essential that an alternative integrated waste disposal culture must evolve and alternative methods of waste management investigated at all levels, starting with where the waste is generated at community level and in businesses.

It is incumbent on each one of us to play our part and change the way we do things.  St Francis is an ECO Congregation and the ECO Group has embarked on an environmental awareness campaign on the need to reduce the impact that our life style has on the environment.  The introduction of the Ronnie Bin is one of our initiatives and serves not only as a means for our parishioners to recycle their paper, but also as a visible sign to the Parkview community that we are committed to the protection of our environment.

We have established a partnership with Mpact Recycling, who owns the Ronnie Bin which has been placed next to the driveway.  Ronnie bags have also been promised to assist each person to collect the paper and for easy transport to the Church.  These Ronnie bags are to be retained by the Parishioners after depositing the waste into the Ronnie Bin for refilling.  When the Ronnie Bin is full, Mpact will be advised to come and collect the paper.  They will weigh the paper and make a small payment into the Church coffers.

It is important that only certain paper must be placed into the Ronnie Bin as shown in the table below:

Table 1: Paper Recycling into the Ronnie Bin

What Should Be placed in the Ronnie Bin

What Should NOT be placed in the Ronnie Bin

·       Any form of paper (white or colour)

·       Newspapers / Magazines

·       Old memos / letters / Envelopes

·       Photocopy Paper / office paper

·       Old telephone directories

·       Old school books

·       Old damaged textbooks

·       Junk Mail / catalogues

·       Thin cardboard e.g. Cereal boxes – flattened

·       Milk & Juice cartons (Tetra Pak – flattened)

·       Polystyrene cups and plates

·       Paper cups and plates

·       Yoghurt cartons

·       Sweet & chip paper

·       Cigarette ends

·       Carbon Paper & Post-it notes

·       Tissues & paper towels

·       Waxed cartons (e.g. frozen fish cartons)

·       Wax-coated wrapping paper

·       Dog Food & Cement packaging

·       Soiled food cartons (KFC or Pizza boxes)

What is a Tetra Pak?

These cartons are a valuable resource, easily recycled and are much in demand.  They come in all shapes and sizes and are generally filled with a variety of food and beverages.  The caps on the top are made of recyclable plastic.

 Table 2:  The tetrapack 5 Steps

tetra pak

Unfortunately, we do not have the facilities to extend the recycling initiative to other types of waste.  However, we urge you all to identify in your area where plastic, glass, tins, batteries, light bulbs, ink cartridges and oil can be deposited for recycling.  For your information, the table below gives some venues within 5 km radius of Parkview where other recyclables can be deposited.


Table 3:  Venues for other recyclables within 5 km of Parkview

Venue / Address Type of waste
All Pick ‘n Pay Shops
All Pick ‘n Pay Shops Ink Cartridges; Small batteries;   Plastic Bags;

Compact fluorescent light bulbs

Pick-it-up Garden and Recycling Centres
Melrose Estate, Melrose Street Plastics; Glass; used car oil; scrap metal; e-waste; tins; cardboard
Victory Park/Greenside; Victory Road Plastics; Glass; used car oil; scrap metal; e-waste; tins; cardboard
Orchards / Norwood, cnr Short & Pine Str. Plastics; Glass; used car oil; scrap metal; e-waste, tins & cardboard
Glass Bins
Birdhaven Shopping Centre; cnr St Andrews & Wrenrose Str. Acceptable glass:


Cold drink, juice, water, beer, alcohol and liquor bottles

Food and sauce glass containers

Clear drinking glass


NOT acceptable glass:


Mirrors; automotive glass; light bulbs, laboratory glass, crystal; ceramic cups, plates and bottle tops; Clay flower post; window glass; heat resistant ovenware

Zoo Lake Parking area; Lower Park Drive; Parkview
Zoo Lake Moyo Restaurant; Prince of Wales Avenue, Parkview
St Columba’s Presbyterian Church; 25 Lurgan Road, Parkview
Parkview Scuzi Bistro Restaurant (Outside Post Office) Ennis Road
Parkview Golf Club; Emmarentia Road

We all have a responsibility to recycle more and more so that there is less and less of our solid waste going to our rapidly diminishing landfill site.

The St Francis ECO Group.

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