Waste Minimisation Initiatives

The new Integrated Waste Management Policy and the National Waste Management Strategy seek to minimise the waste stream going to landfills, while extracting maximum value from the waste stream at all stages of collection and disposal.


Through the Separation at Source household recycling programme, Pikitup provides residents in selected S@S serviced areas with recycling bags on a weekly basis. The bags are collected on a weekly basis. For areas not serviced through S@S, recyclables can be dropped off at our Pikitup Garden Sites, found across the city. We work with co-operatives and small enterprises to collect, and sort the recyclable waste collected from households and businesses. These initiatives create additional jobs, businesses and income for the unemployed residents within the City. You can play your part by making sure that recyclable materials (paper, plastic, cans, bottles and electronic waste) are kept aside and disposed of separately in allocated bins in public places, shopping outlets and Pikitup garden sites. To see what material can be recycled, please click on our Resources tab.


The City of Johannesburg generates close to 6000 tonnes of waste per day which has detrimental effects on the environment. Pikitup has introduced the Waste to Gas initiative to extract gas from waste generated by the people of Joburg to produce electricity as an alternate source of energy. Landfill gas is mainly made up of methane, carbon dioxide and oxygen, of which methane is the most harmful on the ozone layer. The landfill gas-to-energy projects minimise environmental damaged by reducing methane emissions. Producing energy from our landfill sites will alleviate pressure on the national grid.

In 2015 we launched the new Bulky Waste Service to remove bulky household waste once a month, free of charge. The aim of this service is to divert recyclable waste away from our landfill sites to allow the landfill sites an extended lifespan. Residents who want to dispose bulky waste from their households such as old mattresses, furniture and appliances are urged to contact their nearest Pikitup depots or use the nearest garden sites in their proximity.

Pikitup collects approximately 1,4 million tons of waste in Joburg each year, of which up to 10 percent consists of e-waste. E-waste also accounts for 70 percent of the overall toxic waste that is disposed of in our landfill sites which can pollute the environment. Pikitup’s e-waste recycling initiative allows residents to dispose of broken and unwanted items such as computers, cellphones, microwaves, batteries and many more kinds of electronic equipment. E-waste can be recycled through the recovery of materials and unique components, leading to the creation of job opportunities or development of skills.

Building rubble and soil can be disposed of at certain Pikitup landfills by building contractors at no cost. We introduced this initiative to divert builder’s rubble away from landfill sites (except for the quantities of rubble suitable for, and as required for use as daily cover material), thus increasing airspace and increasing the lifespan of existing landfills. Further, the initiative was introduced as a measure to combat illegal dumping, as rubble constitutes a significant amount of waste dumped illegally in Johannesburg.

The Rose Foundation, in partnership with Pikitup, manages the environmentally acceptable collection, storage and recycling of used lubricating oil in South Africa. Oil can be recycled at various Pikitup Garden Sites.

Illegal dumping is one of the biggest problems the city faces in terms of waste management. Pikitup, the City’s Metropolitan Police Department and Environmental Health Department are working together in reducing the high incidence littering and illegal dumping throughout the City to minimise the waste going to our landfills and to keep our city clean.

One of Pikitups successful waste minimisation projects includes the establishment of buy-back centres. Waste materials with an economic value are bought from the community at these waste sorting facilities and resold to markets outside for a small profit. In addition to the benefits derived from recycling, the programme provides employment and entrepreneurial opportunities to the unemployed. The buy-back centres are privately operated but are supported by Pikitup.

To achieve our goal of cleaning up Johannesburg and reducing illegal dumping and littering, Pikitup has, since its inception, embarked on numerous clean up campaigns, aimed at establishing ownership of the environment amongst all people residing in the City of Johannesburg. Communities and City Departments have participated actively in these campaigns, removing many thousands of tons of excess waste from neighbourhoods. Apart from cleaning problem areas, these clean-ups have also managed to create awareness among communities, and prove that Pikitup is serious in its fight against grime.