90% of South Africa’s waste ends up in our landfills – and we generate an average of 122 million tons of waste per year. To give you a visual idea, that is approximately one ton of waste for every square kilometer of our beautiful country.

Waste management, as we know it, is changing at a remarkable pace but not without new challenges, these challenges are pushing for change and innovation in the industry. While “doing the right thing” is both commendable and encouraged, businesses are starting to see, starting to have light bulb moments of the many other benefits that are make up effective waste management systems.


For businesses, micro, small or large, improving operational efficiency is of the outmost importance. However, why do we most often leave out waste management from operational efficiency? By creating actionable plans to actively reduce the amount of waste you generate, your staff spend less time sorting, loading, and removing materials from the premises. Correct waste management, helps to avoid overflowing waste bins and all the possible issues that would follow. This in turn reduces liability, prevents further financial costs, reduces pest control costs,  and helps you avoid any penalties.


Businesses must now remain compliant with local, national, and even global regulations and laws. Failure to adhere to these standards may mean fines, penalties or even the loss of vital licenses required to operate. Additionally, these types of regulations look set to increase over the coming years, particularly as governments play a bigger role in regulating extender producer responsibility and cities manage waste as a whole.

Creating an adaptive waste management plan, will definitely help you achieve the targets required by law, but you can also benefit from available grants and incentives that may be available for businesses, that meet best practices. The benefits of waste management here are clear, remain compliant or suffer the consequences.


Today, consumers are increasingly awake to waste practices of any business. Support to companies who are leaving a “greener” footprint and have eco-friendly packaging and principals is increasing. A simple commitment to eco-principles and sustainability, having ethical practices and being transparent with customers can be highly effective to keep your brand on top of mind.

While this may be a less tangible benefit of waste management, it is the opportunity to impress customers through improving your brand image.


Your staff are consumers too. You want your staff to believe in what you do, increasing staff awareness and responsibility towards the environment will definitely having morale boosted.

Staff recognise a commitment to improving both the local and global environment, they too will take greater pride in their workplace and your business.  Additionally, as the world moves towards greater sustainability and circularity, resource efficient employees will become the standard, and your business will be able to have green star status.  Sustainable business practice goes hand-in-hand with environmental sustainability, and with increased staff awareness through training, will ensure everyone is on the same page.


What do you spend on average to dispose of waste in your business? Do you have staff who sort out the waste? Are they trained and know what is recyclable and what is not? Or do you make use of an outsourced on-site waste management service, such as Recycle 1st?

By having an on-site waste management service, you can better measure waste to landfill, reduce valuable recyclable material ending up on landfills and in larger volumes, help get a return on your waste, off setting your disposal costs. An on-site waste management team are trained professionals, who are able to identify what can and cannot be recycled. They are better placed to streamline your waste processes and help you achieve your environmental responsibility targets.

As businesses become more aware of the many benefits of waste management solutions, it is clear that practices will change, and environmental sustainability will as a consequence improve. Companies will increasingly move towards the Zero Waste concept, especially now that extender producer responsibility is being implemented. Achieving this concept is only possible, when company procurement is analysed and addressed.

A critical piece of this process is that the company you partner, with regards to your waste management, is as important and can offer a service that is transparent, measurable and can find solutions to your processes. – such as Recycle 1st. We can manage, measure and report on your waste management practices, offer your staff training with regards to waste disposal in their workplaces, ensure reliable consistent removal of waste and provide you with the relevant data to build a more sustainable process.

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