We highlighted the importance of recycling in our previous blog but in South Africa, there is a lot of confusion of what can and cannot be recycled. It is important to confirm with your local recycling centre as to which items they can and cannot process as recycling centres can differ from one another. If you are inspired to start recycling but you don’t know where to begin, have a look at our standard list of items that can and can’t be recycled.


White and coloured office / computer paper
Phone books
Newspaper and magazines
Gift wrap
Cardboard food and milk packaging / cartons – even if it has the plastic lining (if mentioned on packaging). Please dispose of plastic screw lids as these cannot be recycled
Cardboard boxes – it is best to flatten these before recycling
Envelopes (no plastic inner)
Used notebooks

Greasy / food contaminated carboard packaging such as pizza boxes
Used paper plates and cups
Toilet paper and tissues
Laminated paper
Carbon paper
Foil or wax lined packaging that doesn’t mention recycling on it
Wet or dirty paper


Plastic milk and cold drink beverage bottles
Cleaning / detergent bottles
Certain plastic bags (recycling symbol will be shown on the bag)

Bubble Wrap
Disposable coffee cups (unless otherwise stated on the cup)
Plastic eating utensils
Screw top lids (from cold drink bottles etc)
Disposable plastic straws


Tin food cans
Certain car parts
brass bathroom fixtures and plumbing
Electric wires
Copper pipes
Ring binders from old files (remove the file)
Scrap metals such as iron, steel, aluminium, brass and copper (did you know that Allsorted uses aluminium and stainless steel to produce most of our products making them recyclable items)

Paint cans
Teflon coated pots and pans
CFL Lightbulbs which contain mercury
Aerosol cans


Glass food containers such as jam jars
Glass beverage bottles

Broken glass (as little pieces of glass can contaminate other recyclable materials)
Pyrex dishes

It is important to check what you put out for recycling as bins / bags that have too many other non-recyclable items in will just be sent to landfill instead of sorted for recycling. Always ensure that recyclable items are as clean as possible in order to avoid contamination. There are other items such as electronic waste that can be recycled through specialty recycle centres. You can also check with your local municipality / recycling centre on the specific recycling rules they follow.

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