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To: City of Johannesburg and Pikitup

Stop Johannesburg's R50 recycling fee that threatens reclaimers' livelihood

Following opposition, the City of Johannesburg has withdrawn the proposed R50 recycling fee, see https://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/coj-pikitup-withdraw-r50-recycling-levy-proposal-2021-05-13/rep_id:4136

Stop Johannesburg's R50 recycling fee that threatens reclaimers' livelihood

We demand that the City of Johannesburg and Pikitup:

1. Put an immediate stop to the R50 recycling fee
2. Develop a reclaimer-based recycling system through consultation with reclaimers

Why is this important?

Starting from 1 July, residents living in houses worth more than R350 000 could potentially pay a R50 “recycling fee” if the City of Johannesburg’s proposed waste management tariff is approved.

The City said that the R50 additional levy will go to Pikitup to extend a separation at source ([email protected]) programme which has already been piloted in a few suburbs in Johannesburg.

The City places the bill at the feet of “affluent” residents to extend the [email protected] pilot programme yet provides no research or statistics to support it. Residents are expected to buy into a system they know nothing about despite having very little trust in the government to provide services and use the money for its intended purpose.

Not only does this recycling fee raise more questions and concerns for residents, it is a grave threat to the livelihood of reclaimers who depend on the collection of recyclables for their daily living. The extension of this project will decrease reclaimers’ access to bins which will significantly decrease their income.

Reclaimers collect between 80 - 90 % of used packaging collected for recycling, saving municipalities millions of rands per year. The contribution of reclaimers cannot be overlooked or underestimated.

There are alternatives to the City's proposal. As African Reclaimers Organisation (ARO), we have been piloting our own [email protected] programme, where we work directly with residents in Brixton and Auckland Park who separate materials for us.

Instead of destroying our jobs, Pikitup should expand our pilot across the city.

We call on residents to:

1. Sign this petition to stop the recycling fee and protect reclaimers’ jobs
2. Object to the recycling fee by completing this IDP comment form: https://share.hsforms.com/1xa2Cg-qnRxajkHAoDwsivw469tl (deadline is 8 May 2021)
3. Get in contact with ARO on Facebook/ Instagram or email to see how we can develop a resident-reclaimer [email protected] programme in your area

No recycling without reclaimers!

Social media: @africanreclaimers
Email: [email protected]

Johannesburg, South Africa

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL


Reasons for signing

  • It's not fair that jobs that some people are working so hard at to make ends meet is slowly going to be taken away from them just so a company can increase its profits at the expense of many others. Greed should have its limitations now and instead we should try look at how we can embrace these people who are actually doing us a favor by recycling for us instead of kill their means of income
  • Reclaimers have a better understanding of recycling than Pikitup! Follow their lead instead of grasping for more money to be ‘ lost ‘ to COJ
  • They help with recycling and are earning a living. I try to help by sorting my refuse.

Updates

2021-07-06 09:31:31 +0200

Petition is successful with 3,713 signatures

2021-04-24 12:21:01 +0200

1,000 signatures reached

2021-04-22 16:21:41 +0200

500 signatures reached

2021-04-21 15:35:47 +0200

100 signatures reached

2021-04-21 12:01:23 +0200

50 signatures reached

2021-04-21 11:37:44 +0200

25 signatures reached

2021-04-21 11:26:18 +0200

10 signatures reached