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Clearer Conscience Recycling Company in Cape Town
Meet the premier Mother City collection service that’s making recycling easy
This female-run business in Malmesbury are turning recycled paper products into beautiful flowers and herbs, called Growing Paper.
“The term ‘landfill’ has become a bit of a misnomer, hasn’t it?” says an animated Andy Conder, owner of Clearer Conscience, a premier recycling company in Cape Town, when asked about the current state of the Mother City’s waste management and disposal system. “These days, they’re more like mountains than holes in the ground.”
Though, the present undesirable dump site situation (within a mere 6 to 10 years, Cape Town’s three landfills will have reached maximum capacity) is not just the product of a consumerist society or a general lack of concern for the environment; rather, as Andy emphasises, it’s also the result of the absence of a well-structured, city-sponsored recycling retrieval scheme in South Africa. And without a regular civic collection service, the burden of disposing of recyclable matter falls entirely on locals, many of whom are typically ill-informed about appropriate drop-off spots (and far too busy to make regular trips there, in any case).
Unsurprisingly, the unfortunate consequence is that this important environmentally-conscious practice simply doesn’t get adopted often enough. A 2010 report issued by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), for instance, concluded that although recycling rates have improved over the last 20 years, they’re still nowhere near as high as they should be in order to make a meaningful difference.
So, it was partly in response to this urgent need for a solid Cape Town recycling service – and, more specifically, for a curbside collection service – and partly in reaction to a realisation that many people would, in fact, gladly recycle if it was made simple, accessible and convenient for them, that the Clearer Conscience pick-up business was established back in May 2008.
“Our aim is to make recycling not only possible but easy for people,” explains the innovative entrepreneur, who’s a university lecturer by profession, though his passion clearly lies in helping others help the planet.
Needless to say, with this sterling company’s services as an option, recycling becomes so effortless and quick that locals really no longer have any excuse not to do it. As the enterprise’s eco-friendly trucks take responsibility for picking up recyclables from homes and businesses (they offer packages for both) and delivering them to appropriate drop-off points, those that partner with Clearer Conscience need only worry about separating the distinct matter when tossing it away and essentially taking out the ‘trash’ – the rest is done for them.
While the focus of this efficient waste removal business is on paper, plastic, tin and glass recycling, they’re not necessarily limited to fetching only these materials (in fact, what sets them apart from other similar Cape Town recycling companies is that they collect a diverse range of goods). Being a flexible, accommodating business that’s committed to tailoring its services to individual needs, Clearer Conscience will pick up anything from four small bags from tiny residences to industrial-size amounts from large-scale institutions, and will, on arrangement, attempt to find homes for even classically hard-to-recycle products (e-waste, clothing and furniture, for example).
And in many cases, the ‘homes’ for all of their drop-offs are, in fact, charity organisations and worthy initiatives that are not only in need of donated second-hand goods but that also collect salvaged discarded matter (such as used glass bottles) to sell it on to big recycling plants as an additional source of income for funding their causes.
Hence, as its name suggests, this commendable company – which prides itself on being highly reliable and offering truly affordable rates – helps to give clients a ‘clearer conscience’ by aiding them in having a positive impact on both the environment and on people in less fortunate positions. Not to mention, by supporting the growth of such a venture, patrons assist with job creation too.
On top of that though, the enterprise tasks itself with being more than just a logistical pick-up and drop-off service. Recognising that education on the subject is key, Clearer Conscience willingly consults with those keen on recycling at home or work and offers advice and important information on what and how to recycle, which bins are best to use, the benefits of the practice and more. In particular, they’ll also put together helpful presentations for staff at subscribed corporates that want to implement an effective office recycling programme – an exercise that, as Andy points out, is essential considering the huge amount of potentially recoverable, reusable waste big businesses toss out daily.
“This is what we’re all about,” exclaims the passionate owner, highlighting their genuine investment in making a real difference. Clearly, Clearer Conscience is a company quite broadly committed to shifting mindsets, improving systems and, at the very least, turning landfill mountains into manageable molehills.
Clearer Conscience Recycling Company’s Collection Process
Clearer Conscience picks up recyclable materials directly from home and business premises and the frequency of collection varies from twice weekly to once a month depending on personal needs (their most popular packages are once weekly or once every fortnight). Particular days of the week are allocated to particular areas in Cape Town, so depending on location, each client can expect a specific removal day. If no one will be present at the premises around the arranged time of collection (though the company can’t guarantee their trucks will arrive to the minute, they do attempt to stick to allocated times), the bags of materials should be placed outside on the pavement.
How to Obtain the Services of Clearer Conscience
Interested parties can sign up for services as well as find a wealth of relevant information about the company on Clearer Conscience’s website. Once personal details have been filled out via this portal, a member of the enterprise’s team will be in contact to arrange a suitable personal package (they’re happy to consult in person if required). The company is also contactable for queries and subscriptions via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), telephone (+27 (0)82 339 9838) or their Facebook page. For businesses and institutions, they recommend a four-week trial period in the early stages after signing on so that needs, in terms of volume and frequency of collection required, can be accurately assessed (it’s often difficult for large organisations to first gauge what amount of materials will be acquired weekly).
Tip: Seeking useful tips and advice about recycling? Clearer Conscience’s Facebook page serves as a great source of information about the practice and related topics in general, with links through to interesting, helpful articles posted regularly.
The Bill: Collection rates are highly reasonable (after all, this worthy company aims to make recycling as accessible to people as possible). Residential collections cost from R60 a month for the basic four black bags and business collections go from R95 a month. Those interested in signing up are encouraged to contact them to find out about discounted volumes and packages.
Set on doing even more for the environment than just recycling in Cape Town? Read about another admirable eco-friendly Mother City initiative: Greenpop. Also, be sure to check out more details about Clearer Conscience's household recycling and business recycling services.
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