File picture: Pixabay

The City of Johannesburg "has taken a big step in the fight against pollution, through the introduction of a mandatory recycling plan for residents," said Janho Engelbrecht, the DA spokesperson on the environment.

Engelbrecht said the City's Separation-at-Source Programme, which gives households the responsibility of separating their own waste, will ensure that recycling begins at home. In effect this means that households in Joburg will have to sort plastic, paper and cans into different garbage bags.

He blamed the ANC-led government for backlogs in the implementation of the programme, and praised the decision  by MMC Nico de Jager to make Separation-at-Source mandatory from July 1.

"Some initial concerns were raised that the introduction of this programme would exclude waste-pickers. However, the formalization of the sector will instead incorporate them as an integral part of the recycling process. This will certainly come with its own benefits as waste- pickers will be granted rights and protection within this sector," said Engelbrecht.