The Glass Recycling Company Recycle ~ Return ~ Reuse Thu, 05 Dec 2019 12:25:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Glass Recycling Company 32 32 Recycling glass is an important element in the fight against climate change Tue, 12 Nov 2019 14:15:29 +0000 “We are going to change the fate of humanity whether you like it or not.”

 – Greta Thunberg (The 16-year-old climate hero)


TGRC supports initiatives and individual actions that are fighting climate change as we acknowledged International Day of Climate Action which took place on 24 October.

The effects of climate change include; record high rises in sea levels, unusually high land and ocean temperatures, melting glaciers, droughts and heatwaves. One of the main contributors to climate change and global warming is CO2 emissions, with methane gas being the second largest contributor.

An effective way of helping combat climate change, while enabling economic opportunities, is through recycling.


#1 Recycling glass helps conserve our natural resources and reduces processing of raw materials

For every ton of waste glass used to manufacture new glass, an incredible 1.2 tons of natural resources is saved. This means that less CO2 is emitted as 1.2 tonnes of virgin raw material does not need to be quarried, processed and transported prior to being converted into glass packaging.


#2 Recycling glass saves space in landfills

By recycling glass, you help reduce the space being utilised within landfills, which would have been taken up by glass bottles and jars if these were not recycled. Glass is inert and does not release any CO2 but reducing the constant flow of various materials, helps to reduce the generation of greenhouse gasses. Methane is an example of a greenhouse gas. There is no causal relationship between glass lying in landfill and greenhouse gasses. In turn this has a positive impact on climate change.


#3 Recycling glass assists in reducing our energy usage

One of the biggest benefits when it comes to recycling glass is the reduced use of energy. When you compare the energy used in the production of glass from raw materials to the use of recycled glass, the melting of cullet (recycled glass that is crushed and melted), you will find that the required energy is considerably less. The less energy used results in a decrease in CO2 emissions.


#4 Recycling glass is simply greener

When comparing the process of making glass from raw materials and the production process of recycling of glass, there is a considerable reduction in terms of the CO2 emissions as well as any potential water pollution. In fact, every ton of new glass bottles and jars made using recycled glass rather than raw materials, prevents the emission of 670kg of CO2.


#5 Going green and reducing carbon emissions shouldn’t come at the expense of economic growth

Within developing countries such as South Africa, job creation, entrepreneurial development and poverty alleviation are vital elements of assisting the nation to meet its economic goals. Through recycling, thousands of South Africans earn a source of income from collecting waste glass, and selling this valuable packaging to buy-back centres.

Celebrating inspiring ‘green’ women Tue, 17 Sep 2019 14:27:24 +0000 The Glass Recycling Company (TGRC) is proud of the many women within the recycling industry who go above and beyond to make a difference to the environment and continuously empower others through their actions.

Tiny Khahlenya, based in Ekurhuleni started her recycling journey collecting returnable glass bottles over 10 years ago in order to do good in the community and for the environment. She would return these bottles for their deposits to make a profit.

To date Khahlenya has managed to expand and grow her business and now collects glass as far as Delmas. “My business has grown exponentially and I intend to work hard to purchase a new truck soon. I enjoy recycling as I am able to give back to the communities by doing this. Most of my customers are elderly woman and I am trying to do my part in eradicating poverty in my community,” she explains.

Khahlenya shared that she appreciates the hard work that the women who she works with are doing constantly collecting glass, she is always on the lookout for how she can make their work easier. She sometimes pays them in advance when they experience cash flow problems and this helps her to maintain a good relationship with these elderly women.

“I feel empowered by the fact that I can make a difference to the environment and the lives of those around me. I have received great support from TGRC with infrastructure that they have supplied to me for my business, which makes a big difference,” she says.

Artist Dbongz wins glass recycling Art for Glass Graffiti Competition Tue, 20 Aug 2019 10:44:43 +0000 The Glass Recycling Company (TGRC) has announced the winner of their inaugural Art for Glass Graffiti Competition, the exceptionally talented Dbongz Mahalathi. Pre-empting this competition, was the realisation that many individuals are keen to recycle, but often are not sure where to do so. For this reason, TGRC hosted the competition to draw Jozi residents’ attention to the numerous glass banks in the city.

The process saw the top three finalists having to paint various glass banks in Johannesburg, their glass bank entries then went through a gruelling judging process.  Second place was awarded to Durban resident, the Damn Vandal and third place to admired artist, Mars.

Dbongz as he is known, is a self-taught, graffiti/street artist from Mohlakeng, located in the west of Johannesburg. He started participating in graffiti and street art in 2008, when he first came to the city to attend university. He fell in love with the vibrance it provoked in mundane spaces. He is well-known for his large-scale portraits.

CEO of The Glass Recycling Company, Shabeer Jhetam commented on the process of selecting a winner; “It was not an easy task with so many talented graffiti artists entering the competition and a phenomenal line up of the three finalists. The artworks showcased by the finalists on our glass banks is incredible. To help us select the final winner, various criteria and factors were considered including use of colour, environmental consideration, overall likeability, creativity and technique.”

Glass banks that have been painted include one on Bompas Road, Dunkeld; Corner Café, Craighall; Macy’s Spar in Alberton; Engen Garage on Malibongwe Dr; one at Caltex on Cedar Road in Fourways and one at Moyo at Zoo Lake.

Converting waste into warmth this winter for Mandela Day Wed, 24 Jul 2019 08:06:41 +0000 On Madiba Day, The Glass Recycling Company (TGRC) team spent their 67 minutes for Mandela, converting
everyday waste to warmth, by crafting sleeping bags for the homeless. The initiative aims to raise awareness
regarding homelessness and poverty experienced in South Africa, and ties into the ethos of TGRC team who
wholeheartedly believe in the value of reusing and recycling waste, to reduce the impact of waste on landfill.

These clever but simple sleeping bags are constructed out of recycled materials including newspaper and plastic
bags. each sleeping bag is inserted into a sturdy waterproof cover made from repurposed billboard material.

The Make-and-Donate-a-Sleeping-Bag campaign has been hosted by Kingsmead College in Rosebank,
Johannesburg for several years and is run in partnership with Community Hours, an NGO that facilitates and
manages community service activities.

“Madiba spent his lifetime in service to the country and it is important for all South Africans to adopt an attitude of
service towards others and the country,” said TGRC CEO, Shabeer Jhetam during the activity. “I am really
excited about our team participating in this ingenious recycling endeavour on Mandela Day. We believe that as
conscientious citizens we can all make a difference by making small but important choices daily, to make the
world a better place.”

Show your love for glass, with your art! Mon, 08 Jul 2019 13:01:51 +0000 The Glass Recycling Company (TGRC) called for all graffiti artists to submit their art for its Art for Glass Graffiti Competition in order to stand a chance to have their art displayed on glass recycling banks in Johannesburg!

Artists who are passionate for art and love being creative and love expressing themselves through graffiti, were encouraged to enter the competition during April and May 2019. The competition proved very popular and had over 30 entries, making the judging quite a difficult task for the TGRC team!  Not only do finalists win the chance to have their art showcased on glass banks in Joburg, the top three finalists will also walk away with cash prizes worth R 60 000 with the 1 st prize being R30 000, 2 nd prize R20 000 and 3 rd prize R10 000.

The campaign objective is to create an awareness of glass recycling in communities and get people actively recycling their glass bottles and jars at their local glass banks. By making some of the glass banks, more colourful with art, they will be more visible people to find!

TGRC believes in the infinite potential of glass to make a real and positive contribution to society. At TGRC we are committed to prove that glass recycling is worth the effort!

For tips and advice like TGRC on Facebook or visit their website for entry forms and T’s & C’s for the competition.

More great news on the ‘War on Waste’ front – South Africa’s glass recycling rate increases Wed, 03 Jul 2019 07:41:36 +0000 Many individuals are not aware of what happens to their so called ‘rubbish’ and are therefore not concerned about their waste or recycling habits. However, due to mandatory recycling implemented in parts of the City of Joburg during 2018, consumers are being nudged in a greener direction. More individuals are becoming aware of waste problems which are affecting us, and the fact that recycling is a quick and easy solution to solving many of these problems.

During The Glass Recycling Company (TGRC)’s 6th Annual Green Dialogues, on Wednesday, June 26, 2019, CEO, Shabeer Jhetam, announced that the glass recycling rate has once again increased, now to 42% in South Africa. The positive statistic shows that through continuous green behaviour by South African citizens we can create a cleaner environment. The glass that is recycled is successfully diverted away from our natural spaces, parks, curbs and also importantly, diverted from landfills.

Well-known business and finance journalist Bruce Whitfield spoke at the event and discussed the businesses that thrive on the edge of chaos, as well as the businesses that are adapting to become more sustainable to be more future-fit.

During the event Jhetam said “We are incredibly pleased to see our ongoing education has equated to South Africans being more responsible and helping us to increase the glass recycling rate each year. However, there is still work to be done, up until every single one of us is doing our part when it comes to waste management and creating a cleaner environment. By working together as citizens, we are confident that the glass recycling rate as well as the rate of glass diverted from landfills will increase year on year”.

In addition to the placement of glass banks for suburban glass recycling, over the last year TGRC trained and mentored 1 122 entrepreneurs and collectors with development courses to assist in the development of their businesses. Across the country, 609 tons of glass bottles and jars were recovered by learners in the TGRC Annual Schools Competition, showing growing care for the environment by the youth. This is a positive sign that the recycling trend is here to stay.

Focus on glass and recycling trends Wed, 10 Apr 2019 09:18:10 +0000 Being green is a big trend globally, but are South Africans doing enough to make a positive difference to the
environment? The Glass Recycling Company (TGRC), our national body encouraging glass recycling,
discusses the factors impacting on recycling successes and trends in SA.

1. Entrepreneurship in Waste

Entrepreneurship is a key component in the success of glass recycling in terms of achieving the
sustainable recycling culture that is envisage for South Africa. For this reason, TGRC focusses on
supporting glass collection and recycling as a viable business model for the many thousands of
entrepreneurs and informal collectors we are proud to call our partners.

2. South African Recycling Legislation

Currently South Africa does not have punitive mandatory legislation in place which makes separation of
recyclables at source, (whereby recyclable packaging including glass, paper, metal and plastic is
separated from the waste stream) across homes, offices, restaurants and bars.

3. A world-leading Returnable Bottling System for South Africa

South Africa has one of the most efficient returnable bottle systems in the world thanks, in the part, to
the efforts of some of our country’s brand owners. The pleasing end result of South Africa’s highly
effective glass recycling and reuse programmes is that 82% of all glass packaging is prevented from
finding its way into our country’s landfills.

4. Green Education – Growing the next generation of glass recyclers

With the future of our country in the hands of our youth, it is vital to build enthusiasm amongst the youth
regarding recycling and green behaviours. We need to encourage young consumers to ‘recover, reuse
and recycle’. An impressive total in excess of 723 tons of glass was collected by the schools
participating in the latest Annual Schools Competition.

Schools get a gold for going green Wed, 10 Apr 2019 09:17:41 +0000 The Glass Recycling Company’s (TGRC)’s Annual Schools Competition results are out and once again the winning
schools around the country have been recognised for their dedication to protecting our environment through glass
recycling. In 2018 alone, schools across the country collected a total of 723 tons of glass, nearly 2.2 million glass
bottles and jars.

TGRC’s Annual Schools Competition aims to motivate learners and teachers to make green choices for the
improvement of our country. Increased awareness of the negative impact of pollution in our public spaces, such as
beaches, public parks and roads has brought about the need for South Africans to find better ways of disposing of
packaging waste.

TGRC awarded Bergvliet Primary School, based in the Western Cape, with the National Winner’s prize of R20 000.
This was awarded to them over and above their R30 000 regional prize, as well as their monthly prizes. During
2018 Bergvliet Primary School collected nearly 80 tons of glass.

The Western Cape certainly lived up to its green reputation as their top three schools collected a total of
approximately 145.5 tons of glass – 436 500 bottles and jars. The three best KwaZulu-Natal schools collected 128
tons of glass or 384 000 bottles and jars. In Gauteng the top three schools collected a total of 87 tons of glass or
261 000 bottles and jars. Lastly the three top Eastern Cape schools collected approximately 11 tons of glass or
33 000 bottles and jars.



  • 1st Prize Bergvliet Primary School (R30 000 plus R20 000 as National Winner)
  • 2nd Prize Kenridge Primary School (R20 000)
  • 3rd prize Sunningdale Primary School (R10 000)


  • 1st Prize Kloof Senior Primary School (R30 000)
  • 2nd Prize Isnembe Secondary School (20 000)
  • 3rd prize Ilanga Secondary School (10 000)


  • 1 st Prize Laerskool Anton Van Wouw (R30 000)
  • 2 nd Prize St. Paulus Pre-and Primary School (R20 000)
  • 3 rd Prize Alma Mater International School (R10 000)


  • 1st Prize Herbert Hurd Primary School (R30 000)
  • 2nd Prize Laerskool Kabega Skoolfonds (R20 000)
  • 3rd prize Incredible Kids Day Care (R10 000)

To enter your school for this green competition and stand the chance to win great cash prizes, click here!

Nine remarkable facts about returnable glass bottles Mon, 01 Oct 2018 12:28:40 +0000 The Glass Recycling Company (TGRC) encourages both the recycling of glass bottles and jars as well as the return of reusable glass bottles to retailers and traders.

Here are nine facts we’re sure you didn’t know about returnable (or reusable) glass bottles:

  1. Annually, South Africans use 2.7 million tons of glass packaging, but only need to produce 0.8 million tons due to the returnable bottling system.
  2. Every returnable bottle returned to a beverage manufacturer is hygienically sterilised and refilled.
  3. Customers can receive their deposit back when they return their bottles to the retailer, shebeen or trader that sold them the beverage.
  4. The average returnable beer bottle is refilled 21 times in its environmentally-friendly lifecycle
  5. South Africa has one of the most efficient returnable bottle systems in the world.
  6. Our country has one of the globe’s largest supply of returnable bottles in market at any given time.
  7. 82% of glass packaging is diverted from landfill each year through customers using returnable bottles and recycling non-returnable bottles
  8. By reusing existing glass bottles, 610 Kgs of CO2 is saved for every 1 ton of glass reused
  9. While South Africa continues to see a rise in the use of returnable bottles, countries such as the USA, New Zealand and Australia have witnessed a decline.

It is safe to say that these statistics and facts support the case for reusing glass packaging whenever possible!  Remember to reuse, return and recycle your glass bottle or jar in order to help reduce the environmental impact.

Turning waste into sustainable wealth Mon, 03 Sep 2018 09:15:14 +0000 This Women’s Month, The Glass Recycling Company (TGRC) is celebrating women in recycling and the positive impact they have on both our environment as well as communities.

And as an example, the story of glass recycling entrepreneur, Lorraine Mpule Matlou, bears testimony to this passion, effort and drive that goes into making a difference.

Back In 2008, Lorraine and her late husband, Doctor Molao who was at the time unemployed, identified a business opportunity that involved collecting waste glass in and around Germiston and immediately set about turning this opportunity into reality.

Part of their strategy included targeting restaurants and pubs in the area that were generating high amounts of waste glass – most of which was finding its way directly to nearby landfills. Through determination, passion and no small amount of hard work, the couple steadily grew their glass recovery business and, a year later, they were in a position to purchase their first bakkie.

With their business operations now having grown exponentially and poised for further growth, they turned to TGRC, who supported their ambitions by supplying wheelie bins and safety equipment. This support was the turning point in the fortunes of the business. “We no longer needed to cover the costs of the large drums that had to be placed at the establishments we were collecting glass from and could invest the resulting savings back into growing our business,” she explains.

Additionally they also registered their business with a glass manufacturer, which  allowed them to directly supply that company with waste glass. In virtually no time at all, the couple’s hard work and innovative thinking had paid off as they also acquired a four-ton truck, which enabled them to collect even greater volumes of glass and quickly found themselves delivering up to four loads of waste glass per day to the glass manufacturer.

Sadly though, in 2015 Doctor passed away which put additional pressure on Lorraine as the workload associated with operating a thriving business proved immense as she not only found herself having to drive one of the two trucks the business now owned during the day but also having to attend to administration matters in the evening.

To keep herself from becoming overwhelmed, she once again turned to TGRC for guidance and support on how to manage the growing business more effectively. She attended two training seminars, hosted by TGRC, which helped her to better understand and operate her business, especially from a financial point of view.

Thanks to Lorraine’s dedication, tireless commitment, and her ongoing partnership with TGRC, the number of sites that are serviced by her glass collection business has more than doubled since she and Doctor first went into business.

She is also in the final stages of establishing a buy-back centre in her area, with further help of TGRC. Her trucks will soon be collecting bags of recyclable glass from people in the surrounding townships as part of Lorraine’s commitment to uplifting women in these areas and empowering them to earn an income for both themselves and their dependents.