This morning I read this well-researched article by Pablo Paster about the case for recycling (or not recycling) paper. Check it out!
I'm just becoming familiar with the Cape Town recycling scene. The city doesn't pick up recycling separately, which I think vastly undermines their efforts- or rather means that residents have to be much more pro-active than otherwise.
That said, if items at the recycling centers actually get recycled, we're doing better than many places. I'll try to find out. There's a thriving informal recycling sector, but near our home in Observatory there are piles of rubbish that include plastic bottles and other recyclables.