Re-use and recycle
Australians are some of the largest waste producers (per capita) in the world, coming in behind only the USA and Canada. There are steps we can all take to help reduce waste – buy only what you need and re-use items instead of throwing them away. Whether you re-use items yourself or give them away, you'll be keeping things out of landfill. Re-using also means buying less new items, which helps reduce demand on water, energy and raw materials.
There are many other ways to re-use and recycle your waste.
Donate items for re-use
Do your bit to avoid waste by donating unwanted items to the following organisations.
Bower re-use and repair co-op
The Bower collects unwanted goods and resells them to the community. It is also a repair and re-use centre and if they can't accept your items they help you find someone who might.
Cartridges 4 Planet Ark
Recycle your old printer, ink and laser cartridges for re-manufacturing or producing new products.
Give things you don't want to a good home. Post your goods online and the happy recipient will usually come and pick them up.
A not-for-profit cooperative that sells industrial discards to the public for creative and practical projects.
St Vincent de Paul (Vinnies)
Families in need are given household items, clothes and toys while surplus goods are sold at Vinnie's shops and centres. You can even donate torn, stained and damaged clothes, which are recycled and sold to companies as cleaning rags.
The Smith Family
The Smith Family will find a new home for your clean and wearable unwanted clothing and accessories. Individuals or business can donate in NSW by calling 1300 737 166.
The Salvation Army Stores (Salvos)
The Salvos can reuse materials that are too good to throw out.
Give away items you no longer want but are too good to throw out. Ziilch is easy-to-use and free to join, list and take an item.
Sell items for re-use
Make some cash from your trash by advertising your unwanted goods: on an online auction site (like Ebay, Gumtree or Scoodi); in your local community newspapers; or on community noticeboards. You could also hold a garage sale or have a stall at your local markets.
Buy and swap items
Get your shopping fix and help the environment by visiting the stores and websites above. You can also consider swapping goods. And don't forget about garage sales.
Swapping is the new shopping! Get along to a local swap party, bring along something you don't want and swap it for something you do. You can also check out Planet Ark's guide to holding your own swap party.
You can hold your own garage sale any time. Keep an eye out for sales in your neighbourhood or wait until the annual Garage Sale Trail, a national event that is becoming more popular every year.
More ways to avoid waste
The ideas below will help reduce waste to landfill and/or manufacturing and transport costs.
- Hire or borrow things you use occasionally like tools and equipment.
- Borrow books, videos, DVDs and toys from your nearest library.
- Buy more durable products that will last longer.
- Cut food waste by setting up a worm farm or compost heap.
- Buy music online and download it to avoid CD packaging.
- When buying presents, choose experiences or service gifts such as a massage or beauty treatment to avoid unwanted gifts.
- If you're thinking about getting a car, consider car share/hire.
- Fix up your old bike (tools and parts available) or buy a reconditioned abandoned bike at The Nunnery Bike Workshop (1 Phillip St, Waterloo).
- Say goodbye to junk mail by picking up a FREE "No Advertising Material" sticker for your letterbox at one of our Neighbourhood Service Centres.
- "No Advertising Material" stickers can also be ordered from the Distribution Standards Board on 1800 676 136.
- Register to STOP receiving White or Yellow Pages by calling Sensis on 1800 810 211.
- Register your name on the Australian Direct Marketing Association's Do Not Mail Service to stop contact from ADMA members.
- Get rid of your second fridge through Fridge Buyback.
- Dispose out-of-date medicines safely - visit any pharmacy or Return Unwanted Medicines.
BikeclubBower Cartridges 4 Planet Ark Fridge Buyback Garage Sale TrailOzrecycle Planet Ark Return Unwanted Medicines Reverse Garbage St Vincent de Paul The Salvation Army The Smith Family Zero Waste Ziilch
Last updated: Friday, 24 May 2013