Reducing waste at home

Help us keep our city clean and green by reducing, reusing, repairing and recycling.


Why we’re doing this

Nearly everyone puts something in the bin each day without thinking about the environmental impact. Collectively it’s huge.

By reducing your waste, you’re helping to care for the environment, reduce climate impacts, save precious resources and money. Plus, it makes you feel good!

Reducing waste starts when you first consider buying something. Before you buy an item, ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Do I actually need this?
  • Is there an option with less packaging?
  • Is there an alternative made from recycled materials?
A mountain of textile waste in the middle of the city and as tall as some storeys of surrounding buildings.
Fast fashion is a key contributor to our growing waste problem. An estimated 85% of all textiles globally are sent to landfill every year. That’s enough to fill Sydney Harbour annually.Jamie Williams, City of Sydney

Avoiding waste to landfill

If we don't make changes to how we manage waste, by 2030 we'll be sending over 100,000 tonnes of waste to landfill every year. That's 1.5 times what we currently produce.

When waste is buried, it decomposes over time and emits greenhouse gases that warm the earth. Sending waste to landfill also means valuable resources used to create products are lost forever and we need to keep replacing them with more raw materials.

We all have a part to play in reducing waste. Small and consistent changes at home can add up. Together we can achieve our zero waste goal by 2030.

How we can achieve this

A consumer putting a jar in a reusable bag while shopping at a bulk food store.
Woman under a market stall holds a garage sale trail sign behind a display of second hand shoes on the stall table.
Reused and repaired bicycles, chairs, armchair, tables, stool and other pieces of furniture outside The Bower Co-Op.

The 4 Rs

By applying the 4 Rs – reduce, reuse, repair and recycle – you can help address the growing waste problem and climate emergency.

The 4 Rs are part of the waste hierarchy. These are a set of priorities ordered from most preferred to least preferred actions. Consider ways to reduce or reuse items before recycling and disposal.

Ask a waste expert

Get answers to all your tricky questions about reducing, reusing and recycling.

What’s On

Get involved

We have a range of programs to help businesses, community groups and apartment buildings improve sustainability and reduce waste.

City of Sydney News