May 8, 2015

Who wants a wasteland on our doorstep?

Ok, so you're planning a move or just de-cluttering, upgrading your couch or updating the TV with the latest and greatest. Before you chuck anything in the bin (or on the sidewalk, for that matter), check out these easy ways to dispose of, reuse and recycle your pre-loved stuff. 

If more people find better homes for unwanted items like you, there may be less dumped junk around our neighbourhood (ugh, so darn ugly). How good would that be?    

Sell, donate or give them away 

One person’s trash is another’s treasure, right? Your unwanted couch may be a welcome sofa for someone, especially if they can’t afford much. Call charities and not-for-profits  like Vinnies, The Bower or Salvation Army to collect your second-hand goods for those in need.  Have a garage sale or find happy bargain hunters via websites like OzRecycle, Freecycle, Gumtree, and eBay (yep, you can even score some cash for waste). Otherwise, donate stuff to Reverse Garbage, Australia’s largest reuse centre in Marrickville. 

Electronic goods 

Drop off your broken toaster or out-dated TV at a free e-waste collection day, held twice a year. Metals from the unwanted electronic goods collected are recycled into new products, cutting down waste and chemicals that go into landfill.  Waverley, Woollahra and Randwick Council residents can drop items off at Randwick Recycling Centre, 72 Perry Street, Matraville, Monday to Saturday. 

Alternative recycling solutions for old electronic equipment:

Paints and household chemicals  

You can safely ditch old poison bottles, car batteries and paint cans at a Chemical CleanOut Day. It’s a free government-run disposal service for household chemicals that could cause harm to human health and the environment if not disposed of correctly. Check out the EPA Website for more information  for more.

Batteries

Old batteries can leak chemicals if not disposed of correctly. You can drop them off at Council's Customer Service Centre or Aldi supermarkets.  Car batteries can be dropped off at a Chemical CleanOut Day, at selected car product stores (e.g. Repco) or at Sita’s Rockdale Drop Off Centre.  

Whitegoods 

The Fridge Buyback Program collects old second fridges and upright freezers to recycle for free - http://www.fridgebuyback.com.au/ If you’ve exhausted other reuse and recycling avenues for your unwanted whitegoods, take them to the Randwick Recycling Centre or book a free household clean-up collection with Council. Waverley: 9369 8000. Woollahra: 9391 7000. Randwick: 1300 722 542. 

Mattresses 

Each year, around 1.25 million mattresses end up in landfill in Australia. Waverley, Woollahra and Randwick Councils offers free or subsidized mattress recycling for residents - just call the numbers above. 

Flowers (not fridges) 

Community gardens are a great solution to turning ugly dumping spaces into vibrant and useable places for all to enjoy. With the help of Waverley Council and Channel 7’s Better Homes and Gardens, residents in Anglesea Street Bondi did just that to stop dumping of white goods in an unused carpark. 

Info and feedback: 

 Written by Nicola Saltman

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