Reducing Your Waste

Did you know that on a per person basis, Australia is one of the highest producers of garbage in the world? The huge amount of rubbish we produce has multiple effects on the environment from depleting natural, often non-renewable resources to using excessive amounts of energy to transport and dispose of the rubbish.

Reducing waste can be easy, as long as you follow the waste minimisation hierarchy:

  • Reduce
  • Reuse
  • Recycle

Step 1: Reduce:

The most effective way to reduce waste is to not create it in the first place.

  • Did you know that the average household in NSW throws away $1,000 worth of food each year? A little bit of forward planning can help us all to save money, food and the environment. Write a shopping list to avoid over-buying and make sure your list takes into account what you already have in your fridge, freezer and pantry. For more information visit the Love Food Hate Waste website for tips on shopping, managing your pantry, use by dates and food storage.
  • If you prepare too much dinner, instead of throwing it away try freezing the leftovers for another meal during the week or packing it as lunch for the next day at work or school. Or you could visit the Taste website to view lots of recipe ideas for turning your leftovers into a new meal!
  • Try setting up a compost bin or worm farm for fruit and vegetable scraps. Not only will this reduce the amount of food waste you are putting in your red lid bin, you will also have some great compost and worm castings to use on your garden! Visit the Environment & Heritage website for information on setting up a compost or worm farm system at your place.

Step 2: Reuse:

Try some of the following ideas for reducing your waste by reusing more:

  • Take a reusable shopping bag, basket or box with you when shopping and if you forget your reusable bag and must use a plastic shopping bag, reuse it on your next shopping trip or find other uses for it such as your garbage bin liner.
  • Instead of using single use disposable items such as batteries, disposable razors and nappies, try using varieties that can be used over and over again.
  • Buying or swapping second hand clothes with friends and family can be a cheap and fun way to reduce waste. Visit Planet Arks website for information on hosting your own Swap Party to swap clothes, jewellery, accessories, books, cds and other items with friends and family.
  • If you are getting rid of some good quality furniture, clothing or general nic nacs why not try holding a garage sale, selling them on online or donating them to your local opportunity shop.

Step 3: Recycle:

In your yellow lid bin and through other recycling programs.

  • In your yellow lid bin: paper, cardboard, metal cans, rigid plastic bottles and containers and glass bottles and jars. Visit our Recycling Bin page for a thorough listing of what can be recycled in your Yellow Lid Bin.
  • Take your empty printer cartridges to any Australia Post, Officeworks, Dick Smith Electronics, JB Hi Fi, The Good Guys and Harvey Norman for recycling through Cartridges 4 Planet Ark.
  • Find a local supermarket, which offers recycling facilities for plastic supermarket bags, such as Coles or Woolworths.
  • Visit our E-Waste Recycling, Light Globe & Battery Recycling and Chemical Cleanout pages on this website to find out further information on Councils other recycling programs.
  • Visit Planet Ark’s Recycling Near You website for information on recycling mobile phones, computers, corks an more!