13 everyday items you didn’t know you could recycle
6 March 2015
In an ideal world, it’d be easy to recycle everything we didn’t need. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple - but these 13 tips will make it a little easier to recycle more.
Even if you were part of the generation of Australians who had ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ drilled into you during the last decade – recycling can be hard to do. It’s not always clear what can and can’t be recycled in your local council area.
Even if you were part of the generation of Australians who had ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ drilled into you during the last decade – recycling can be hard to do. It’s not always clear what can and can’t be recycled in your local council area
For recycling plastics, we’ve put together this handy guide – but what about recycling beyond your yellow bin? Here are the best tips for recycling all that you can.
1: ‘Green’ polypropylene bags, and plastic packaging that you can’t recycle at home, such as biscuit packets, bread bags, rice and pasta bags, can all be recycled in the dedicated bins at both Coles and most Woolworths supermarkets. They might even be remade into things like garden benches for schools. You can read more here.
2: Mobile phones (but not cables) can be left at Sony Centres and Leading Edge Computers. Here, mobile phones are recycled and the money raised will be used to build specialised youth cancer centres for 15 to 30 year old cancer sufferers through the charity YouCan.
3: Domestic batteries can be disposed of sustainably in bins at most ALDI stores. Learn more from our friends at Planet Ark.
4: Used stamps are accepted as donations by many organisations – for example, Guide Dogs in Tasmania. You can find a full list of organisations who collect used stamps at the Give Now website.
7: Corks from wine or champagne bottles might be recyclable at a location near you. Use Planet Ark’s Recycling Near You tool to find a drop-off point.
8: Used bras and swimwear can be donated to Project Uplift, which sends them on to women for whom bras are unobtainable or unaffordable. You can find participating stores across Australia here.
9: Wire clothes hangers can be returned to dry cleaning shops.
10: Joggers that are not too worn can be given to Soles for Souls who will donate them to orphanages or use them to help fund microfinance projects in developing countries.
11: Used plastic children’s toys in good condition can be recycled with Second Chance Toys.
12: Empty toothpaste tubes, brushes, floss containers, some coffee capsules can be recycled with Terracycle. Just remember to check in and arrange it with them first.
13. Printer cartridges can be recycled at Officeworks, JB HiFi, Australia Post, Harvey Norman, Dick Smith.
Being environmentally conscious on recycling day and sorting your rubbish into compost, recycling and general waste bins is fantastic – but it’s important to think about producing less rubbish to begin with. To help consume less ‘stuff’, try asking yourself these three questions when you’re buying something new:
1. What resources went into creating, producing, packaging, and delivering this product to me?
2. Will my use of this product achieve a good return on investment for those resources?
3. Is there another way? Do I already have something like this at home? Could I borrow this from someone I know? Is there a less resource-intensive alternative? Could I buy this second-hand? Could I make this out of something I already have?
TIP: If you can’t recycle it, maybe you can upcycle your trash into something new. Learn more about upcycling and check out some easy DIYs here.