Don’t let the holiday season go to waste
Author: Claire Bell
The summer break is the perfect time to clean out the house, garage or shed. Research by Gumtree and TechCollect has found we could be sitting on thousands of dollars of reusable or recyclable goods that can be given a second life or recycled instead of gathering dust or going to landfill.
Sharing and donating
- What you consider trash may be treasure for others – try selling or giving away vis online sites such as Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree or community exchange programs.
- Only donate to charity what is good quality and can be sold - charities spend over $13m each year sending unsaleable goods to landfill! Find out what charity stores want, think more broadly like donating old towels to vets and animal shelters, or furniture to refugee and domestic violence shelters.
- Explore your neighbourhood and maybe restock a local street library with old books or start your own!
Recycling your clean out
If something is beyond repair and had its day, before throwing it in the bin or out for a bulk collection, check if it can be recycled:
- Batteries – Many councils have collections points and Aldi stores accept household batteries for recycling. These should never be put in the recycling bin as they can create a spark and start fires.
- Building or landscaping materials – When renovating or cleaning out your home, make sure you use a company like BINGO who will recycle a high proportion of the waste. Not sure which type of bin you need? Have a look here.
- Computers – Old laptops, hardrives, monitors, cables and accessories can all be recycled for free via TechCollect with drop off locations right around the country.
- TVs – Old TVs can be recycled for free via TechCollect.
- Electrical appliances – Find out where to drop off DVD players, kitchen appliances, alarm clocks, cameras and radios for recycling.
- Mattresses– Find out if your council has a mattress recycling collection.
- Mobile phones– MobileMuster has thousands of collection sites as well as satchels for sending your mobiles in for recycling.
- Paint – Paintback sites collect old paints for responsible disposal and innovative reuse.
- Printer cartridges - Find your local Cartridge 4 Planet Ark collection point and drop them off for free.
- Plastic bags and soft plastics – In most council areas you should keep these out of the kerbside recycling bin and take them to your local Coles or Woolworths to be recycled.
- Clothing and Textiles – some retailers now have in store return programs for old worn out or soiled clothing and textiles.
Don’t forget to also check what recycling collection and drop off services your local council offers.
Who can help?
Author: Claire BellClaire is Planet Ark's Recycling Campaign Manager. After working in the communications industry and raising a young family, she joined Planet Ark to follow her passion for helping the environment.
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