Special Interest

7 great ways to responsibly dispose of everyday household items

by Kayla Mossuto Thursday October 31st 2019

7 great ways to responsibly dispose of everyday household items-recycle

Here are our top 7 tips for decluttering responsibly with the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle philosphy.

'Tis the season to declutter! Spring is in the air, and it's certainly the perfect time to cleanse your home of your unused or unwanted goods, and spring clean your conscience!

Rather than adding to Australia’s growing landfill problem, there are countless recycling programs and sustainable initiatives now at our fingertips, with many accepting donated household goods for refurbishing, recycling, or redistribution to those in need!

1. Recycle Kitchen items

Kitchen waste sure does build up fast. But you'd be suprised and what can be recycled! For example did you know that bottle tops and breadtags can be recycled into other objects? Community initiatives like Precious Plastic Melbourne are springing up all over Australia, repurposing plastic waste into useful products. And if you know a local kindergarten or school, you'd be surprised at just how many materials are great for crafting. From empty paper towel rolls to corks, the sky is the limit for creative minds.

2. Reuse Baby items 

Kids just grow, and grow, and grow! You probably find yourself with constant influx of baby gear, but thankfully, there are lots of great ways to pay forward your excess kids items. Pre-loved kids clothes, toys and nursery equipment, for babies and children can be donated to programs such as St Kilda Mums (Vic) or Second Chance Toys (NSW), where you can donate your items (in reasonable condition) to children in need. The Nappy Collective collects and redistributes unused nappies to quarter of a million children, helping families in crisis across Australia.

3. Large items

If you're giving your home or garage a good clean out, or have large household items that you need longer need, rather than sending them straight to landfill there are a plethora of great initiatives for your pre-loved goods. Brotherhood of St Laurence (Melbourne) for example, seek to prevent and lessen poverty by assisting the disadvantaged. They accept furniture, homewares, electrical items, whitegoods, books and clothing. You can even help out disaster affected communities, by visiting GIVIT, where you can donate items directly to affected individuals and families. You can contact your local council for more information about charities and community organisations in your area.

If it's all a bit overwhelming and you need a hand or your items cant be reused, utilisingservices of a rubbish removalist company like us can be a great advantage. We can do the job for you - we will even sort your waste for you, to either be recycled or passed onto local charities stores or responsible disposed.

4. Stationery and mobile phones

Officeworks accept old ink / toner cartridges and mobile phones for recycling. Alternatively, you can dust off your old mobile phone and organise your own Mobile Muster! You may even help Planet Ark reach their target to recycle 5,000 mobile phones from workplaces this November. In Sydney, the Stationery Reuse Centre at UNSW accepts stationery such as pens, highlighters and rulers, providing them free to their students.

Clear our your workplace cupboards by participating in the Friday File Fling on Friday, 15th November. Fling all your old documents into the recycling bin in a mass de-clutter, and and be sure to register your Friday File Fling to get some tips on how you can get your colleagues involved. Or, get in touch with some local business to upcycle your old packaging materials - these can easily be repurposed, extending the lifecycle of things like packing peanuts, bubblewrap and boxes, keeping them out of our landfill for longer.

E-waste, office furniture and business equipment are harder to deal with. If these items can't be resold then best to have an expert rubbish removal service to take them away.

5. Cosmetics

Ended up with an overload of unwanted hotel toiletries, in-flight amenity kits, cosmetic and makeup samples? Pinchapoo is the biggest NFP supplier of personal hygiene products nationally, providing customised packs to people in need via shelters, crisis housing, refugees, schools, hospitals, jails, soup vans, community shower programs, outreach healthcare, therapy camps, aboriginal communities and natural disaster relief projects. And old makeup packaging, hairbrushes, hair bands, clips, shampoo and conditioner bottles can all be recycled via TerraCycle

6. Wardrobe and bedroom items

De-clutter your wardrobe and give your unwanted clothes a second life! There are lots of charities seeking good-quality clothing and household items. Shoes for Planet Earth collects new and used sports shoes to give to those in need, and have drop-off locations all over Australia. Want to help a disadvantaged woman look and feel great at a job interview? If you have nice office work shoes, handbags, scarves, jewellery and corporate clothing, consider donating them to Fitted for Work. Even your secondhand bras (in good condition) can be donated to Uplift Bras. You could even host a clothing drive at your workplace and stop unwanted clothing ending up landfill, or trade your unwanted goods in for ‘new’ ones by hosting your own Big Aussie Swap. And as for bedding, the RSPCA take polyester doonas, blankets, sheets, pillowcases and face washers, which then become bedding for the animals in their care.

7. Medicinal and health items 

If you have any excess first-aid kit or medical supplies, you can donate them to Airbone Aid to be distributed to countries in need. And as part of the The Lions Recycle for Sight program, you can drop your old glasses or sunnies at your local Specsavers store - pre-loved glasses will be checked, cleaned and categorised before being sent to people in need overseas via partnering charities and humanitarian organisations. Did you know that even your X-rays can be recycled? You can post your old X-rays to Ecocycle, where they are processed in a refinery to extract the silver, which is then reused for things such as silver solder, jewellery, the silver plating of utensils, electrical components and film manufacture.  

Author Bio: 
Kayla Mossuto is a mother and caffeine lover on a mission to leave the world a better place for future generations via her Melbourne-base business Crema Joe – specialists in helping consumers to reduce waste with their reusable coffee pods.

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