Give your unwanted goods a second lease on life

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    Sustainability

Published 30 October 2019

Each year mountains of good quality household goods, textiles and electronic items end up in landfill. It doesn’t need to be this way.

You can help keep items out of landfill and ensure our use of natural resources and generation of waste is minimised by re-using or recycling your unwanted goods.

There are so many options for your pre-loved items. Here are just a few.

Council has partnered with the Bower Re-use and Repair Centre and Woollahra residents can access the Bower’s services, which include a free collection of pre-loved items from your home.

The Bower accepts furniture, kitchenware, books, bikes, music, sports/leisure items, paints, timbers, doors/windows, tools, plumbing items, garden items, tiles/pavers and bric-a-brac. Bookings must be made online.

Furniture

If you have unwanted furniture, it’s important you get rid of it the right way so it doesn’t end up dumped on our streets (which is illegal). While Council can collect unwanted furniture as part of our scheduled clean up days, give re-use a go first and help keep it out of landfill. A few options include:

E-waste to be dropped off at council collection

Electronic items

Electronic waste – or e-waste – is one of the fastest growing types of waste in Australia. E-waste leeches hazardous materials into our environment when landfilled. It also contains valuable materials which should be re-used.

The good news is there are plenty of options to dispose of your items responsibly:

  • Office Works takes unwanted computers and related parts for recycling in their Bondi Junction store.
  • Mobilemuster collect old mobile phones and have several drop off points across our local area.
  • The Bower accepts small electronic appliances – or learn to repair a broken item at the Bower’s Repair Cafes.
  • Salvos accepts small electrical items in good working condition.
  • Council holds regular free e-waste drop off days – the next one is being held on November 24 at 67a Bourke Rd Alexandria. We are also launching a new free e-waste collection service, where we pick up e-waste from your home, later this year.

Making a donation of pre-loved clothes at the Red Cross Shop

Clothing

Australia’s obsession with fast fashion means tonnes of textiles are being dumped in landfill each year. Most are made of synthetic fibres and will never fully decompose.

The ultimate solution is to buy less and make sustainable choices, but when all else fails there are a few ways to recycle your unwanted clothes after your next wardrobe clear out.

Remember, only donate pre-loved clothes to charity stores if the item is good enough quality to give to a friend.

  • Dress for Success accepts pre-loved women’s work wear in good condition.
  • The Clothing Clean Up collects clothes in good condition from your door.
  • Red Cross Shops accept pre-loved clothes in their Paddington and Bondi Junction stores.
  • Buy, Swap, Sell groups have sprung up on Facebook for many popular women’s clothing brands – list your item on one of these (or eBay or Gumtree) to fund your next purchase.
  • If your item isn’t in good enough condition to pass on, then H&M, Zara and Uniqlo have textile recycling bins in store where you can deposit unwanted clothing which is then sent for recycling offshore.

Baby playing with blocks

Kids and baby items

Little people generate a tonne of clutter. Kids and babies clothes are quickly outgrown, toys are left to gather dust, and bikes, prams and car seats occupy precious storage space. These items are often in great condition because they aren’t used for very long, which makes them perfect to be donated or on-sold. Here are a few options:

For more information about local re-use and recycling options check out the Bower’s Re-Use Database.

Remember to make sustainable choices, think before you throw and give re-use a go!

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