Community initiatives and events
Council runs a range of community initiatives and events aimed at reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill and promoting the re-use of goods.
From discounted compost bins for residents to waste education workshops for schools, there is something for everyone.
Our current initiatives and events are listed below.
Join the Compost Revolution
The Compost Revolution is a community initiative in the eastern suburbs of Sydney that promotes home composting, growing food locally and connecting with your neighbours. Residents of Woollahra, Waverley and Randwick Councils are eligible for a discounted compost bin or worm farm through this program.
All you need to do is visit Compost Revolution and complete the easy composting or worm farming tutorial and quiz to get your hands on a discounted compost bin or worm farm and start turning food scraps into healthy soil for growing food.
Composting and worm farming workshops are also held throughout the year between the three councils.
What is compost?
Composting is a process whereby food and other organic matter are broken down naturally by micro-organisms to produce a nutrient rich, organic fertiliser. Anything that was once living or was produced by something that lived can be composted. For example, hair, corn cobs, manure, paper and grass cuttings. Compost can do the following:
- Reduce the amount of waste being received at landfill
- Improve soil structure and fertility, reduce soil erosion and moderate soil pH
- Protect plants from pests and disease
What is worm farming?
A worm farm uses similar principles to composting but it is the worms that are breaking down the food matter. Worm farming is done on a much smaller scale, which makes it ideal for anyone living in a unit as they can be stored on the balcony. Worm farms can do the following:
- Break down nearly all kinds of fruit and vegetable scraps and turn them into liquid fertiliser (worm tea) and castings
- Provide an alternative to disposal of fruit and vegetable scraps at landfill
- Improve soil by replacing nutrients and minerals
For more information about composting or worm farming, please contact Council on 9391 7000.
Reducing our consumption of plastics
What are single-use plastics?
Single-use plastics, or disposable plastics, are used once before they are thrown away. These items include plastic bags, straws, take-away cutlery and cups, coffee stirrers, soft drink and water bottles and most food packaging.
Single-use plastics are petroleum (oil) based which makes them very difficult to recycle and impossible to break down. This means most end up in landfill and eventually in our water supply and oceans, releasing toxic chemicals overtime. The environmental and health impact is devastating.
But it’s not too late to help save the planet. We all rely on a healthy ecosystem to survive and we all need to do our bit.
The simplest answer is to reduce our overall plastic consumption and make some easy purchasing swaps.
Double Bay Public students choose to refuse plastics - will you join them?
Here’s how you can do your bit:
- Don’t buy bottled water, buy a reusable bottle and refill from the tap or water filter
- Say no to plastic straws and plastic cutlery
- Say goodbye to zip lock bags and plastic wrap, use glass containers and beeswax wraps to store leftovers and to carry your lunch
- Swap your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo one
- Buy a keep-cup for you takeaway coffee or better still dine-in and enjoy your caffeine hit with a friend
- Say no to plastic bottled soft drink, it will do your health the world of good as well
- Choose alternative materials where you can, think about buying laundry detergent in cardboard boxes, bamboo pegs and metal coat hangers
- Refill where you can. There are so many great bulk buy stores around that allow you to refill containers with food and household cleaning items
- Buy your groceries wrapped in paper rather than plastic
- Bring a reusable shopping bag with you to the supermarket.
By encouraging people to be more aware of their plastic use, we can create a cleaner world for generations to come.
Woollahra Council is committed to making a difference. We don’t use single-use plastic bags or supply straws, and we banned plastic water bottles at Council events and meetings in 2009. Our library has also used calico long-use bags for years. In March 2018, Council also resolved that all local festivals and events that Council sponsors, endorses, or participates in, be free of single-use plastic.
Join our HarbourCare program to help protect our marine life and keep our harbour clean.
'Take 3 for the Sea' - take 3 pieces of rubbish from the beach every time they visit. Every little bit helps.
Council can provide the following opportunities for local schools:
Special event recycling service
- We can provide free recycling bins for the collection of plastic/glass bottles and steel/aluminium cans at special event days like fetes, discos, festivals etc.
- Council's Waste Officer is also available to provide advice on waste management for special events.
Free waste minimisation workshops
- Workshops include composting, worm farming and recycling for all ages. The information can be tailored to suit the needs of the students based on their curriculum requirements.
- Other educational activities include conducting classroom waste audits and providing information for school's environmental management plans.
Discounted compost bins and worms farms
- We can provide a compost bin and/or worm farm for schools and advice and/or workshops for the students and teachers.
- Schools and community organisations can order up to 5 compost bins or wormfarms delivered free. Order today through Compost Revolution - the online tutorial is great for kids and teachers alike. Place a separate order for each bin and include your organisation’s name in the address so we know you are not a household.
Other opportunities for schools
Other recycling opportunities schools could participate include recycling mobile phones and printer cartridges and organising the collection of second hand items like toys, clothes and books for charities and/or not for profit organisations.
For more information about sustainable waste management in schools, contact Council's Waste Projects Coordinator on 9391 7966.
Second Hand Saturday
Second Hand Saturday is a popular community event held in the Paddington area that encourages residents to hold garage sales and sell their unwanted, pre-loved goods.
It is an excellent opportunity to meet the neighbours and very importantly reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. Why dispose of perfectly re-usable items when you can join in the fun on the day and make a little money while you're at it.
Feedback from Second Hand Saturday events is always very positive. Here are some comments from participating residents:
Very Successful - nearly everything sold
It is an excellent way of recycling, bringing the problem of landfill to the attention of the community, creates co-operation between Council and residents (and among neighbours) and is good fun
The neighbours congregated in the lane and we all had coffee in the sun while waiting for buyers
We had great fun. 3 houses involved and we each made over $250
Clearing out unwanted things that have been piling up in my house since 1973
Please check this page for future Second Hand Saturday events or contact Pamela Mina by email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Love Food Hate Waste
If you are interested in recycling organics, you may also be interested in how to avoid food waste in the first place. Woollahra Council has joined the Office of Environment and Heritage new education program called Love Food Hate Waste.This program aims to help households and businesses learn more about the impacts of wasteful consumption and how to reduce their own food waste by planning ahead and using simple preparation and storage techniques.
The following links provide all the information you need to know about the Love Food Hate Waste program: