Waste Reduction Tips
Some people think that because we are all spending more time at home our volume of domestic waste will increase. That is not necessarily true! Here are some tips on how to reduce waste and save money while spending more time at home:
- REDUCE AND COMPOST FOOD WASTE: about 50% of all residential waste bins are filled with food waste! Check out “Love Food, Hate Waste” for tips on reducing food waste, and make use of Council’s 50% discount at Compost Revolution for Strathfield residents.
- RECYCLE FURNITURE: Look for furniture and other household items that you can sell online or donate them to be refurbished by The Bower Reuse and Repair Centre – they provide free collection for Strathfield residents.
- BOOK A COUNCIL CLEAN UP: Did you know that Council has an online Clean Up Collection service that allows each residential property up to 3 clean up collections per year (maximum volume: 2 cubic metres) for the removal of bulky household items? Go to Council’s Clean Up website (https://cleanup.strathfield.nsw.gov.au/), watch the “How To” video, read the “Items We Accept” section and then sign in to book your clean up collection.
- DO NOT STOCKPILE: Buy only what you need, buy local and avoid single-use plastic!
- SAVE MONEY WITH DIY NATURAL PRODUCTS: Try homemade cleaning products! They can be cheaper, healthier and very effective. You can search different recipes on the internet, but here are some options: The Organised Housewife, Stay At Home Mum, Biome and Life Hacker.
- FUN RECYCLING WITH KIDS: If you have kids, let their creativity flow by creating crafts from containers and other materials that can be reused. Here are some ideas of incredible recycled art kids projects: We are Teachers, Fave Crafts, No Time for Flash Cards and The Spruce Crafts.
Other important tips to remember at all times
- DO NOT BAG YOUR RECYCLABLES: soft plastics CANNOT go in your yellow bin! Placing your recyclables in a garbage bag before you put them in the yellow bin, will ruin your good recycling work. Drop soft plastics and plastic bags in RedCycle bins located at local supermarkets.
- DO NOT PUT CLOTHES IN YELLOW BINS: your unwanted clothing can be recycled and reused in many ways, but DO NOT through them in your regular yellow bin recycling collection. Look for donation spots that will take your old clothing and get them reused, recycled or upcycled. You can also try clothes swapping with friends and neighbours! It’s fun! And another useful tip: you can reuse cloths and teatowels to clean up spills. It’s easy to throw these items in the washing machine and reuse again and again and again.
- AVOID SINGLE USE PLASTIC: bring your own water bottle, coffee cup and drinking straw! Disposable cups, plastics bottles and straws are hard to recycle, so they often end up in landfill. Make your daily drink eco-friendly and check out Strathfield’s Responsible Cafes for discounts!
- DO NOT PUT BATTERIES AND ELECTRONIC ITEMS IN WASTE BINS: these items can cause serious harm to the environment and people involved in the collection or handling of recyclables, especially our Material Recovery Facility workers. Take them to free drop off points or to Council’s Waste related events. Check Council’s Recycling and Resource Recovery page and sign up to the eNews to keep updated on future events.
- BIGGER IS BETTER, SO CHECK THE SIZE: items smaller than a credit card CANNOT be placed in yellow recycling bins, since they can fall off from the Material Recovery Facility system. This means that shredded paper cannot be recycled in yellow bin stream. For example, if you want to recycle the “ring pulls” from soda aluminium cans, or metal lids, it is better to collect a big amount and place it in a metal container. If you collect plastic lids for recycling, place them in a plastic container. Or leave plastic lids on plastic bottles after squeezing the air off.
- RECYCLABLES MUST BE EMPTY, CLEAN AND DRY: food contamination is a risk for human health and for recycling. Always remember that all containers should be emptied, cleaned and dry before placing them into your yellow recycling bin.
- TAKEAWAY COFFEE CUPS DO NOT GO IN YELLOW BINS: takeaway cups and coffee pods CANNOT be recycled in your yellow recycling bin. Takeaway coffee cups have a wax coating, that stops your coffee from soaking through your cup, making them not suitable for recycling. Only some lids (the ones with the recycle symbol) can be recycled. Place coffee cups in the red waste bin for landfill, otherwise they can contaminate tonnes of recyclable items!
- FLATTEN YOUR CARDBOARD BOXES: flattening your cardboard boxes allows more space in the yellow recycling bins and also helps recycling facilities to process cardboard in their system.
- JOIN CIRCULAR ECONOMY: When buying new products, look for upcycled options or products with recyclable contents on them. Buy from companies that are environmental friendly. Try to share or swap instead of buying new products. Remember that, when thinking about “REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE”, reducing always comes first, and then we try to reuse or recycle!