At Gateway, one way we embody our ‘Pocket & Planet’ purpose is by trying to use resources as least wastefully as possible. Whilst it may not seem impactful at first, over time reducing waste, recycling, and reusing can help reduce your environmental impact. Read the information below to learn about how to reduce waste in your home.
Do a recycling refresher
Recycling habits can sometimes fall to the wayside which can lead to recycling incorrectly. Refresh your memory from time to time by re-reading the labels on your recycling and general waste bins. If incorrect items are placed in your recycling bin, they can spoil other items which could make them hard to recycle and they can end up being sent to landfill.
Labels on packaging
Pay attention to the recycling labels on packaging as some packaging can have several components that have separate recycling instructions. To learn more about labels on packaging, click here. Coles and Woolworths have soft plastic recycling collection bins for items that are labelled return to store. To learn more, visit their respective websites or ask about it next time you are in store.
Setting up a recycling system in your house can help create good recycling habits. If space permits, consider two bins with one for recycling and one for general waste. For packaged items that need to be returned to store, organise a designated box or container. Many plastic and glass bottles and aluminium cans can also be collected separately and deposited at collection centres such as Return and Earn in NSW or the Container Deposit Scheme in other states. Soft plastic items such as plastic shopping bags or food wrappers can be returned to the soft plastic recycling bins which are now in place at most major supermarkets.
Utilise your council waste disposal services
Many local councils offer waste disposal services for items that cannot be placed in your household’s kerbside bin. If you pay council rates, you should receive a certain number of waste disposal services for free each year. Check your local council’s website or call them up to see what services they offer. You may need council disposal services for items such as:
- Electrical appliances
- Printers and scanners
- Gas bottles
Reuse and repurpose
Reusing and repurposing items can extend their life and at times it could even save you money! If you aren’t already in the habit of reusing, you may want to consider how you can do so. Whilst it might require effort at first it can eventually become an easy habit to maintain. If you don’t feel you need to repurpose anything, ask your friends, neighbours, or work mates if they need any of the items you dispose of regularly. Online Marketplaces are a great way to give items away for others to reuse and repurpose. Look through a few of the marketplaces such as eBay or freecycle to get some ideas on what you can put on there!
Ideas for reusing and repurposing
Old clothes can be turned into pyjamas, gym clothes or worn when gardening and cleaning. If they are in good condition donate them to charity or pass on to friends or family to give them a new life.
Consider selling or giving away furniture you no longer use for others to reuse. If you’d like something new you could try giving furniture an uplift by painting it or staining it a new colour.
Bits and bobs
Glass jars, champagne or wine corks, plastic bags and wood are some examples of items that can be repurposed. If you tend to collect a lot over time, you can give them away by advertising them on Online Market Place's, donating them to local recycling services or asking around to see if your friends and family need them. Have a look online to see what local recycling services are available in your area. If you are Sydney based, you may be able to donate items to Reverse Garbage. Visit their website to learn about their purpose and their donation process.