Avoiding waste

Australians are some of the largest waste producers (per capita) in the world, coming in behind only the USA and Canada.

There are easy steps we can all take to help reduce waste such as buying only what you need and reusing items rather than throwing them away. Whether you reuse items yourself or give them away, you'll be keeping things out of landfill.

Reusing also means buying second hand, which helps reduce demand on water, energy and raw materials that are used to make new things.

Turning your trash into someone else’s treasure can also be fun.

A Clothes Swap Party in action as part of National Recycling Week

There are various organisations in Sydney that will accept second-hand items.


You can help charities by giving them second-hand goods that are in working order to sell and raise money for continuing their great work. Drop off or ring for a pick-up:

Ensure you drop off your items during store opening hours.

Bower reuse and repair co-op

The Bower Reuse Referral Service provides Waverley Council residents with information on a range of enterprises and organisations who may want your unwanted items. The Bower also collects, resells and sometimes repairs goods diverted from the municipal waste stream. Contact them if you would like your good quality reusable items collected direct from your home.

  • Phone 9568 6280

Cartridges 4 Planet Ark

You can recycle empty ink cartridges at our Customer Service Centre at 55 Spring St Bondi Junction, or at other participating retailers.

  • Phone 1300 733 712

Reverse Garbage

Industrial and commercial off-cuts are collected for reuse in art projects and for education purposes. The Marrickville warehouse is open to the public so have a look - you never know what interesting, unusual and useful items you’ll find!

  • Phone 9569 3132

Sell items for reuse

Make some cash from your trash by advertising your unwanted goods online on auction sites like Ebay website, Gumtree or Scoodi.

Advertise in your local community newspapers or on community noticeboards. You could also hold a garage sale or have a stall at your local markets.

Have a garage sale

You can hold your own garage sale any time, and you don’t even need a garage! Plus you get to meet the neighbours and have a fun day. Keep an eye out for sales in your neighbourhood or wait until the annual Garage Sale Trail, a national event that started right here in Bondi Beach.

Give away unwanted items online

It’s easy to give your stuff away on freebie websites and via smartphone apps. In return, you can receive items for free!

Join or throw your own swap party

Swapping is the new shopping! Get along to a local one, bring along something you don't want and swap it for something you do. Or create your own swap party with friends - it can be clothes, shoes or appliances!

Find out Council’s next Clothes Swap event by emailing us. Organisations such as The Clothing Exchange also hold regular swap parties around Sydney.

Get composting or wormfarming

Turn your food scraps into quality organic fertiliser for your garden by composting or wormfarming. It’s easy and Waverley residents can get a free bin for free! Find out more about composts and wormfarming here.

10 more ideas for avoiding waste

  1. Hire or borrow things you use occasionally like tools and equipment.
  2. Borrow books, videos, DVDs and toys from your nearest library.
  3. Buy clothes second hand at charity and op shops - they are often better quality and unique.
  4. Instead of using wrapping paper for presents, use fabric that can be reused.
  5. Download music online to avoid CD packaging.
  6. When buying presents, choose experiences or service gifts such as a massage or beauty treatment to avoid unwanted gifts.
  7. Fix up your old bike rather than buying a new one (learn how at one of our workshops).
  8. Say goodbye to junk mail with a free "No Advertising Material" sticker for your letterbox. Ring 9369 8080 and we’ll post one out to you.
  9. Register to stop receiving White or Yellow Pages by calling Sensis on 1800 810 211.
  10. Get rid of your second fridge for money through Fridge Buyback.

Find out more

Email us or call 9083 8000 for more advice.

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