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Reducing waste

Reducing waste at home

Each of the City’s households throws out an average of one tonne of waste per year. However, if we all make a few small changes, it’s easy to reduce our environmental impact and the amount of waste that ends up in landfill.

Here’s some simple ideas you might like to try to avoid creating waste in the first place:

Refusing single use plastic 

Bring your own reusable cup to grab a coffee, choose to dine-in instead of taking away, say no to straws, and don’t forget to take your reusable bag when shopping. Handy tip – using plastic produce bags quickly adds up. Use reusable produce bags or simply use the plastic produce bags you already have over and over again until they can’t be used anymore. 

Plastic free pantry

Choose items which use the least amount of packaging or those made from recycled materials, and avoid plastic as much as possible. Better yet, try your local bulk-food store for unpackaged foods and, for those non-perishable items, buy in bulk to reduce packaging as much as possible. 

Food for thought

Food is usually the largest contributor of household waste and creates nasty greenhouse gas emissions when it ends up in landfill. Think ahead and plan your shop to avoid food spoilage, pack leftovers and freeze them if you’re unlikely to eat them in the next 3 days, use fruit and vegetables past their prime in casseroles, soups and smoothies, and don’t shop when you’re hungry!

Buy only what you need

A lot of time and money is wasted buying things we want rather than need. And by far the easiest way to reduce waste is to avoid purchasing altogether. Follow the 30 day rule – sit on a potential purchase idea for 30 days to decide if you really must have it and are prepared to maintain it and deal with its eventual disposal. Else, consider buying second hand instead.

Other quick and easy waste wins

  • Put a ‘No junk mail’ sticker on your letterbox
  • Use rechargeable batteries instead of disposable
  • Reuse gift bags
  • Pack lunches in reusable containers instead of cling film
  • Buy second-hand instead of new (local op-shops, Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace are a treasure trove of wonderful finds!)
  • Repair an item, rather than replacing
  • ‘Earth-cycle’ your foods scraps using a worm farm or bokashi bin

For more ideas and inspiration for reducing your waste, head to Waste Sorted. The City also offers discounts to residents to assist with waste reduction and other sustainability improvements through Switch Your Thinking.