Please refer to your local council for information on which items can be placed in your recycling bin.
Most councils accept:
– Any clean paper products and cardboard (no wax coating or food)
– Glass bottles and jars (green, brown, and clear)
– Hard Plastics with recycling symbols 1 to 5
– Aluminium cans
– Steel or tin cans
A healthy compost bin should have a pleasant earthy smell. If this is not the case, your balance of green, nitrogen-rich materials (grass, leaves, fruit and vegetables, coffee grounds) and brown, carbon-rich materials (straw, woodchips, newspaper) may not be balanced or layered properly. A well-balanced compost should be 3 parts brown material to 1 part green. If your compost bin smells, it’s likely due to an unbalanced ratio of browns to greens.
Yes, you can put citrus fruits in your compost, but due to acidity, it can slow down the composting process if not cut into smaller pieces. Small quantities of bread and meat can also be placed in compost but may attract pests. Check with your local council for more information.
It depends. Compostable packaging made from plant-based renewable sources (PBAT) can usually be composted in industrial facilities, like the ones used by local councils. However, even certified home compostable bags (AS 5810-2010 label) can take a long time to break down in small composts or community hubs, meaning they should be avoided.
Also, make sure to check labels, as biodegradable and degradable packaging are often not suitable for compost. To be safe, check with your local council for more specific information.
A healthy compost contains a balance of green, nitrogen-rich materials (grass, leaves, fruit and vegetables, kitchen scraps, small quantities of bread, rice and pasta, coffee grounds) and brown, carbon-rich materials (straw, woodchips, newspaper, egg shells, vacuum dust, egg cartons, toilet rolls). Depending on the method of composting you choose, you might need to adjust the proportion of these materials. Check with your local council or community hub for more specific information about your area.
Repair & Renew
Excessive consumption is one of the biggest challenges to sustainability today. Not only has the global population grown considerably in the last decades, but consumption has intensified, meaning used clothes and electronics end up in landfill faster than ever. For example, the average Australian throws away 23 kg of clothing and textile every year. So switching our current mindset to one of repairing instead of replacing is one of the best ways to care for our planet.
Repair cafés are free meeting spaces for collectively fixing things. They are usually held in community centres or other public spaces and supported by volunteer repairers that help and instruct participants on how to fix their things. There are currently more than 2,200 repair cafés worldwide. Sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know about our Repair Café sessions happening soon.
Each repair café will have its own form of organising participants and volunteers, so you might need to check with the organisation in charge. They often require participants to book a place and register what they will fix but are usually free of charge.
Coffee cup recycling is trickier than it seems. While cups may look to be made entirely from paper, they are often lined with a layer of polyethylene (plastic) to prevent them from getting wet.
Most coffee cups are only 5% plastic, which makes the separating process too complex for most recycling centres. Because of that, the majority of coffee cups end up in landfills.
There are many issues with landfills, but the main ones are the:
– release of toxins into soils and waterways
– production of leachate – a toxic liquid that results from the slow process of breaking down materials
– greenhouse gases which are emitted when organic waste is not properly composted
In addition, mixed waste in landfills may take hundreds of years to break down, with some components not decomposing at all, and push off our waste problem to future generations.