Meet the locals who rescue items from apartment bin rooms

Our Ultimo recycling pop-up has been open for one year, diverting over 13 tonnes of materials from landfill.

It’s been one year since the Ultimo recycling pop-up first opened its doors.

Every Tuesday afternoon, City of Sydney residents come by with their unwanted stuff, happy to be saving it from landfill.

Linda brings a trolley bag full of items for recycling. Image: Chris Southwood, City of Sydney

Linda, who lives at The Mark on Smail Street, has rallied her whole building to the cause. She brings along clothes, batteries, coffee pods and electronics on behalf of her building each week.

“There’s so much more we can recycle than we knew about,” Linda said.

“I set up an area in the bin room where my neighbours can leave their stuff and put up some posters from the City of Sydney website.”

Since then, the residents of The Mark have become so good at recycling, they’ve reduced their number of red lid bins by one third: a win for the environment and their bank accounts.

Kim’s rescued 150kg of paint and gas bottles. Image: Chris Southwood, City of Sydney

Another regular to the Ultimo recycling pop-up is Kim, the cleaner at an apartment block on Jones Street. He’s usually there to greet the team every Tuesday at 2pm when the roller doors open.

There’s over 300 units in his building, making for a steady supply of old paint tins and gas bottles, which Kim regularly brings to our little recycling centre. He’s rescued over 150kg of items from landfill.

The polystyrene Geoffrey is recycling will be turned into building insulation or photo frames. Image: Chris Southwood, City of Sydney

Bulwara Road resident Geoffrey, who cycles to the pop-up every week, said he has the cleanest bin room in town.

He sifts through the bins at his 100-unit complex and pulls out x-rays, polystyrene, light bulbs and more.

“I can’t stand to see people throwing out stuff that can be responsibly recycled,” Geoffrey said.

“There’s so many things people put in the bin that can be reused. I also make regular trips to our local daycare centre with toys and perfectly good stationery that’s been chucked out.”

Since the Ultimo recycling pop-up opened on 29 November 2022, City of Sydney residents have rescued over 13 tonnes of tricky household items otherwise destined for landfill.

Our friendly team will answer all your recycling questions. Image: Chris Southwood, City of Sydney

Recycling programs officer Katherine O’Sullivan said with landfill space fast running out in Sydney, it’s never been more important to reduce our waste.

“Every item brought to the Ultimo recycling pop-up is either reused or recycled into new products.

“We love chatting with residents and helping them with all their recycling questions while they drop off their items."

If you become one of our regulars, we’ll give you a special code for a speedy check-in and track the total weight of what you’ve recycled over time,” she said.

The Ultimo recycling pop-up accepts items from all City of Sydney residents and is open every Tuesday (except public holidays), 2pm to 7pm at 10-16 Bay Street, Ultimo.

Read the full list of what you can recycle.

Posted . Last updated .

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