5 recycling items that can stump Sydneysiders

Dispose of your unwanted goods responsibly. These are some trickier items that residents need help with.

There’s no denying it. We just don’t know what to do with our old clothes and other items around the home. These are 5 common items that residents get stuck on. They reveal the biggest recycling quandaries facing Sydneysiders. Drum roll, please.

1. Ripped or torn clothing

Cut and chop them to use as rags. Old t-shirts and socks, torn towels and linens make good cleaning rags, so no need to buy specific cloths. Pick flannel or other cotton fibre clothing because it’s soft and absorbent and usually lint free. Use them to wash your windows, dust your bookshelves or clean your kitchen floor.

Another fun and easy idea for old t-shirts is to upcycle them into reusable shopping bags.

Clothing retailers H&M, Zara and Upparel (formerly Manrags) each have garment collection programs for clothing or textiles, which they reuse or recycle.

Retailer Sheridan accepts pre-loved sheets and towels (any brand) at their boutiques or studios.

Where possible, avoid buying new clothing by repairing any damaged items and re-wearing what you already own. Try to be mindful of how much clothing you buy.

Find more tips for textile recycling on Planet Ark's Recycling Near You website.

2. Garden waste

Garden waste such as flowers, grass cuttings, weeds, and plants all go in your green-lid bin, where they get recycled into mulch, soil conditioners and compost for gardens.

A green-lid garden organics bin is a must-have, even if you don’t have a backyard for gardening. Use your green-lid bin to recycle old flowers or leaves that have fallen off your houseplant. Even the smallest of indoor plants will need some maintenance.

Don’t have a green-lid garden organics bin? If you’re a resident in our area, you can order one free. If you live in an apartment, ask your strata manager if a garden organics bin can be ordered for your building.

And remember, never put food scraps or produce in your green-lid bin. Garden waste only for the green-lid bin.

Garden waste goes into your green-lid bin

3. Electronic waste - anything with a plug, power cord or battery

Each week residents in the City of Sydney can book e-waste to be collected and recycled from their home free. It’s one of the easiest ways to keep old electronics out of landfill.

We also accept e-waste at our Recycle It Saturday drop-off day. 95% of these electronic items are recycled. Components are stripped, then broken down into commodities and circulated back into the market for new products. For example, mobile phone components can be recycled to make new technology, reducing the need for mining raw materials.

4. Aluminium foil

It goes in your yellow-lid bin.

Small pieces of foil get lost in the recycling process. Wait until you have a lot of foil to recycle, roll it up at least as big as a tennis ball and pop it in the recycling bin.

You can recycle aluminium foil with grease. Same deal as food containers: no need to rinse, just make sure you’ve given it a wipe so it’s free of food.

Watch how we recycle foil wrappers from those yummy Easter chocolate eggs.

5. Kitchen pots and pans

Consider donating cookware in decent condition to a charity or offering them online.

If they’re at the end of their life, find your closest scrap metal dealer. Check that your pots and pans don’t have a non-stick coating, as these can’t be recycled. If they have a non-stick coating, try contacting the manufacturer for disposal options.

Every week of the year, residents can have household items as well as whitegoods, mattresses and e-waste, collected free. The pots and pans would be classified under bulky household items and furniture. Bookings essential.

To celebrate National Recycling Week, 9 to 15 November 2020, we’ve partnered with the Mirvac to offer pop-up recycling stations for items that don’t belong in your household bin. Find out more.

Posted . Last updated .

Subscribe for updates

Choose the news that interests you

Sign up
Sign up