June 12, 2019

How to Recycle Like a Pro

Reduce, reuse, recycle. It’s a mantra we’re all familiar with. We work hard to use less and to reuse the things that we already have (or ‘make do’ as our grandparents’ generation would have said). But what about ‘recycle’? Australians are doing their best, but sometimes recycling is tricky. Are coffee cups recyclable or not? What about my old mobile phone?

Luckily, the Inner West is one of the best for recycling, even ‘tricky’ waste. Here’s how to recycle like a pro.

Coffee Cups

Australians throw away 1 billion takeaway coffee cups every year. This is because coffee cups are lined with a thin layer of plastic that stops them from being recyclable through traditional processes. Simply Cups is the answer.

Just find one of their collection tubes or request your work or school to put one in their facilities. Simply Cups will collect the used cups (and lids and straws) and recycle them through new recycling technology. Even better, they upcycle them into new products. A win win for the planet.

Mobile Phones 

There are approximately 25 million unused mobile phones being stored in Australian homes. And of those 25 million, at least five million are no longer working.

Mobile Muster is a mobile phone recycling program funded by the mobile phone industry. The program accepts all brands and types of mobile phones, plus batteries, chargers and other accessories. And there are over 3,500 public drop off points across the country. If none of those suit you, there is even a free post back option. And Mobile Muster has a great track record – 99% of the material they receive is diverted from landfill.

Now there is no excuse to leave your old mobile phones to gather dust in a junk drawer.

Ink Cartridges 

If you’ve got a printer (or a copier or a fax machine), you’ve got ink. And all those ink cartridges are recyclable. This also includes toner cartridges and toner bottles.

Drop these off to Officeworks, JB Hi-Fi Stores, Australia Post, Harvey Norman, Dick Smith, The Good Guys, Office National or Office Products Depot outlets.

Clothing and Textiles (that are beyond repair) 

Most of us are happy to donate our lightly used clothes and textiles to our local op shop. But what about the clothes that are beyond repair? These usually end up in landfill.

H&M Group knows that is a senseless waste and so it began its garment recycling initiative. Simply drop off any clothes or textiles from any brand and in any condition and H&M’s partners will sort them into items that can be sold as second-hand, items that can be turned into other products (such as cleaning cloths) and items that can be turned into textile fibres for things like insulation.

Even better, for each kilogram of textiles that H&M collects, 0.02 euros are donated to a local charity. And did we mention, H&M will also give you a store voucher as a thank you for your donation?


Every year, 300 million household batteries are thrown away with ordinary waste. This means a heartbreaking 8,000 tonnes of batteries end up in landfill. ALDI wants to put a stop to that.

With their battery take back scheme you can bring your used household batteries into any ALDI store. They accept AA, AAA, C, D and 9V size batteries of any brand, including rechargeable, lithium, alkaline and super heavy duty varieties. It’s an easy win. And while you’re there, grab yourself some Yococonut nice cream. You deserve a treat after all.

Other Items

There are so many other ways to recycle. Freecycle and The Bower accept many different types of items (like toasters and refrigerators). Reverse Garbage and Buildbits love building materials and you can take your old bikes to Cycle Re-cycle. And of course there are council recycling programs.

Recycling, even those tricky items, is easier than you think. And well worth it, for the sake of our planet.

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