Reduce your waste

In Cardinia Shire, our community throws away more than 16,000 tonnes of waste to landfill each year. That is the equivalent weight of 38 jumbo jets or 5,461 rhinos.

It is not good for the environment, wasting precious resources. Landfilled waste threatens natural habitats, and contributes carbon emissions.

More landfill also means an increase in our garbage charge. This is a special levy we have to pay the State Government each year for every tonne of waste that goes to landfill. It's costly and is reflected in your rates.

What can I do to reduce my waste?

  • Challenge your household to a smaller 80-litre bin and get a $30 discount on your rates.
  • Purchase a compost bin and reduce the food waste you send to landfill. You can claim a $30 rebate from us for your purchase.

Think about the three ‘Rs’

Reduce – Reducing what you buy and prevent waste being created in the first place is the most effective way to lessen our impact on the environment. Try using re-usable coffee cups instead of disposable.

Re-use – Using items over and over in their current form or for another purpose is the second most effective way you can reduce waste. How about using yoghurt pots for seed planting pots?

Recycle – Make full use of the recycling services we and other organisations offer to make sure resources do not end up in landfill.

Did you know there are other ‘Rs’ as well? – repair, renovate and refill. These all help the environment too.

For further information on the program contact the Waste management team on 1300 787 624.

When at the shops… think about your purchases

All products require raw materials to make. Extraction of these consumes materials and energy. Add manufacturing, packing and distribution and that’s a lot of resources and waste generated. Then there is disposal of a product at the end of its life.

Ask yourself, do I really need it? There is a difference between wanting and needing something. Asking this question will help avoid unnecessary consumption.

Can you borrow, share, rent, lease or buy the product second-hand?

  • buy fruit or vegetables loose
  • buy meat or fish from the deli instead of pre-packaged items
  • buy in bulk – one large pack uses less packaging than multiple individually wrapped items
  • buy good quality products that will last. They may cost more initially but will save you money in the long term as they won’t have to be replaced as often
  • avoid ‘single-use’ disposable items
  • use rechargeable batteries
  • choose products with replaceable parts – razors or toothbrushes with replaceable heads
  • buy products with minimal packaging – retailers and manufacturers are slowly getting the message that we want less
  • buying products with less packaging reinforces this message.

If you can not avoid packaging, try buying packaging that can be recycled easily at home. Look for the recycling symbol and number on plastics. Rigid plastic bottles and containers with numbers 1–7 are recyclable. Flexible plastic packaging, polystyrene and plastic bags aren’t yet recyclable at home.

Avoid wasting food and get composting

In Australia, we waste four million tonnes of food each year. Wasting food also wastes the resources used to grow it, like water and energy. About 40 per cent of the average persons' bin contents are food waste, which can easily be composted or put into worm farms. Find out more on composting.

  • Get creative with your leftovers - leftover food can make quick and easy lunches for the next day or could be used to create tasty new meals.
  • Think portions - cups, spoonfuls and scales are useful tools to measure the perfect amount of food to prepare or cook.
  • Be smart with storage - freeze items you know can be frozen to last longer.
  • Know your dates - dates on food packaging can be confusing. ‘Use by’ dates mean that the food should not be eaten after that date. ‘Best before’ means the item might not be as fresh after that date.
  • Plan your meals - Making shopping lists can help prevent impulse purchases and buying things you might not need. Plan meals in advance and stick to your list while in the shops. You’ll see the difference in your hip pocket as well as what you throw away.

Give items a new lease on life

Is your furniture is looking a little tired? Instead of putting it out for the hard waste collection try your hand at re-upholstering with some fresh fabric or give it a coat of paint or varnish. How about getting artistic with materials you would normally throw away. Pinterest is a great website for exchanging ideas on how to re-use and recycle every day items in a modern way.

Consider getting broken electrical items fixed, this may be more economical than you think, especially with larger electronic items. Check our business directory to find companies who repair larger electrical items such as washing machines, dishwashers and vacuum cleaners.

Clothes looking tired? Or tired of your clothes?

Donating clothing is not a new idea, shops like the Salvation Army and St Vinnies have been around for a long time. Growing in popularity are swap parties and events. You simply swap pre-loved, good condition clothes with someone else. Clothing exchange organise swaps across the country. How about hosting your own swap party? Planet Ark have a DIY kit available to host your own swap day.

Cloth nappies – save money and the environment

Australians throw away about 2.1 billion disposable nappies every year. Most end up in landfill, whilst the rest litter our beaches, roadsides and parks.

They have come a long way with a large variety of funky colours, patterns and new modern fabrics that are easy to wash. You will even save up to $2,000 using them and that’s including the cost of washing. Using them for your second child will save you even more. Even if you only use them when at home and use disposables when away, this will still make a significant reduction in the amount of waste to landfill.

For more information on modern cloth nappies check out real nappy or my green nappy.

Junk mail

There are around eight billion catalogues delivered around Australia each year. Junk mail makes up six per cent of all paper used, equating to 240,000 tonnes of paper per year. One tonne of catalogue pages uses 90,000 litres of water to produce. We could fill 8,640 Olympic swimming pools with the water used to produce a year’s worth of catalogues.

What can you do?

  • Pick up a 'No junk mail' sticker for your letterbox from Council’s offices, if you do not wish to receive unaddressed mail items including catalogues. These signs are also available from most hardware stores.
  • Register on the Australian Direct Marketing Association ‘Do not mail’ register. This will stop you receiving mail from any businesses you do not currently deal with. Registrations only relate to ADMA member companies so it may not stop all unwanted promotional mail.
  • If you want to stop receiving mail from a specific business or businesses, contact the business directly and advise them to take your name off their mailing list.

Download our How to reduce your waste at home guide (PDF, 1.4MB) or (word doc, 45.2KB) for more handy waste reducing tips.

Would you like more tips like this on reducing your waste and recycling? Keep up to date by subscribing to our eNewsletter 'down to earth'.

Powered by