Reduce and reuse

The best way to reduce waste is to avoid creating it in the first place.

The community, businesses and organisations can make choices about their consumption and activities that avoids or reduces the amount of waste that needs to be managed. 

You can reduce the amount of waste you produce by:

  • purchasing only what you need
  • reducing food waste in the home (visit Love Food Hate Waste or Food Know How)
  • saying no to plastic bags and using reusable bags instead - reusable fruit and vegetable bags are also available
  • choosing to buy the item with the least amount of packaging or packaging that is recyclable
  • avoiding disposable products and buying products which are durable, reusable and recyclable
  • repairing instead of replacing
  • reducing your resource and energy usage (visit Sustainability Victoria)
  • buying products in bulk or concentrated form to reduce packaging.

Reuse, repurpose or rehome

Donate to charity

Donating to charity is one way to dispose of unwanted items while helping others in need and reducing the environmental damage through the production of new items.

Baby goods

Due to mandatory safety standards many op shops do not accept prams, strollers, change tables, cots, portacots, highchairs, car restraints, and bouncers. St Kilda Mums is a volunteer group that collects and re-homes a wide range of baby care items through various charities and maternal health units. Due to the nature of these donations there are a number of important requirements that need to be adhered to. Please visit the website to see what items are accepted and to find out more about these requirements before offering a donation.


Donate your old or unused eyeglasses to Lions Recycle for Sight and you’ll be helping adults and kids, who cannot afford glasses, to see clearly.

Free giveaway and swap sites

To giveaway or swap your unwanted items check out the following websites that offer free listings.

  • Ozrecycle
  • Planet Ark - Find a new home for your unwanted gifts - give to charity, re-gift or even host your own swap party.

Facebook users can also search for ‘buy, sell, swap’ or ‘freecycle’ facebook groups operating in their local areas.

Resale Centres

You can recycle unwanted household items through Resale Centres located at a number of resource recovery and transfer stations across metropolitan Melbourne, including:


Case studies

  • Case study: Pop-Up Drive Thru Recycling Days Case Study 539 KB

    This case study provides an overview of the planning, implementation and outcomes from the Pop-up Drive Thru Recycling days that were developed by Southern Cross Recycling in partnership with the Cities of Whitehorse and Greater Dandenong.

Last updated: 20/05/2020