At home

Tips on recycling

Advice on the best ways to recycle, re-use, reduce and - most importantly - avoid creating waste.


  • Check with your local council on ways to recycle or safely dispose of batteries, motor oil, chemicals, paints, compact fluorescent light globes, food scraps, crockery, electrical goods, clothing, nappies, cling wrap and cooking oil.
  • Don’t put plastic bags in your recycling bin, even if they’re biodegradable. Many supermarkets now have plastic bag recycling bins you can use.
  • Flattening boxes and cans will make more room in your bin.
  • Make sure any bottles you put in the recycling are free from liquid, which can contaminate recycling or damage equipment.
  • Put your grass clippings on the garden as mulch.


  • Empty bottles, glass jars and plastic containers can be used to store food and other items.
  • Buy second-hand items – you can find high quality goods. Not only is it cheaper, some second-hand/recycling stores help people in need.
  • Household greywater can be used to water the garden.
  • Give your used clothes to someone in need, via a charity store near you.
  • Discarded paper printed on one side can be re-used for draft documents or notes.


  • Ask yourself before buying anything: “Do I really need this?”
  • Choose products with less packaging.
  • Put a ‘No Junk Mail’ sign on your letterbox.
  • Buy reusable products instead of disposable ones, such as paper towels, plastic cutlery and paper plates.
  • Keep bags in your car for when you go shopping – and refuse plastic bags offered by retailers.
  • Take food to work in containers, rather than in plastic wrapping or other disposable packaging.


  • Send an email or use the phone instead of sending a letter or fax.
  • Make sure your printer is set up for double-sided printing.
  • Plan your meals. Only buy and cook as much food as you need. Food waste costs the average NSW household $1000 a year. See Love Food Hate Waste for more information, recipes and tips.
  • Choose products that are concentrated and available in refillable containers.
  • Use rechargeable batteries.
  • Maintain your products and repair them, rather than throwing them away and replacing.
  • Hire, borrow or share products, instead of buying them new. Look out for ‘collaborative sharing’ initiatives near you.

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Page last updated: 29 January 2016