Face Your Waste

Face Your Waste clear bin full of household waste

What's wrong
with waste?

Australians send more than 20 million tonnes of waste to landfill every year. We just put things in the bin and the council takes it away. It’s out of sight and out of mind. But the amount of waste we generate is a big problem, and it’s only getting bigger.

Face Your Waste
with Famous Sharron

As the face of WA, Famous Sharron has now decided to face her waste. As a busy mum of 4, she understands the need to give it some thought, before it’s bought. Read on to find out how you can Face Your Waste:

Famous Sharron

Famous Sharron’s
Shopping Tips

Take reusable bags with you to the shops.

Take appropriate bags with you too. Cooler bags if you are buying cold or frozen items. Sturdier bags if you are buying heavier items.

Choose items with less packaging.

Choose recyclable packaging.

Avoid buying single use items.

Only buy what you need (buying in bulk is only cheaper if you use it).

Buy best quality you can afford (if you purchase cheap items, if the item breaks, doesn’t work and you have to continually replace and upgrade, in the long run its not cheaper).

Reuse, repair and repurpose items, you may not need to buy new.

Shop smart - use a list - stick to a budget - this helps to avoid impulse buys and purchasing things that you really don’t need or use.

Buy fresh and quality produce, lasts longer and makes for less wastage.

Buy items that come in recyclable containers.

Everything we buy and use become waste eventually. Think how your purchased item will be disposed of at the end of its life. Some items are more readily recycled than others. Buy wisely.

Prepare before you shop making decisions on the run leads to impulse purchase.

Buying a gift? Create a collection of personally targeted bits and pieces from second hand and op shops. Keep this in mind throughout the year to pick up a variety.

Use Buy Nothing sites as first option to obtain all sorts of items.

Never shop hungry as it leads to impulse purchasing.

Buying a bigger item? Try to leave the final decision at least overnight, you may change your choice or realise you didn’t actually need it.

Therapy shopping? Go for a long walk- it’s cheaper and good for you.

Buy ‘in season’ food it will often be local, fresher and cheaper.

Waste facts

On average, each Australian produces 541kg of waste every year - that's the weight of 2 baby elephants.
Elephants illustration
Australians throw away 3.3 million tonnes of food every year - a quarter of our national food supply.
Australia illustration
6 million disposable nappies are thrown away in Australia every day.
Nappy illustration
113 disposable coffee cups are thrown away every second.
Coffee Cup illustration
By 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.
Fish illustration

What you can
do about it

The Waste Hierarchy shows the different steps that you can take to minimise the waste you create. The more that can be done at the top of the hierarchy the better.

Avoid

The best way to deal with waste is to prevent it in the first place. Consider what you're buying and use alternatives that don't create waste.

Reduce

Only purchase what you need and before you make a purchase, check whether you can buy the item in a smaller quantity.

Reuse

Rather than throwing things away, we should check to see if it can be used again, repaired or repurposed.

Recycle

When we recycle something, we convert the item back into raw materials that can be used to create new products.

Recover

Some waste can be converted into energy, allowing us to recover some of the value of the material used to create it.

Dispose

If waste isn’t reused, recycled or recovered it ends up in the environment or in landfill.

Rubbish Tips

Have a look through these tips for inspiration on how to reduce, reuse and recycle your waste.

Avoid

Say ‘no’ to plastic water bottles, straws, coffee cups and plastic bags.

Think twice before printing, but if you need to, make sure you use recycled paper.

Avoid junk mail by putting a 'No Junk Mail' sticker on your mail box.

If you don’t use phone directories, contact the supplier and cancel them.

Switch to paperless billing wherever possible.

Keep a supply of reusable bags near your front door, in your handbag or in the car.

Bring your own containers to take-away restaurants.

Buy e-books or visit the library instead of buying paper books.

Eat before you shop to reduce unnecessary purchases!

Reduce

Plan your meals in advance, so you only buy what you need.

Buy meat from a butcher or a deli to avoid plastic meat trays.

Borrow items from friends or neighbours before buying them for yourself.

Cut down on consumption by buying nothing new for a day, a week or a month.

Make your own soup, yoghurt, bread and salad dressing to avoid plastic waste.

Buy durable high quality goods that won’t need replacing as often.

Buy food from local bulk food supply stores to reduce packaging waste.

Take a few minutes to drink your coffee ‘in’, avoiding takeaway cups.

Reuse

Reuse coffee grinds by putting them on your garden.

Put unwanted items on your local ‘Buy Nothing’ or ‘Pay it forward’ Facebook site

Buy clothes and accessories from vintage or used clothing stores.

Donate unwanted items to charity shops or have a garage sale.

Buy items second hand on Gumtree or Freecycle rather than buying new.

Use materials that are destined for landfill in art and craft projects.

Repurpose chipped coffee cups as indoor plant pots.

Mend or get clothing altered rather than throwing it away.

Give empty plastic bottles to your dog to use as a chew toy.

Repurpose old sheets by cutting them up and using as cleaning cloths or dusters.

See if broken electronics can be repaired before throwing them away.

Use off-cuts, second hand or recycled materials in your DIY projects.

Keep a reusable water bottle with you to avoid buying bottled water.

Recycle

Separate the different materials in your recycling bin by taking the lids off jars and bottles.

Paper & cardboard both go into your yellow lid recycling bin.

Aluminium and steel cans both go into your yellow lid recycling bin.

Glass bottles and jars both go into your yellow lid recycling bin.

Plastic bottles and containers both go into your yellow lid recycling bin.

Gas cylinders and butane canisters can left at recycling centres and most transfer stations.

Clothes can’t go in your recycle bin, donate them to charity instead.

Stiff plastics can go into your recycle bin.

‘Soft and noisy’ plastics - like bread and cereal bags and biscuit and chip packets - can be recycled at many Coles and Woolworths supermarkets.

Flatten all cardboard before putting it into your recycling bin.

Chemicals and paints can be recycled at recycling centres and many transfer stations.

Containers should be empty and rinsed before going in your recycling bin.

Chemicals and paints can be recycled at recycling centres and many transfer stations.

Leave your recyclables loose. Don’t put them in plastic bags in your recycling bin.

Make good use of food scraps in a compost bin, worm farm or Bokashi bucket to benefit your garden.

Items with power cords (e-waste) can be recycled at recycling centres and many transfer stations.

Batteries can be recycled at specialty recycling stations.

Check your local council website to see which plastics can go in your recycling bin.

Up to 20l or 20kg of paints and chemicals can be left at many transfer stations for free.

Not everything that can be recycled is recycled through your yellow top bin.

Clear Bins

You may have seen these bins in your community. They’re designed to help us confront the amount of waste we’re producing and inspire us to do better.

Because once waste is out of sight, it’s easy to keep it out of mind. These bins will be moving to a new location every month to help as many people as possible face their waste.

Face Your Waste clear bin full of household waste facing sideways

Become a clear
bin ambassador

We’re looking for people in the Perth Metropolitan Area who are interested in becoming clear bin ambassadors.

If you’re selected, you’ll be given a clear bin for one month. Then all you have to do is fill it up with your household waste without using bin bags and put it out on your verge a few days before your weekly collection.

Just fill out the application form and we’ll get in contact with you if you’re needed.

Want to know more?

There are lots of amazing resources available to help you learn more about this issue and teach you how to reduce waste. These are some of our favourites.

What's my
council doing?

Select your council to find out what’s happening with waste in your local community.