Managing waste wisely

How to Reuse and Recycle Unwanted Items

Decluttering and want to avoid landfill?

The good news is that you can gift, swap, sell or repair many of your household items. And if they are beyond repair, a growing number can be recycled – just not in your yellow-lidded recycling bin.

Find out where and how to reuse and recycle these unwanted household items:

Bathroom / personal care items

Own a cream, lotion, potion, soap or shampoo you don’t like? Have cosmetic empties? Here are some ways to reuse and recycle unwanted bathroom items:

Reuse:

  • Unused, barely used cosmetics, soaps, lotions, perfumes, etc? Post on your local Buy Nothing Group for someone else to try.

Recycle:

  • Blister packs Blooms Pharmacy,  North Perth
  • Cosmetic containersPriceline pharmacies accept a range of empty cosmetic containers for free, including glass bottles, pumps, caps and droppers, plastic tubes, bottles and containers, mascara tubes, wands and eyeliners, lip products, and palettes and compacts (including the mirrors).
  • Disposable razorsMember and Participating Council residents can take to the West Metro Recycling Centre for free. Any brand of used razors and razor blades(refillable and disposable products, and replaceable-blade cartridge units) and their packaging.
  • Nail polish and remover – these items are flammable and classified as hazardous household waste. Please keep them out of your bins and take them to the West Metro Recycling Centre for safe disposal. Free drop off.
  • Shampoo bottles and haircare products – Member and Participating Council residents can Take to the West Metro Recycling Centre for free. This includes any brand of used hair care & colour packaging, including jars, lids, bottles, closures, tubes, pumps, caps (made from plastics and flexible or rigid aluminium) and gloves (made from latex, HDPE, Nitrile, PE).
  • Toothbrushes and oral care products – Member and Participating Council residents can take to the West Metro Recycling Centre for free. Any brand. Includes product packaging, toothpaste tubes and caps, manual and electric toothbrushes, floss containers.
  • Unwanted Medicines -old medicines can cause environmental damage if thrown in general waste. Instead, take your expired and unwanted medicines to your local pharmacy so that it can be safely disposed of via the RUM Project (Return Unwanted Medicines Project). Accepted items include prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, herbal or complementary supplements, gels, liquids, or topical creams. Any medicines that you might have had for your pets can also be returned to the pharmacy for safe disposal. Sharps are NOT included in this project.
Books & Stationery

Books, art and stationery supplies can’t be recycled in your yellow-lidded bin. But they can be reused in many ways.

Reuse:

Art & Educational Supplies

  • Buy Nothing Facebook Groups
  • REmida take all types of materials for reuse in school and community art projects, including CDs. Contact them to find out what projects they are working on and if your items will be suitable.admin@remidawa.com.
  • Give Write collects and packages leftover, near new school stationery for disadvantaged children. Click here for accepted items. No lever arch files please.
  • Local community groups, daycare centres, nursing homes for leftover stationery items.

Books:

Magazines:

  • Buy Nothing Facebook Groups
  • Waiting rooms – professional centres, businesses, nursing homes
  • Preschools and daycares
  • Craft projects – including gift wrap, decoupage, papercraft

Recycle:

Officeworks – used pens and markers

Bricks, tiles, pavers and more

Renovating? Try these options before disposing of your construction and demolition waste

Reuse options:

WA Brick Match has a recycling program to collect and reuse second-hand bricks, pavers and roof tiles. Minimum quantities and conditions apply. Click for more info. 

Buy Nothing, Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree – post pictures of your unwanted building materials online and sell or give away your unwanted construction items.

Recycle options:

West Metro Recycling Centre – from $66 p/tonne, you can recycle your old asphalt, bricks, concrete, pavers, tiles, rubble and sand. Click here for details.

Coffee Cups – disposable

Taking a reusable coffee cup for your takeaway coffee is the best way to divert coffee cups from landfill.

But if you can’t avoid getting your brew in a disposable cup, take it to your closest 711 Store and deposit it into one of their #CupRescue recycling units.  Plastic lids, straws and slurpy cups also accepted. All brands.  Cups are recycled into outdoor furniture, garden beds, reusable coffee cups and roads.

Clothing & Textiles

Keeping clothing in the circular economy is great for your pocket, the community and the planet. You can

Repair:

Love it but can’t sew? Take your treasured garment to your local Repair Lab / Repair Cafe and skilled volunteers can help you stitch or darn it, so you can keep wearing it. Otherwise, take torn clothes to your local alterations store and have it repaired.

Reuse:

High-end fashion (local)

Everyday clothing in good condition

  • Donate to your local charity or op shop.
  • Buy Nothing – join your local Buy Nothing Group on Facebook, post images of your clothing, and in the time it takes to scroll your feed, someone will be interested in your clothing.
  • Wardrobe Refresh – declutter and update your wardrobe without spending a cent. Simply bring along what you don’t wear and take what you will. To help you make the  most of your wardrobe, WMRC Waste Watchers and Town of Cambridge hold seasonal Adult & Kids Wardrobe Refresh Days.  Subscribe to socials to find out when the next Wardrobe Refresh is on.
  • Footy boots, sneakers and track shoes – Youth charity FairGame would love your gently worn footy boots. You can drop them off in our FairGame collection bin the next time you visit the West Metro Recycling Centre.
  • West Metro Recycling Centre – has Good Sammy and Paraquad Industries charity bins onsite for your quality, clean, untorn clothing, shoes and bric-a-brac.

Recycle:

Clothing and textiles

  • H&M – Beyond repair? Drop your bag of unwanted clothing in the recycling box at your local store. All textiles are welcome – any brand, any condition – even odd socks, worn-out T-shirts and old sheets. The textiles are then sent to the nearest recycling plant, where they’re sorted by hand. For every bag of textiles you drop off, you’ll receive a discount card for 15% off your next in-store purchase.
  • Sheridan Recycling Program – accepting any brand. Recycling collection point located in all stores.
  • Upparel – collecting worn out shoes, clothing and bed linen (no unwashed items, underwear, carpet, duvets /doonas, pillows/cushions, handbags, soft toys or wire bras).  For $25, you can fill a box containing 10kg of clothing and have it collected from your home. Find out more.

Shoes

  • Sports stores like rebel sport collects old unusable sports shoes for TreadLightly an Australian-based company that recycles the extracted rubber, leather and fibres into new products like gym mats, floors and playgrounds.
  • Upparel – collects worn out shoes, as well as clothing and bed linen (no unwashed items, underwear, carpet, duvets /doonas, pillows/cushions, handbags, soft toys or wire bras).  For $25, you can fill a box containing 10kg of clothing and have it collected from your home. Find out more.

 

Electronic items, appliances & cords

If it still works, you can find a home for unwanted electronic items

Repair:

  • Local electrician
  • Repair Cafe or Repair Lab

Reuse:

  • Buy Nothing
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Gumtree – free list it if you want to give it away
  • Tools ‘n’ Things Library -add your electronic items to an inventory for people to borrow.
  • Charities – these charities  LOVE kettles, heaters, fans, radios, electric frypans, toasters and extension cords – items they can re-sell or give to families experiencing hardship. Just make sure they are clean, in good working order and have bi-coloured pins.

plugs on electrical goods need to be b-coloured to be accepted by charities.

Charity Contact Details
Anglicare (08) 6253 3535 – enquiries / book a home collection. Op Shop Store locations
Good Sammy 1300 GOOD SAMMY (1300 466 372) or book online home collection.
Friends with Dignity Perth On a needs basis. on a needs basis. Find out more. Online contactVisit us on Facebook
Hello Initiative For unused mobile phones. Find out more.
Paraquad Industries T: 9381 0108; E: pqiopshop.shenton@alinea.org.au; online info
People Who Care Direct Donations Line M:0403 367 767
Salvos Stores  13 SALVOS (13 72 58) or visit Salvos Stores
Vinnies Select stores only. Call 13 18 12;  Store locations

Recycle:

Broken / beyond repair? Electronic appliances, computers, TVs and associated cords and cables, including gaming devices and mobile phones, can be taken to the West Metro Recycling Centre. Free drop off for Member and Participating Council residents and a $25 entry fee for non-Member council residents.

Furniture & Mattresses

Your old furniture can make a house a home for somebody else

Repair:

Love it, but it’s broken? Sometimes it’s as easy as taking it down to your local Repair Lab, or Repair Cafe. Or have item professionally restored by a furniture restoration company.

Reuse:

If it’s clean, unbroken and in good condition, try:

Recycle:

Mattresses and ensemble bases can be recycled at the West Metro Recycling Centre from $40 p/mattress. Click here for for full list of fees and charges. Alternatively, book a collection from mattress recycler Soft Landing  prices start at $55) or check if it can be collected as part of your Verge Valet bulk waste collection.

Garden / Shed Items

Decluttering the shed?

While these items cannot go in any of your kerbside bins, many can be safely disposed of or recycled at the West Metro Recycling Centre.

Please note that pool blankets and compost bags ARE NOT accepted at the West Metro Recycling Centre and need to be taken elsewhere.

Item

Location

Cost

Bicycles West Metro Recycling Centre, for youth charity Dismantle. FREE
Flares West Metro Recycling Centre FREE, up to 20KG
Fuel West Metro Recycling Centre FREE, up to 20L
Gas cylinders West Metro Recycling Centre FREE, up to 20KG
Motor oil West Metro Recycling Centre FREE, up to 20L. Member & participating council residents only
Paint West Metro Recycling Centre FREE, up to 20L, can be across multiple cans
Pesticides and pool chemicals West Metro Recycling Centre FREE, up to 20L, can be across multiple containers
Plastic plant pots West Metro Recycling Centre FREE, Member & participating council residents only
Pool blankets Town of Cambridge holds special collection days for pool blankets and some hard plastics. Click here for next drop off day. All welcome FREE. Click for conditions
Pool chemicals West Metro Recycling Centre FREE, up to 20L
Potting mix bags / compost bags – plastic – EMPTY REDcycle – outside Coles and Woolworths supermarkets Plastic bags must be rinsed and dry and no larger than A3 in size.
Tools and camping equipment Contact Tools n Things Library  Browse the inventory to see what’s collected for loan.
Tyres West Metro Recycling Centre Prices start at $7
Kids Items

Did you know that these kids items can be reused if you take them to the West Metro Recycling Centre? Free drop off for Member Councils & Participating Councils:

  1. Bicycles – WMRC is a collection point for Dismantle – a charity giving troubled kids a new life through restoring old bikes.
  2. Clothing – WMRC is a collection point for Good Sammy and ParaQuad Industries. Accepted: Quality, clean, untorn clothing, shoes and accessories (eg. belts). No soiled, torn or broken items.
  3. Sports equipment – The Recycling Centre is a collection point for FairGame – a youth charity providing sports equipment to kids in need. Accepted: AFL footballs, soccer balls, basketballs, soccer shin pads, tee ball bats, mitts and balls, cones, boxing gloves/focus pads, dodgeballs,  hula hoops, large sports bags in good condition (eg. Cricket bags). Not accepted: sports clothing and uniforms (except team sets of bibs), helmets (baseball, cricket or bike – due to safety reasons), golf clubs, trophies or medals, hats, used drink bottles, large items such as fitness machines, bikes etc, backpacks, any item that is broken, worn out or not suitable for current use eg.old style tennis rackets.
  4. Sports shoes – The Recycling Centre is a collection point for FairGame – a youth charity providing sports equipment to kids in need. Accepted: gently loved, good condition footy boots, track shoes, runners/sneakers.
  5. Stationery (new/nearly new)- The Recycling Centre is a collection point for GiveWrite– a youth charity providing school stationery to kids in need. Accepted: red, blue and black pens, sharpeners, lead pencils, textas, colour pencils, erasers, glue (sticks or containers), unused exercise books, crayons, highlighters, calculators, artline markers, rulers, pencil cases, protractors, scissors, backpacks in good condition, brand new drink bottles or lunchboxes. No lever arch files please.

Not good enough for reuse, these items can be recycled at special drop off points:

  1. Sport shoes (broken) – drop old sports shoes at a Treadlightly collection point (like your local Rebel store). Accepted: athletic lifestyle shoes, any sports branded shoe, thongs and slides, football boots, leather sports shoes, hiking boots, sneakers, trainers, runners, golf shoes, gumboots. No business footwear, formal leather school shoes, steel cap boots, work boots, wedges, pumps, leather dress boots and ballet flats, heels
  2. Stationery (broken, old, used)Officeworks accepts old pens and textas. No crayons, wooden pencils or coloured pencils.
  3. Toys (broken) – Big W has partnered with Terracycle to recycle old, broken plastic toys through their Big W Toys for Joy recycling programAccepted items – Plastic, metal, plush and electronic toys (BATTERIES REMOVED PLEASE). No books, board games, wooden toys, play doh, paint, slime, stationery, large toys like bikes, scooters, skateboards or sports toys (eg soccer goals).
Kitchen Items

Help make someone else’s house a home with your unwanted kitchen items.

Repair:

Love it, but don’t know how to fix it? Repair Cafes and Repair Labs have trained volunteers on hand to help you repair your treasured item. See the Repair Lab / Repair Cafe schedule to see when they are next in your suburb.

Reuse:

Charities and op shops love your unused bric-a-brac LOVE your clean, unbroken glassware, crockery, cookware, kitchen utensils, trinkets, working appliances and pots and pans. Please only donate quality, clean and unbroken items as chipped, cracked or broken items cost charities to dispose of.

Want to make a difference?  Charities like Starting Over Support rely on quality donations of kitchen and homewares to assist in re-housing families escaping domestic crises, so your quality donations can be a lifeline. Click here for a list of charities and op shops that can benefit from your donations.

Recycle:

Irreparable / not suitable for donation? Recycle these, just not in your yellow-lidded bin:

Item

Where to take it

Cost

Appliances – broken West Metro Recycling Centre FREE for Member and Participating Council residents
Bread Tags Drop off at Urban Revolution for Aussie Bread Tags for Wheelchairs.  FREE
Cooking oil West Metro Recycling Centre FREE for Member and Participating Council residents. 20L limit p/visit.
Dishwasher (broken) West Metro Recycling Centre FREE for Member and Participating Council residents
Fire-extinguisher – Non-halon (red) only West Metro Recycling Centre FREE
Food scraps Your FOGO bin (if you have one). If not, try your compost bin / worm farm; or contact your local community garden, eg Earthwise in Subiaco or St Lukes in Mosman Park. FREE
Fridge / freezer (broken) West Metro Recycling Centre From $15, for de-gassing.
Metal kitchen utensils, pots and pans – broken West Metro Recycling Centre FREE for Member and Participating Council residents
Plastic bottle lids West Metro Recycling Centre FREE for Member and Participating Council residents.
Soft plastics –  filmy food packaging, plastic bags, cling wrap, plastic reusable bags, pet food bags, squeezy yoghurt pouches and more REDcycle – outside Coles & Woolworths stores FREE
Stove / cooktop /microwave West Metro Recycling Centre FREE from Member and Participating Council residents
Manchester, including sheets & towels

Avoid throwing textiles in your bin.

Reuse:

Charities and op-shops are always in need of clean, untorn linen, sheets, towels, pillowcases, tablecloths and other manchester items. The West Metro Recycling Centre has Good Sammy and Paraquad Industries charity bins onsite for your clean and untorn manchester (and other quality clothing and accessories) or why not call call or drop in to one of these charities:

Charity Contact Details
Anglicare (08) 6253 3535 – enquiries / book a home collection. Op Shop Store locations
Australian Red Cross 1800 733 276 (1800 RED CROSS)  Red Cross locations
Good Sammy 1300 GOOD SAMMY (1300 466 372) or book online home collection.
Friends with Dignity Perth Online contactVisit us on Facebook
Paraquad Industries T: 9381 0108; E: pqiopshop.shenton@alinea.org.au; online info
People Who Care Re-housing families escaping domestic crises and desperately need quality bedding. Direct Donations Line M:0403 367 767
Salvos Stores  13 SALVOS (13 72 58) or visit Salvos Stores
Save the Children 9267 3900; scawainfo@savethechildren.org.au  Store Locations
Vinnies 13 18 12;  Store locations

Repair:

Can’t sew? Repair Cafes and Repair Labs have skilled volunteers on hand to help you repair your favourite item. Just take your torn item, a gold coin and a can-do attitude and learn how easy it is to fix it instead of ditch it.

Recycle:

Worn out / beyond repair? Try:

  • Cutting sheets / towels into cleaning rags.
  • Donating old sheets and towels to the local Cat Haven and Dog Refuge in Shenton Park. Or try Animal Aid. No doonas, cushions or pillows please.
  • H&M – Drop your bag of unwanted clothing in the recycling box at your local store. All textiles are welcome – any brand, any condition – even odd socks, worn-out T-shirts and old sheets. The textiles are then sent to the nearest recycling plant, where they’re sorted by hand. For every bag of textiles you drop off, you’ll receive a discount card for 15% off your next in-store purchase.
  • Sheridan Recycling Program – accepting any brand. Recycling collection point located in all stores.
  • Upparel – collecting worn out shoes, clothing and bed linen (no unwashed items, underwear, carpet, duvets /doonas, pillows/cushions, handbags, soft toys or wire bras).  For $25, you can fill a box containing 10kg of clothing and have it collected from your home.
Packing Materials

Have you tried to reuse your packing material like this:

Bubble wrap – reuse it to wrap delicates for postage or interlay between fragile items before stacking. Otherwise, REDcycle accepts bubble wrap that’s A3 in size. Take to your local collection point outside Coles or Woolworths

Cardboard – Before collapsing large cardboard boxes for recycling, offer them to your local Buy Nothing Community. Chances are, someone’s moving and could use them. Otherwise, Member and Participating Council residents can take their excess cardboard to the West Metro Recycling Centre for free.

Polystyrene – bought a new TV or computer? Keep bulk polystyrene out of general waste and take it to the West Metro Recycling Centre for recycling into new products. Free drop off for Member and Participating Council residents.

Shredded paper – no, you can’t put shredded paper in your recycling bin, BUT you can:

  • add it to your compost or worm farm
  • donate it to community gardens for their worm farms or compost bins
  • use it as animal bedding for small pets, eg hamsters, guinea pigs or chickens
  • line gift hampers
  • use in place of bubble wrap to protect delicate items when moving
  • MYO recycled paper
  • create paper mache projects
  • make weed mats
  • make firebricks
  • place around seedlings as protective mulch
  • use it for quilling
  • place in the bottom of your kitchen caddy to absorb absorbing odours and liquids.