Managing waste wisely

How to Reuse and Recycle Unwanted Items

Give your unwanted quality items a second life by gifting, swapping, selling or repairing them – and leave landfill as a last resort.

How to repair

Take your treasured item to your local Repair Lab or Repair Cafe and their skilled volunteers can help you repair it and keep it in circulation. Find out more about how to repair items yourself or where to get them fixed here.

How to rehome

Local charities and op shops

Charities and op-shops want your pre-loved furniture, bric-a-brac, crockery, manchester, clothing, household items, books, DVDs and in some cases, electrical appliances. Some even offer a free collection service for bulky items. Just make sure items aren’t stained or broken.

Charity Contact details More information
Anglicare (08) 6253 3535 for enquiries or to book a home collection Op shop locations
Australian Red Cross 1800 733 276 (1800 RED CROSS) Red Cross locations
Good Sammy 1300 466 372 (1300 GOOD SAMMY) or book a home collection online.
Friends with Dignity Perth Online contact, Facebook
Paraquad Industries 9381 0108; pqiopshop.shenton@alinea.org.au Info about donation bins and home collections
People Who Care 0403 367 767 – direct line for donations Re-housing families escaping domestic crises. They particularly need quality bedding and bed frames.
Salvos Stores 13 72 58 (13 SALVOS) What the stores can accept
Save the Children 9267 3900; scawainfo@savethechildren.org.au Store locations
Vinnies 13 18 12 Store locations

How to sell or share

Service How it works
Buy Nothing Project – Facebook or app Join your local group and offer the items you no longer need to your neighbours. Be sure to follow the group etiquette and be respectful of others. Everything on Buy Nothing must be gifted for free.
Facebook Marketplace Platform to buy and sell preloved goods.
Gumtree Platform to buy and sell preloved goods.
Blezz / Olio Not on Facebook? Try a gifting app as an alternative to the Buy Nothing Project. Blezz and Olio are two great options (no selling – everything must be gifted for free).
Garage Sale Trail Lots to get rid of? Register to join the Garage Sale Trail.
GarageSaleIt A marketplace to buy and sell preloved goods.

Search by item

Here’s a list of reuse and recycling options for specific items. None of these should be placed in your yellow-lidded recycling bin.

Bathroom / personal care items

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

Reuse:

  • Unused and barely-used cosmetics, soaps, lotions, perfumes – post on your local Buy Nothing Group for someone else to try, or hold a swap with your friends.

Recycle:

  • Blister packs (for medication)Blooms the Chemist in North Perth; Greenleaf Pharmacies in Shenton Park, Subiaco and Herdsman
  • Blister packs (disposable contact lenses only) – Abernethy Owens, Floreat, Urban Revolution
  • 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).
  • Medicines (expired) -old medicines can cause environmental damage if thrown in general waste. Instead, take your expired and unwanted medicines to your local pharmacy so they can be safely disposed of via the RUM Project (Return Unwanted Medicines Project). Click here for accepted items. Sharps and vapes are NOT included in this project.
  • 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 free and safe disposal.
  • Skincare packaging made from plastic and glass – Urban Revolution
Books & Stationery

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

Art & craft supplies, stationery, and educational supplies:

Books:

  • Paraquad Book Bazaar in Shenton Park accepts donations of used books (no textbooks).
  • Save the Children Book Sale at UWA accepts donations (no textbooks or magazines).
  • Drop off your unwanted books for passers-by to enjoy at a Street Library near you.
  • Secondhand bookstores like Pulp Fiction Book Exchange (Floreat),  Elizabeth’s Book Stores and many more.
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 –  you can bring us your old asphalt, bricks, concrete, pavers, tiles, rubble and sand for recycling. Click here for fees and charges.

Coffee Cups – disposable

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

Visit Plastic Free July for more great ways you can choose to refuse.

711 Store accepts disposal coffee cups, plastic lids, straws and slurpy cups in their #CupRescue recycling units.  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.

Repair:

Love it but can’t sew? Take your treasured garment to your local Repair Lab / Repair Cafe and skilled volunteers can help. Or, take torn clothes to your local alterations store for repair.

Reuse:

High-end fashion (local)

  • For money back on your designer labels, consider consignment stores like The Secret Closet
  • To support a cause with your fashion label donations, consider Magpie Conscious Collective or Dress for Success. Old ball gowns and evening wear can be donated to Frock Up – the Dress Library at the Town of Cambridge. This allows students (or you) to borrow quality gowns for special occasions for free. For more information, call Cambridge Library on 9383 8999 or send an email enquiry.

Everyday clothing in good condition

  • Donate to your local charity or op shop.
  • Sell your pieces online through Facebook Marketplace, Depop or Poshmark.
  • Buy Nothing – join your local group and offer the items you no longer need to your neighbours. Be sure to follow the group etiquette and be respectful of others. Everything on Buy Nothing must be gifted for free.
  • 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.
  • The Bindaring Clothing Sale is one of Perth’s biggest and best preloved clothing sales. Donation days are held in the lead up to the event in May – check their socials for details.
  • 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.
  • Drop your quality, clean, untorn clothing and shoes in the Good Sammy and Paraquad Industries charity bins onsite at the West Metro Recycling Centre.

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 collects 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 company that recycles the extracted rubber, leather and fibres into new products like gym mats, floors and playgrounds.
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.
  • Hello Initiative collects unwanted smartphones to help young people involved in the justice system stay connected.
  • 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. Click here to find a charity near you.

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

Recycle:

Broken / beyond repair? Electronic appliances, computers, TVs, mobile phones, gaming devices and associated cords and cables can be taken to the West Metro Recycling Centre (for free) to be recycled.

Furniture & Mattresses

Would you like to give your pre-loved item a second life?

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

  • Posting it on your local Facebook Buy Nothing page, Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree
  • Donating it to a local charity. If you have a single bed frame or clean single bed mattress  you no longer need, contact Starting Over Support. Free home collections. Conditions apply.
  • Join the Garage Sale Trail

Mattresses and ensemble bases can be recycled at the West Metro Recycling Centre from $50 per mattress. Click here 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 with 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 for free at the West Metro Recycling Centre:

Toys & Sports Equipment

Before you throw unwanted or broken toys in your general waste bin, see if there’s another option.

  • Your local toy library may accept donations of quality toys in good condition. There are toy libraries in Subiaco, Cottesloe, Claremont, Cambridge and Nedlands.
  • Get help fixing broken toys at a Repair Lab or Repair Café event near you.

The West Metro Recycling Centre accepts the following kids’ items for reuse (for free!):

For toys that are broken or not good enough for reuse, Big W has partnered with Terracycle to recycle them through their Big W Toys for Joy recycling programAccepted items include Plastic, metal, plush and electronic toys (BATTERIES REMOVED PLEASE). Find out what’s not accepted here.

Kitchen Items

Not suitable for donation?

  • 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.
  • Bread Tags – Take to Urban Revolution for Aussie Bread Tags for Wheelchairs.
  • Dish and air care waste – Take to Urban Revolution. Accepting dishwashing or air freshening products including bottles, aerosols, spray bottles, dishwasher tablet packaging, air fresheners & refills

The following items can be dropped off for free at the West Metro Recycling Centre for specialist recycling:

Refrigerated items (air conditioners, fridges and freezers) are also accepted at the West Metro Recycling Centre for a de-gassing fee starting at $17.

Manchester, including sheets & towels

Avoid throwing textiles in your bin and reuse or recycle instead.

Try:

  • Cutting sheets / towels into cleaning rags.
  • Donating old sheets and towels to the local Cat Haven and Dogs’ Refuge Home in Shenton Park (a collection bin is now located at the West Metro Recycling Centre). Textile donations are also welcome at Animal Aid. These organisations do not accept fitted sheets or anything with stuffing (doonas, pillows, sleeping bags).
  • H&M – Drop your bag of unwanted clothing in the recycling box at your local store. All textiles are welcome – any brand, any condition. Find out more about their recycling process here and get 15% off your next in-store purchase for every bag of recycling you drop in-store.
  • 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 reusing or rehoming your packing material?

Bubble wrap – reuse it to wrap delicates for postage or interlay between fragile items before stacking.

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, take your 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 free) to be recycled into new products.

Shredded paper – You can’t put shredded paper in your recycling bin, BUT you can:

  • add it to your compost bin or worm farm
  • donate it to your local community garden for their compost or worm farm
  • 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
  • make your own recycled paper
  • create paper mache projects
  • make weed mats
  • make firebricks
  • place around seedlings as protective mulch
  • place in the bottom of your FOGO kitchen caddy to absorb odours and liquids.