Wednesday 11 September 2019

Let's Help With The Recycling Crisis

Recycling in Australia is now at a crisis point.  China is no longer accepting our recycling ( which is fair enough ) and recycling giant SKM has gone into liquidation following  fires at their depos and a series of bans imposed by the EPA.

This has left many councils across Australia with limited or no recycling options.  My local council has found another recycling contractor but they can only accept reduced amounts.   Homeowners have been asked to reduce what they put in their recycling bins.

With this topic being much talked about in the media,   I thought we could all share ways to reduce our recycling and maybe save a few dollars along the way.

Here are some ideas to get you started -

*  Save glass jars to store bulk amounts of herbs and spices.

*  Strawberry punnets can be used to plant veggie seeds in.  Close the lid to create a hot house for quicker germination.

*   Wash out milk and juice containers to make up Miracle Spray and hand wash  in bulk.

*  Revise your shopping list and try to buy ingredients instead of ready made food where possible.  Watch your grocery bill shrink.

*  Make your pizza at home instead of getting takeaway.  Here's my recipe for pizzas.

*  Drink water from the tap instead of buying bottled unless absolutely necessary.  Ditch the soft drinks and save them for special occasions.  Even better,  make your own lemonade while citrus fruit is still in season.

*  Newspapers make great seedling pots.  Use the newspapers as a weed barrier in the garden.  Compost your newspapers.

*  Jam making season in Australia is just around the corner.  Time to save any glass jars with a metal lid.

*  Compost your junk mail and paper grocery packaging.  Generic brand flour and sugar comes in paper..  Save some dollars and feed your compost bin.

*  Glass juice bottles and small soft drink bottles can be used to make reed diffusers.

*  Wash and reuse your glass or plastic containers instead of using cling wrap.

*  Offer cardboard boxes for free on Facebook pages like Buy,  Swap,  Sell.  They make great moving and storage boxes.

*  Ditch paper plates ( don't throw them out.  Just don't use them ) and use the good stuff.  Having a picnic ?  Then dig out the picnic basket and use the plates included.

*  Save department store gift bags,  decorate and reuse for gift giving.

*  Tins with lids can be used for pantry storage.  

My new bulk herb jars

Jam making

Homemade pizza

Decorated department store bags

What ideas do you have to reduce recycling ?


  1. As you have stated it is necessary to start at the source. I fail at some things and win with others. My breakfast cereal comes in plain cardboard box, we use butter and I only buy the paper wrapped butter.I have th choice to buy milk in glass bottles but it way more expensive and the bottles are not collected and on the the farmers advice they go in the recycle bin. Newspapers are a rarity and we have a no junk mail sign on the letterbox. I wish the catalogue people would read signs! Trying to reduce and reuse takes a little more thought,

    To make you smile my mother has just given my granddaughter a slice of toast with some of this year's home-made strawberry jam. The response was YUK!!

  2. Hi Wendy,

    I used to offer local primary schools things like cereal boxes, milk containers, egg cartons etc for them to use in their art room.
    Egg containers can be used for planting seeds, milk containers can be used for catching the water in the kitchen sink when you’re waiting for it to warm up. Also trays from meat, tin cans and plastic jars/bottles can be used for planting.
    Great post

  3. Hello from Canada. Love your blog. Thanks for these ideas. We in Canada have had two ship loads of plastic recycle returned to us from China. I wonder how many other countries have had the same happen.

  4. i don't even use my recycling bin, Australia hasn't got a decent recycle facility and we really need one; i keep all my tins, jars & bottles. where ever i use star pickets or tomato stakes i put a tin over the top, so no one pokes their eye out & it makes them easy to see. our ancestors never had a problem with recycling, they couldn't afford to throw things out willy nilly like we do now.

  5. I like to reuse glass jars, however, sometimes i can't get rid of the smell of the previous contents, especially vinegar based . Any suggestions?

    1. Bicarbonate of soda. Put a tbsp in, put the lid back on, shake, leave 24hrs. If smell still there, fill with hot water, 24 hrs. Then rinse well and leave a few days without lid on for it to properly air out.

  6. I burn paper packaging in our fire, shred a4 paper for the compost, take soft plastic to supermarket for redcycle, jars that I can’t reuse go to op shop or friends, drink lids and bread tags to bowls club for recycling project and try not to buy plastic etc and reusing when I do
    Our council is still collecting recycling bins thankfully but it’s not a good system and lots of people still have no idea what to recycle

  7. I try to do all those things but it will be more difficult when I move to a flat with patio and no room for a compost bin.

  8. I crochet around the jars and place a battery operated tea light in them for Xmas and Halloween. Not sure how to post a picture on here


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