Avoid waste and recycle

Woman and child collecting food waste in a bucket

We are consuming and producing waste at a rate that is not sustainable for our environment. Buying cheap, disposable, single-use products is a big part of the problem – they take time and use valuable resources to produce, only to end up in landfill. 

It’s important we rethink our waste footprint, because, there is no away in throw away. 

The good news is, your choices as a consumer can help make a big difference! By choosing to buy clothing, plastic and food products that can be reused, recycled or re-purposed you can reduce your carbon footprint and help the environment.

What you can do to reduce waste

Reducing your waste footprint starts with stopping… consider whether you really need that latest pair of shoes or phone model. Avoid buying new things and creating new waste – this is the single most important thing you can do.

  • Join Yarra’s 12-week online food waste challenge to reduce avoidable food waste - by signing up you will receive fortnightly emails with our top tips for reducing food waste and a challenge which is both achievable and fun.

  • Refuse single-use plastic items all together – plastic bags coffee cups, straws, water bottles and takeaway containers. Reusable coffee cups are the new norm, but consider how positive the impact would be if we moved from throw away to reusable takeaway containers too.
  • Choose products that aren’t disposable and can be reused in the future.
  • Opt for products with low or no packaging – buy the product, not the packaging.

  • Borrow, rent, loan or share resources – clothes, toys and electronics take huge amounts of energy and resources to produce and if you can avoid buying new, it can make a big difference.

  • Shop second hand to give pre-loved items a new life and supports the local economy – online platforms such as Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree and Ebay are perfect for finding what you need, when you need it. 

  • Plan your meals and create shopping lists to reduce what you throw away – while composting is great for unavoidable scraps, minimising food waste in the first place is crucial to reducing waste to landfill. Planning what food you need in advance and storing it appropriately to maximise its shelf life can make a real difference. 

  • Support local businesses that say YES to zero waste – there are many products, services and businesses in Yarra that are committed to zero waste and make it easy for you too. To help you find and use them, we’ve developed an online Yarra Zero Waste Map to help you locate your local community composting facilities, bulk food stores, second hand clothing stores, repair hubs and cardboard waste drop off spots.

How to reduce, reuse and recycle

Plastics, clothing and food waste are three common waste streams that are the main contributors of waste to landfill. You can help divert them before they get there by taking simple actions to reduce your use and choosing to reuse, every day.

Click on each of the waste streams below to discover tips and tricks to help reduce your waste footprint.