Friday fast five: Find new love for your old stuff – Wollongong

Extending the life of unwanted stuff diverts valuable resources from landfill and ensures all the raw materials and energy used to make them is used to their greatest possible extent. It’s the circular economy in action.

Here are five ways to clear your clutter in a planet-friendly way:

1. Donate it

Charities and op shops are a great option for clothing, accessories and books that are in good condition. Your donation will help fund their work in the community.

Just be sure to remember the golden rules of donating: If you wouldn’t give it to a mate, then it’s not fit to donate, and visit during opening hours to ensure your donation counts.

We keep a list of locations and contact numbers for local op shops and secondhand stores here. Please note, details may change without notice.

2. Upcycle it

Upcycling means to take something used or unwanted and transform it into something more valuable or useful. You can put repairing in this category as well. It’s not only good for the planet, but you get to learn new skills and have fun too!

Google is a wealth of knowledge for all things upcycling and repair, whether it be tutorials to refresh old furniture, fix almost anything, or find creative ways to repurpose your festive cards (Christmas in July, anyone?)

If you’re looking for something more social, we partner with Keiraville CWA to host monthly Boomerang Bag Workshops at both Corrimal Library (third Monday of month) and Thirroul Library (first Monday of month). Secure your free spot via the links below:

3. Sell it

There are heaps of ways to sell secondhand goods both online and in-person.

Online you can list items for sale on the Facebook marketplace (or similar) and have prospective buyers visit to view and collect, or eBay (or similar) where you arrange shipping at the buyer’s cost.

If you prefer to sell it all in one go, why not hold a stall at your local market or host a garage sale? Holding a garage sale is a great way to rehome your unwanted goods, meet the neighbours and make some money.

4. Recycle it

Our Community Recycling Centre in Kembla Grange is a free and easy place to recycle problem waste from your household. It accepts regular household recyclables like cardboard, paper, steel cans, rigid plastic bottles and containers, and glass bottles and jars. Right next door is the Revolve Centre where you can drop off unwanted items that are in good shape, like homewares, sporting goods, tools, furniture, toys and more.

Those aside, the Wollongong Waste App has an A-Z directory of waste and recycling which covers the how and where to dispose of everything from aerosol cans to window glass.

5. Or, as a last resort, correctly dispose of it

If your unwanted stuff doesn’t fit any of these uses, landfill might be the only option.

For bulky items we offer a Household Cleanup Service where residents can book two collections each financial year. See here for full details and to book a collection.

Alternatively, you can bring your stuff to Wollongong Waste and Resource Recovery Park – also known as Whytes Gully – at Kembla Grange. There your load will be weighed, and you will need to pay the relevant fee.

We also host additional garden organics drop-off days throughout Wollongong. The next days are in Helensburgh (18 June) and Corrimal (25 June).

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