So you’ve put on an absolute cracker of an event – the crowd loved it, the performers killed it, and the crew seem as happy as they’ll ever be. But now you’re left with a field or hall absolutely filled with all sorts of waste; bottles, plastics, signage, set pieces, timber and other assorted items are strewn everywhere.
Not sure what to do with it all? That’s why we’ve compiled a handy guide to show you where you can go to get your waste recycled and upcycled.
Firstly, it’s worth noting that every state and most local governments should have some form of event waste guide available online. These guides can help you develop a full waste plan to ensure that your events are as environmentally sustainable and successful as possible.
There are also a number of companies specialising in sustainable waste management for events, such as Clean Vibes (National), WRITE Solutions (WA) and Closed Loop (East Coast), who offer end to end waste solutions.
The majority of entries in our list below are for event organisers and suppliers who control their waste management themselves but want to be more sustainable. If you’re in an area that is not covered in the following list, or if you are looking for a standard commercial recycling centre, Planet Ark have a great ‘find a recycler’ directory which will help you find a recycling drop-off or pickup service to suit your specific materials.
On with our list!
New South Wales
WHO ARE THEY? Reverse Garbage are a Marrickville institution, with their tireless work within the community and extensive offerings in their public-facing warehouse store making them a favourite in the area. As well as taking your event recycling, Reverse Garbage also have a drop-in recycling workshop initiative, which could be an excellent addition to your next event or festival village activations.
WHAT WILL THEY TAKE? Donations are accepted on a case-by-case basis, though they specifically mention that they love to take items such as acrylic commercial offcuts, artists paints, plastic bottle tops, containers, coreflute, fabric, props, set pieces like flats, treads and lighting gels, metal, netting and shade materials, cardboard and plastic, rope, and more. Items they won’t take include glass, polystyrene and individual food containers, spray paint, MDF, fibro or chipboard.
WHERE ARE THEY? 8/142 Addison Road, Marrickville NSW 2204
BOWER REUSE AND REPAIR CENTRE
WHO ARE THEY? The Bower are an award-winning collective of reuse and repair centres aiming to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. Donations are usually taken at their Marrickville location, though free pickups can be booked for those in over 21 councils within Greater Sydney through their online booking tool.
WHAT WILL THEY TAKE? Most donations will be at the discretion of the staff, but they specifically are looking for items such as furniture, hardware & tools, timber, kitchenware and paint. If the Bower won’t take your items, they also have a handy resource for finding somewhere local that will – their Reuse Database.
WHERE ARE THEY? Building 34, 142 Addison Road, Marrickville NSW 2204 AND Shop 1, 10 Hunter Street, Parramatta NSW 2150
WEBSITE Home Page – The Bower
SYDNEY RUBBISH TRUCK
WHO ARE THEY? A bit of a different one here, with the Sydney Rubbish Truck coming to you to pick up your commercial waste and recycling. They aim to maximise recycling and minimise landfill, so contact them for a free quote and see what they can do for you.
WHAT WILL THEY TAKE? Mentioned on their website is their relationships with “various transfer station operators in different parts of Sydney”, so through these they should be able to take most items within reason.
WHERE ARE THEY? Remote, or W4-1/31 Wattle St, Ultimo NSW 2007
WEBSITE Office/Commercial Rubbish Removal Sydney (sydneyrubbishtruck.com.au)
REVERSE ART TRUCK
WHO ARE THEY? A Melbourne grass roots artist reuse not-for-profit who have been in operation for over 30 years, Reverse Art Truck recycles materials that would have otherwise gone to landfill and makes them available for the greater community, art educators, artists and crafters of all types.
WHAT WILL THEY TAKE? You will need to send them photos of your waste first for approval, but the generally accept items like carpet and wood samples and off-cuts, burlap, plastic crates, silk flowers, fabric and textiles, metal and wood, paper and stationery.
WHERE ARE THEY? 3/17 Greenwood Avenue, Ringwood VIC 3134
WEBSITE Reverse Art Truck
RESOURCE RESCUE INC
WHO ARE THEY? A not-for-profit with a lot of heart, Resource Rescue Inc operate an art shop, Discount Craft Supplies, where they provide upcycled items for cheap to schools and small businesses.
WHAT WILL THEY TAKE? The materials they take will vary, noting themselves that they’ll often take items that seem “worthless or bizarre”. However, some examples of their usual intake include containers, plastic, foam, perspex, paper, cardboard and de-nailed timber.
WHERE ARE THEY? 1/42 Burgess Road, Bayswater North VIC 3153
WEBSITE Resource Rescue Inc.
EAGLEHAWK RECYCLE SHOP, BENDIGO
WHO ARE THEY? Eaglehawk Recycle Shop is a non-profit organisation that accepts recycling and upcycles it into items sold in their store. They are independently run and have operated on a volunteer basis since 1994.
WHAT WILL THEY TAKE? It’s up to the discretion of staff on what they will accept, but generally they take items like furniture, timber, plant pots and plants, fencing, paint, light globes, gas cylinders, power tools, metal and polystyrene.
WHERE ARE THEY? 189 Upper California Gully Rd, California Gully VIC 3556
WEBSITE Eaglehawk Recycle Shop
STANDARD RECYCLING CENTRES
REVERSE GARBAGE QUEENSLAND
WHO ARE THEY? Much like their Sydney counterparts, Reverse Garbage Queensland accept recycling donations, and can make ongoing arrangements for businesses with regular offerings. They also run workshops for festival activations, and stock upcycled items from local artists in their Reverse Emporium.
WHAT WILL THEY TAKE? It is stressed that you contact the venue before arriving with your waste, but they’ll generally take a large variety of items including acrylic off-cuts and panels, coreflute, shade materials, metal, tools, timber, fabric and textiles, plastics and foam, props and set materials etc. However, you’ll have to look elsewhere if you’re looking to dispose of single use plastic straws and cutlery, or most foam packaging materials.
WHERE ARE THEY? 20 Burke Street, Woolloongabba QLD 4102
WEBSITE Reverse Garbage Queensland Co-op Ltd
WHO ARE THEY? Recan is an initiative designed to maximise recycling opportunities while minimising effort. Bags are supplied by Recan, which will be filled up with eligible containers, and returned in exchange for cash. Establishing an ongoing relationship is required, as a minimum of three bags are provided, and pickups must be at least once a month. The initiative also services more than 200 suburbs in Brisbane and surrounding areas.
WHAT WILL THEY TAKE? Containers with the 10c refund mark, including plastic bottles, cans and glass bottles.
WHERE ARE THEY? REMOTE
REEDY CREEK WASTE AND RECYCLING CENTRE
WHO ARE THEY? These guys are a waste management facility for residential and most commercial small business needs run by the City of Gold Coast Council. Also part of the centre is Recycle Street, a self-sevice row of colour coded “shop fronts”, with each a receptacle for different recyclable items.
WHAT WILL THEY TAKE? Glass, plastic, cans, cardboard and small carloads of commercial waste including concrete, and metal are what you’ll be bringing to this facility. If you have more than that, however, the Reedy Creek Commercial Landfill site is only a minute down the road.
WHERE ARE THEY? 61 Hutchinson St, Burleigh Heads QLD 4220
WEBSITE Reedy Creek Waste & Recycling Centre | City of Gold Coast
NORTH QUEENSLAND RECYCLING AGENTS
WHO ARE THEY? Having been a part of the Cairns recycling community for over 25 years, these guys are well established, having also been one of the first to join Queensland’s “Containers for Change” scheme. They offer drop-off services free of charge.
WHAT WILL THEY TAKE? Glass, plastic bottles, aluminium cans, non-ferrous metals are all accepted, however polystyrene and closed containers such as gas canisters and fire extinguishers are not.
WHERE ARE THEY? 27 Federation St, Bungalow QLD 4870
WEBSITE North Queensland Recycling Agents
WHO ARE THEY? REmida Perth is a branch of the REmida international network, a group committed to upcycling waste products for classroom arts and craft.
WHAT WILL THEY TAKE? They accept miscellaneous items on a case-by-case basis, though they have business they work with regularly, so it’s best to contact them and see if your waste will fit their needs at that time. However, they have a series of items they will never take in, such as gas bottles, furniture, used food containers and takeaway cups.
WHERE ARE THEY? 1 Prospect Place, West Perth WA 6005
WEBSITE Home | REmida WA
WEST METRO RECYCLING CENTRE
WHO ARE THEY? A council-run waste management facility that offers comprehensive disposal services. Centrally located, this recycling centre sorted 25,000 tonnes of waste over the 2019-20 period, so they are more than prepared for whatever you can throw at them!
WHAT WILL THEY TAKE? For residents of the Western Metropolitan Regional Council, the recycling centre will take items such as glass bottles, plastics, paper, scrap metal and polystyrene for free. Those outside the area may be subject to a $25 entry fee. Bulk waste and construction materials may also incur a fee.
WHERE ARE THEY? Corner of Brockway Road and Lemnos Street, Shenton Park WA 6008
WEBSITE West Metro Recycling Centre (wmrc.wa.gov.au)
TOMRA Coconut Grove Recycling Centre
WHO ARE THEY? The setup at TOMRA Coconut Grove is a fully automated recycling centre – Darwin’s only one. Multiple reverse vending machines and express bag drop points make it simple to recycle your containers, with commercial bulk waste services also available upon request.
WHAT WILL THEY TAKE? Glass, cartons, plastics and cans.
WHERE ARE THEY? 11 Tang St, Coconut Grove NT 0810
WEBSITE NT Container Deposit Scheme – myTOMRA
THE REDISCOVERY CENTRE, ALICE SPRINGS
WHO ARE THEY? A salvage yard and recycling facility situated in the Red Centre that takes certain recyclable items to sell on. They also utilise crushed glass from bottles brought to the nearby Transfer Station, regional Australia’s largest glass crusher.
WHAT WILL THEY TAKE? Building materials, timber, household items and other unwanted goods, which they will take on for free. Just next door is the Regional Waste Management Facility, so anything not accepted by the Rediscovery Centre can be disposed of easily.
WHERE ARE THEY? Commonage Rd, Ilparpa NT 0873
WEBSITE The Rediscovery Centre
SCOUT RECYCLING CENTRE PORT ADELAIDE
WHO ARE THEY? Scout Recycling Centres are all over Adelaide and South Australia, as well as a few up in Queensland, though this one in Port Adelaide is their first facility, established in 1978. For larger commercial quantities, pickups are available.
WHAT WILL THEY TAKE? Scout Recycling Centres are happy to take drink containers (both 10c deposit and non-deposit), glass bottles, food containers and scrap steel. While most donations are free, Scouts will pay cash for some items.
WHERE ARE THEY? 326 Commercial Rd, Port Adelaide SA 5015
WEBSITE Scout Recycling Centre Port Adelaide
ADELAIDE WASTE AND RECYCLING CENTRE
WHO ARE THEY? The Adelaide Waste and Recycling Centre is a large-scale facility offering both personal and commercial waste management services. Beyond this, they also offer waste management solutions for businesses and commercial ventures, including scheduled and one-off pickups.
WHAT WILL THEY TAKE? The centre accepts a wide variety of waste, including paper, cardboard, gas bottles, paint and construction waste, though they also state they accept all types of commercial waste, so it’s worth getting in touch if you have unlisted items to recycle. Fees are also dependent on load size.
WHERE ARE THEY? 181 Morphett Road, North Plympton SA 5037
WEBSITE AWRC – Adelaide Waste and Recycling Centre
SOUTH HOBART TIP SHOP
WHO ARE THEY? Run by the Resource Work Cooperative, the largest workers co-op in Australia, the South Hobart Tip Shop repurposes and upcycles all sorts of materials. They’re only around the corner from McRobies Gully Waste Management Centre, so they’re a convenient stopoff to see what can be salvaged of your waste before taking the rest to landfill.
WHAT WILL THEY TAKE? The group welcomes all kinds of waste, though for commercial quantities they suggest calling ahead or emailing to determine a time for delivery. Alternatively, they offer a free community pick-up service, which would definitely come in handy if you’re short on time or transport.
WHERE ARE THEY? 28 Mcrobies Rd, South Hobart TAS 7004
WEBSITE SoHo Tip Shop and Ewaste Recycling | Resource Work Cooperative
LAUNCESTON WASTE CENTRE AND TRANSFER STATION + UPTIPITY
WHO ARE THEY? A centre operated by the City of Launceston accepting an extensive range of wastes and recyclables. Next to the centre is a shop, Uptipity, which upcycles items brought to the recycling facility. Any donations to Uptipity should go through the waste centre.
WHAT WILL THEY TAKE? Among other items, the waste centre will take cans, timber, polystyrene, gas bottles, paint and other recyclables at the discretion of the recycling centre staff. Anything unable to be recycled can be taken to the connected Transfer Station, which can incur a fee.
WHERE ARE THEY? Cavalry Rd, Mowbray TAS 7248
WEBSITE Waste Centres – City of Launceston
Australian Capital Territory
WHO ARE THEY? They are an award-winning family-owned recycling company which focuses on sorting and processing items for reuse. Ongoing relationships are encouraged, and generally will lead to major discounts on disposal fees.
WHAT WILL THEY TAKE? Plastics, metals and construction materials are perfect for this group, though they’re not interested in food waste or synthetic mineral fibres, which should rule out polystyrenes.
WHERE ARE THEY? Mugga Lane, Symonston ACT 2609
WEBSITE ACT Recycling – ACT Recycling
ACT SMART BUSINESS RECYCLING PROGRAMME
WHO ARE THEY? This is an initiative run by the local government of the ACT to help local businesses improve their waste management and reduce costs. Those who join are provided with a free waste management programme along with an accreditation as an ACTSmart business.
WHAT WILL THEY TAKE? The programme can fit your recycling needs and can be shaped around whatever you require of it.
WHERE ARE THEY? Open for businesses in the ACT and Queanbeyan areas.
WEBSITE ACTSmart Business Recycling Program | business.gov.au
What have we missed?
Know any reuse or upcycling initiatives for event waste that we’ve missed? Get in touch with us on socials or [email protected] and let us know!
Photo: Joshua Coleman / Unsplash