Reducing Waste

1. Overview

Everything that we throw away adds to our environmental footprint. By making smart decisions about what we buy, and finding ways to reuse and recycle goods, we can reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfill.

This section connects you to a wide range of resources offering you tips and ideas to reduce, reuse and recycle. 

2.  Avoiding Waste 

Avoiding waste starts with looking at how you shop and how you make use of what you buy.

Smart shopping 

We buy our waste when we go shopping so why not start here. Avoiding plastic can make a big difference to your household waste. Try bringing your own containers and reusable shopping bags, buying in bulk, buying items with less packaging and purchasing items in recycled or recyclable packaging. Check out some more top tips and ideas for smart shopping.  

Refusing single use plastic

Plastic Free July aims to raise awareness of the problems with single-use disposable plastic and challenges people to refuse single-use plastic during the month of July. Created by the Western Metropolitan Regional Council in 2011, Plastic Free July is now a global phenomenon with over one million people across 130 countries participating. 

For more information visit the Plastic Free July website. You will find so many ideas on how to live plastic free.

Another initiative the Town of Cambridge supports is the Responsible Cafes Program,a national program that encourages cafes to offer a discount to customers who bring their own reusable takeaway cup. For more information and to find one near you visit the Responsible Cafes website.   

Reducing food waste 

Did you know Australians throw away 4 million tonnes of food every year? From planning your meals to storing your food, check out the top ten ways to reduce kitchen waste, save resources and save money. 

Bin Fairy - Waste Minimisation Sessions

3.  Recycling and Upcycling 

Instead of throwing old or unwanted items away, rethink what you throw out and find ways to repurpose and reuse them.  


Upcycling is a great way to reuse unwanted goods and divert them from landfill by converting them into something useful. Try repairing goods or passing them on to someone else who can use them. Upcycling is a great way to get creative. Consider the Buy Nothing ProjectGumtree and Givit.

Cambridge Repair Lab Initiative


Items that can't be reused can often be recycled. If you are unsure about what goes in the recycling bin visit the Waste and Recycling page on the Town's website or find out more about our recycling programs.

For some great kerbside recycling tips visit the Planet Ark website.

4.  Using Waste 

Your organic household waste is a valuable resource. Don't throw it away! Check out the following ways to make the most of your organic waste:

  • Mulching - Reuse garden waste by turning it into mulch to smother weeds and improve soil. To find out how to create your own mulch take a look at the Marvel of Mulch.
  • Composting - Half of what we throw away is food and garden waste. You can break this down into compost, improve your soil and watch your garden grow. Check out the Easy Composting Guide for tips on how to produce your own compost.
  • Worm Farming - Turn kitchen scraps into a valuable fertiliser for the garden. See the Easy Worm Farming Guide for more information.

Rebates are available when residents attend one or more of the education sessions offered by the Town.

Reducing Household Waste


5.  Hazardous Waste

Certain types of waste cannot be disposed of through the normal bin system. For information on how to manage household hazardous waste visit the Hazardous Waste page on the Town's website.

Free E-Waste Drop Off Days

Local Recycling Centres and Household Hazardous Waste Drop Off Points

West Metro Recycling Centre - Accepted Items