Reduce resources and waste

By actively reducing, reusing, and recycling waste, we can ensure fewer natural resources are used to produce goods, less land is required for landfill and less greenhouse gases are produced. Methane gas, produced when organic matter breaks down without oxygen (such as in landfill), is 21 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

Rethink and reduce

  • Look for products with high environmental standards e.g. no chemical, recycled, minimal packaging.
  • Swap single use plastic items for reusable, including bottles, coffee cups, bags and utensils.
  • Purchase products made from renewable or recycled materials.
  • Buy in bulk to reduce the amount of packaging created, and save money at the same time.
  • Buy your fruit and vegetables loose instead of prepacked in plastic.
  • Make your own cleaning products. This will produce less waste and reduce the need for artificial chemicals that can be harmful to your family and the environment. Learn how to make your own cheap green cleaning products with these factsheets.


  • Host a garage sale. Council can help to promote your event when three or more households hold a street garage sale together. The Super Street Sale program offers free promotion in local papers and supplies all the equipment needed to host your own garage sale.
  • Get creative and revamp, repair, and reuse your wardrobe and furnishings. Find inspiration, resources and information about upcoming events at Upcycle Newcastle.


  • Recycle your rigid plastics, glass, steel, aluminium, paper and cardboard in your yellow recycling bin.
  • Soft plastic, such as plastic bags, cling wrap, chip packets and bubble wrap can be recycled through the REDcycle program at participating supermarkets.
  • Household problem waste can be recycled and safely disposed of at the Community Recycling Centre, Community Recycling Stations or at Chemical Clean Out events.
  • You can swap your existing 240 litre recycling bin to a larger 360 litre bin for $25

Reduce food waste

The way food is produced, packaged and disposed of has massive impacts on the environment. NSW households send an average of 800,000 tonnes of food a year to landfill, which is equivalent to throwing away $10 billion of food. Reducing our food waste by only buying what we need, eating leftovers and reducing the amount of over-packaged products we purchase can all help to live sustainably. The Love Food Hate Waste website has great tips on how to buy, cook, and save food more efficiently, making smarter, more sustainable food choices.

Page last updated: 23 May 2019