Reduce Your Waste
Waste is generated when we throw away resources we don’t need. We can always reduce the amount of waste we generate by consuming only what we need and following the waste hierarchy which prioritises waste avoidance. Unfortunately the vast majority of our capitalist society mainly operates in a linear system, where we extract resources, use them and then dispose or landfill. The opposite of this system, and the more sustainable system is called a circular economy system. A circular economy framework offers the opportunity to think differently about how we design products, how the economy works, how we meet our needs as humans, and how to support the development of more creative professional roles that help to design a future that is about social, economic, and environmental benefits.
In today’s throw-away society, plastic has dominated because it is light, cheap to produce, strong and convenient.
The cost of plastics is that they do not break down into biological matter in the same way as natural products. This has led to a culmination of billions of tons of waste in our oceans, rivers, and soil; which then goes on to harm wildlife and birds. Without realising it, we are now consuming these toxic plastics and their bi-products ourselves, as the plastics we throw away end up in the food and water we consume. When plastic is burned, it emits a group of toxic chemicals known as dioxins which have been linked to causing diseases such as cancer.
There is a growing global campaign to ban plastics, particularly plastic bags and straws which are easily eliminated from our daily lives.
You can help by supplying a reusable container wherever you can and avoiding plastics.
35% of the average household bin is food waste, equating to an average of 1 in every 5 shopping bags of food being thrown out. Food waste produces a harmful greenhouse gas methane when it breaks down in landfill. Always shop with a list and use up any leftovers to create new meals instead of throwing food out. Food waste can be turned into a fantastic resource – compost – which you can use to sustain your garden.
We're producing and buying an unsustainable amount of fashion, with society's #fastfashion attitude contributing to obscene amounts of clothing worn only once and sent to landfill. The fashion industry generates tons of waste and uses valuable resources to produce fibres such as cotton. It can take more than 20,000 litres of water to produce 1kg of cotton; equivalent to a single T-shirt and pair of jeans. To avoid becoming a fashion victim, head to your local op shop and buy ethical. Or get creative and recycle your own fashion! And when buying new, always consider how ethical and sustainable the brand is. You can use the Good On You App to see how different brands perform! Some great resources for more info on reducing your fashion footprint can be found at
Much of the waste going to landfill can be recycled into new materials. This includes plastic, glass, aluminium, paper and cardboard. It is important these are separated properly to avoid contamination of the recycled product. Waste and recycling is managed by your local council. Darwin and Palmerston are lucky enough to have a door-to-door recycling collection service. Darwin rural, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs residents will need to collect and return them each time.
Container Deposit Levy
All drinking containers in the NT are subject to a 10c Container Deposit Levy, which is refunded to you when you return the containers to a registered facility. You can return these yourself or support a local charity, like Environment Centre NT.
Visit our e-waste recycling page for more information.
Get Active with Waste Free NT
Are you getting mad seeing all the waste polluting our environment? Why not join Waste Free NT, a passionate group of community volunteers based in Darwin who are taking action in the war on waste.