Making the most of spring cleaning

Looking to tidy things up around the house? Follow these easy tips to make the most of the materials you no longer need. 

1. Donate or sell good quality, reusable items

If it's good enough to give to a mate, then donate. But don't leave poor quality items in charity bins, or illegally dumped out the front of charity stores – across Australia, charities spend about $18 million each year on disposing items that are unusable or illegally dumped, and this money could be better spent helping those in need.

Alternatively, you may wish to give away or sell items through online platforms like Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace.

2. Repair and restore

Before throwing out a broken or worn item, think about whether it could be repaired. 

Look online for how to’ videos, or look for websites like iFixit, which provides repair guides and manuals for a wide variety of electronic devices, gadgets, and technology products. 

You could also see what Adelaide’s makerspaces, located in the Adelaide CBD and Holden Hill, have to offer in terms of equipment and knowledge needed for repair (membership or day fees apply; induction may apply).

Alternatively, you could take items to a Repair Cafe, or a local Mens shed may also be able to help.

3. Recycle  

Any paper, cardboard boxes, rigid plastic containers, metal (including empty dry paint tins) and glass containers should be placed in your yellow recycling bin – just make sure all containers are empty and mostly clean before placing them in the bin.

Electronic items can’t be placed in your yellow bin, but they can be dropped off at your nearest Unplug n’ Drop collection point

4. Clean out the fridge, freezer and pantry

Any food in your fridge, freezer or pantry that’s past its use by date can be placed in your green organics bin for composting – that includes citrus, onion, dairy, meat, bones, fish, fruit and vegetables. 

But before you put any food scraps into your green bin, be sure to remove all packaging first (unless it's compostable). That includes things like plastic packets, bags and containers, and glass jars.

When you put food scraps into your green bin, they’re taken to a commercial composting facility to be processed and made into valuable compost, soil and mulch products, which are then used on South Australian farms and vineyards, and in household gardens as well.

5. Tidy up the garden

Any weeds, flowers, garden prunings and unwanted plants can be placed into your green organics bin. 

This includes flowers, weeds, lawn clippings, leaves, sticks, small logs, bark, and more. 

If you have any larger logs, or a large amount of garden waste, get in touch with your local waste and recycling transfer station to see if you can drop it off for composting.