You probably haven’t given much thought about the rise in disposable items such as facemasks, gloves, hand sanitizers and cleaning supplies that are being carelessly thrown away. But how can we dispose of all these extra items responsibly, so they don’t end up clogging sidewalk drains, washing into waterways and straining landfills? Here’s some suggestions from the recycling experts at TerraCycle Australia.

    While plastics such as gloves, masks and other personal protective equipment are crucial during this time, it’s important that we learn how to better manage the waste we produce. It’s also a good time to start getting stuck into some good recycling habits while we have a bit more down time to consider the planet before convenience.

    TerraCycle is a waste management company with a mission to eliminate the idea of waste. Operating nationally across 21 countries, they partner with leading consumer product companies, retailers and cities to recycle products and packages that would otherwise end up being landfilled or incinerated. To learn more or get involved in its recycling programs, visit

    1. Can it be recycled for free?

    Most people don’t realise that technically, everything is recyclable. It comes down to basic economics whether processing facilities will accept certain waste streams in order to make a profit. The more complex an item is to sort and separate, the more expensive it will be to recycle, and no business wants to operate at a loss

    2. Can it be recycled at all?

    Got a whole bunch of used personal protective equipment lying around that you don’t know what do with? You could purchase a Safety Equipment and Protective Gear Zero Waste Box and ship it all off to TerraCycle who will again, remould them into new products.

    3. Can it be donated?

    If you’ve been busy decluttering your wardrobe and are considering donating your unwanted clothes to a charity, you might want to think again. While every donation is appreciated, charity shops across the country have been inundated with unwanted goods piled high on their closed doorstops. hold on to the clothes you no longer want, donate the ones worth selling, and recycle the rest through the H&M Garment Collecting program, once stores are back open for business.

    4. Can it be returned to the Earth?

    Have all these home cooked meals got you thinking about food waste too? You’re not alone. Turns out, there’s never been a better time to start reducing your food waste at home by joining the Compost Revolution. You can start collecting all your food scraps in an indoor composter or even an entry-level worm farm for those brave enough.

    Our content is a labour of love, crafted by dedicated volunteers who are passionate about the west. We encourage submissions from our community, particularly stories about your own experiences, family history, local issues, your suburb, community events, local history, human interest stories, food, the arts, and environmental matters. Below are articles created by community contributors. You can find their names in the bylines.

    Your feedback

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here



    Latest Articles

    Latest edition

    #96 May 2024

    Recent editions



    Become a supporter

    The Westsider is run on the power of volunteers. Your contribution directly contributes to ensuring we can continue serving and celebrating our community.

    Related articles