Cleaning up the local act

It usually happens in the dark – and it happens in every neighbourhood.

Once-loved bulky items are broken up and left in random places in the hope someone else will pick them up.Despite the common belief that dumping an item might be okay because someone else might want it, this is not a form of recycling. Dumping things by the road or kerbside is illegal and you could be up for fines of $500 or more if you’re caught.

The enormous televisions of yesteryear, the mattress that’s seen better days and fridge that’s not keeping its cool – they’ve all got things to offer the world after they’re past their use by date. But best of all they can be picked up free and on a regular basis.

Here are some items you could have taken off your hands by the free, weekly City of Sydney pick-up service.

Matresses and furniture
Will someone really pick up that 10-year-old mattress or couch?
You may have loved them once, but out on the street these items can be a real eyesore. When properly recycled, these bulky pieces can be split into lots of useful parts. Steel springs become scrap metal, furniture foam can become carpet underlay, and fabric and felt pads can be recycled into boxing bags among other things. Some furniture pieces can also be refurbished and donated to charity.

Whitegoods, appliances and barbecues
When taken apart, the metal, screws, bolts and wires in whitegoods can contribute to plenty of other projects. But forget the gas bottles that come with barbecues. And same goes for motor oil, batteries and anything else that might be hazardous (paints, chemicals, poisons). You can consult the Garbage Guru about the best way to dispose of those!