Reducing Waste

Council plays an important role in educating our community about ways to reduce waste, offering handy tips and encouraging the community to 'Take the Pledge'.

Reducing Waste

There are a number of things we can do to help minimise the amount of waste going to landfill and the effects of waste on the environment. When trying to minimise your waste, remember the 3Rs, first reduce, then reuse and finally recycle what is left.
  • AVOID waste in the first place
    • Refuse junk mail if you don't want to read it
    • Share magazines and newspapers or access them free at the library
    • Store food in reusable containers
    • Avoid packaging that won’t go into your recycling bin, like styrofoam.
  • REDUCE what you throw away

    Reduce simply means to make less waste. Reducing the amount of waste you produce, is the best way to help the environment.

    There are a number of ways to reduce your waste:

    • Reduce the use of ‘single use’ plastic bags (use cloth bags or reusable shopping bags)
    • Buy products in bulk with minimal packaging
    • Maintain and repair products, like clothing, tyres and appliances so they won’t have to be thrown out and replaced as frequently
    • Use both sides of paper
    • Minimise food waste and compost any scraps
    • Avoid purchasing non-recyclable materials
    • Borrow, rent or share items that are used infrequently.

    You could also try to choose products that eliminate new waste from being generated or with minimal packaging.

  • REUSE materials in an innovative way

    When purchasing products, look for items that can be refilled or reused. Try and repair items instead of replacing them or purchase items that can be used more than once. Even if you don’t want to use them, you can always donate them to charities.

    There are a number of ways to reuse materials:

    • Reuse glass and plastic containers
    • Reuse gift wrapping paper and ribbon
    • Buy refillable containers where possible
    • Use rechargeable batteries
    • Refill your own drink bottle
    • Donate unwanted clothing, furniture and whitegoods.
  • RECYCLE (and COMPOST) to save natural resources

    This enables the materials you throw away to be used again by making them into new products. If you can, compost your garden waste and vegetable peelings.

    By recycling products, you will cause less waste to be sent to landfill.

    There are a number of ways to recycle materials:

    • Buy products made from recycled materials
    • Get a compost bin or worm farm for food scraps
    • Recycle suitable containers
    • Paper and cardboard
    • Buy products with packaging that can be recycled.
  • RECOVERY of energy from waste

    Energy recovery from waste is the conversion of non-recyclable waste materials into useable heat, electricity, or fuel through a variety of processes, including combustion and landfill gas recovery.

    Thermally treating waste is an opportunity to recover the energy stored within these materials. Using waste to produce energy can offset the community's use of other, non-renewable energy sources. Using waste as fuel is also a way to avoid the methane emissions that can result when waste is disposed of to landfill.

Take the Pledge

Join Unley’s war on waste by increasing the amount of items you recycle, and by diverting more food scraps and compostable paper to your organics bin.

Take the pledge by completing the online form below. Pledge takers will receive stickers to place on their green or yellow-lidded bin to demonstrate their commitment to reducing landfill.

Win a $25 gift voucher
All Unley Council residents who pledge their commitment will go in the draw to win a $25 gift voucher from Mitre 10 (Barrow & Bench, Malvern). See terms and conditions below.

For more ideas on reducing waste, see Handy Tips and Recycling Plastics.


Take the Pledge
  • Terms & Conditions of Entry
    Terms and Conditions

    The promoter is the City of Unley, 181 Unley Road, Unley SA 5061, and KESAB Environmental Solutions, 214 Grange Road, Flinders Park SA 5025.
    • Entry is available only to City of Unley residents.

    • All Unley Council residents who pledge their commitment will go in the draw to win a $25 gift voucher from Mitre 10 (Barrow & Bench, Malvern).
    • A total of 40 prizes will be available over the competition period.
    How to enter
    • Using the City of Unley website, entrants must submit the Take the Pledge online form 
    • No responsibility will be accepted for late, or misdirected entries or entries sent but not received by The City of Unley.
    • All Unley Council residents who pledge their commitment will be sent sticker/s to place on their respective green or yellow lidded bin to demonstrate commitment to reducing landfill.
    • Competition Timeline and Structure:
    • Only residents who have completed and submitted a Take the Pledge form can enter
    • Only bins with the Pledge sticker will be able to be included in the judging
    • Pledges received via the online form will be organised by the judges into groups defined by collection day.
    • Over a period of one week, 5 households will be chosen at random from each suburb in the City of Unley.
    • Households found to be recycling right and with a low level of contamination (estimated less than 10%) in their general waste bin will receive a letter and $25 Mitre 10 voucher. Households with contamination will be provided with a feedback letter to explain which bin and or where to dispose of the contamination.  Pledge stickers will be applied to bins of households that are registered to the Take the Pledge program but do not display a Pledge sticker at the time of inspection.
    • The competition and bin inspections will take place from Monday 14 October to Friday 18 October 2019.
    • The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

    If you are registered, but no longer wish to participate in this program, please email your name and address to

BYO Coffee Cups

Join the war on waste and BYO a Coffee Cup to reduce your waste footprint by ditching the takeaway cup for a reusable cup. Local cafes are signing up to the Responsible Cafes initiative and offering a discount if you BYO coffee cup! Visit Responsible Cafes for a list of local cafes.

If you do use a disposable coffee cup, recycling is a better option than sending it to landfill.

Community Education

Learn how your waste, recyclables and organic materials are processed.
  • Circular Economy Recycling Tour
    Have you ever wondered what happens to your waste, recyclables and organic materials after they are collected from your kerb?

    You can find out on one of our FREE community tours for the City of Unley residents.

    Sites visited may include but are not limited to Jeffries Group composting / Peats Soil and Composting, Adelaide Resource Recovery, VISY Recycling and Electronic Recycling Australia.

    These full-day tours are scheduled twice each year in April/May and October/November and are conducted by KESAB Environmental Solutions on behalf of the City of Unley.

    To register your interest in joining the next available tour please contact KESAB Environmental Solutions on 8234 7255.