Reducing Waste

What you can do to reduce waste going 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 and win!
Take the pledge by completing the online form below and you will be in the running to win a $25 voucher for Mitre 10 Barrow & Bench, Malvern. Our latest competition round is now open and will run until Friday 21 December 2018.
Pledge takers will receive stickers to place on their green or yellow-lidded bin to demonstrate their commitment to reducing landfill.
Registered households will be randomly inspected by our Take the Pledge judges.  Households deemed by the judges to be recycling effectively will be selected as winners and will receive their Mitre 10 Voucher via the post.

Good luck and keep up the good work!

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 50 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.
    • A collection day will then be selected by random, with up to 10 households within that group chosen at random for inspection.
    • The selected households will be allocated a number from 1 up to 10 and inspected in order from number 1 to 10. The first 5 houses inspected in the group deemed by the judges to be recycling effectively will be selected as the winners. Winners will receive a letter and voucher in their letterbox.
    • The competition and bin inspections will take place from Monday 15 October 2018 to Friday 21 December 2018.
    • 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
  • Take the Pledge Winners

    Congratulations to the following winners who have received a $25 Mitre 10 Barrow & Bench – Malvern Store gift card:

    Beth U
    Sid K

    Hyde Park
    Anne Y
    Tim J
    Vaughan S

    Stella S
    Chris B

    Michelle R
    Marelle W
    Richard S
    Loretta R
    Jeremy T
    David S
    Madaleine G
    Unley Park
    Diana F

    Kerry V


Handy Tips

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

REDUCE what you throw away

  • Buy products in bulk with minimal packaging
  • Repair before replacing
  • Use both sides of paper
  • Minimise food waste and compost any scraps
  • Use reusable cloth nappies instead of disposable ones

REUSE materials in an innovative way

  • Reuse glass and plastic containers
  • Reuse gift wrapping paper and ribbon
  • Buy refillable containers where possible

RECYCLE products to save natural resources

  • Buy products made from recycled materials
  • Turn organics into compost
  • Recycle suitable containers
  • Buy products with packaging that can be recycled


Approximately 35% of the rubbish that each Unley household throws away in their wheelie bins is organic material that can be easily made into compost.
A Guide to Composting
How compost works in your garden
  • Composting at Home

    Composting is recycling too!

    Home composting is a natural and efficient way to recycle food scraps. It's easy, cheap and provides many benefits. Home compost systems include compost bins and worm farms.

    Composting is a very worthwhile pursuit because it produces useable compost, castings and liquid fertilisers which are very beneficial for our soil and plants. These products add nutrients, microbial diversity and increase the water holding capacity of your soil. You will start seeing food scraps and garden waste not as rubbish but as a resource to be recovered and used in your home compost systems.

    To help reduce the amount of organic matter that goes to landfill and cut the production of greenhouse gas emissions, we support our residents to participate in composting at home, where these materials are produced.

    Benefits of composting include:

    • improving garden health and soil structure by adding nutrients
    • reducing water use in the garden
    • saving money spent on fertilisers and mulch
    • reducing greenhouse gasses produced by rotting material in landfill (and saves landfill space)
    • reducing the cost of waste disposal to the community.
  • Coffee can Improve Your Garden

    Coffee is a great source of nitrogen - a much needed plant fertiliser. The nitrogen in coffee grounds is the kind that needs to break down in the soil before being released, so it ends up feeding a slow and steady drip of fertiliser to your plants.

    The nitrogen in coffee nicely balances the addition of "brown" materials (leaves, straw and cardboard) in a compost heap.

    In addition to nitrogen, coffee grounds also contain magnesium and copper in just the right amounts to be beneficial to your plants.

    Coffee grounds act as an effective repellent against slugs, snails, ants and cats when sprinkled around your garden.

    Earthworms and compost worms LOVE coffee grounds, so you can add coffee grounds to your worm farm as well!

  • Worm Farms

    Worm farms are an alternative to composting for people with small gardens. They can be kept in small areas such as on balconies or courtyards. Worm castings provide a rich soil-like substance that can be used for pot plants and growing seedlings.

    Most food scraps can be put in worm farms except:

    • citrus and acidic foods
    • foods from the onion family
    • meat products
    • dairy products.

    These can be put in your Organics bin.

  • Compost Bins
    Most kitchen scraps and other organic material can be put in your compost bin.

    Avoid meats and dairy products, these can be put in your organics bin.

    Find out more about composting – Guide to Composting

Kitchen Caddy System

kitchen caddy

Prevent your leftovers and food scraps becoming waste by using the kitchen caddy system.

Approximately 35 per cent of the rubbish Unley household’s throw in their waste bins is organic material that could easily be composted.

The kitchen caddy takes all kinds of food scraps, including bread, meat scraps and bones, egg and oyster shells, cheese, seafood and even tissues, paper towel and hair. The container is sealed to minimise smells or liquids and can sit on your bench top or under the sink. Once the kitchen caddy is full, both the compostable bag and contents can be placed directly into your green organics bin.

Kitchen caddies with 52 compostable liners can be purchased for $11 from the Unley Civic Centre, 181 Unley Road, during office hours. Additional rolls of compostable liners are also available:
  • Roll of 52 - $4.50
  • Roll of 75 - $6.50
  • Roll of 100 - $8.50.


Cloth Nappies

Good for the environment, good for baby!

Cloth nappies have come a long way. Modern versions are more absorbent, less bulky, easy to wash and use.
Nappy facts 
  • Disposable nappies take approximately 150 years to break down, taking up valuable space in landfill
  • In Australia up to 2.1 billion disposable nappies are sent to landfill each year
  • It takes twice the amount of water to produce one disposable nappy than it takes to wash one cloth nappy for a year
For more information visit the Eco Bums Coth Nappy Service website.



Have leftover food in the fridge? Try the Recipe Finder.

This FoodWise Recipe Finder is your guide to making the most of common kitchen foods.  FoodWise helps you get the most out of every meal and ingredient in your kitchen. So, get online and check out this great tool.  It will save you time and money and reduce your household waste.