Campaign recycles important messages on waste

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Plastic recycling is on the rise in Australia by 10 per cent, according to the 2017-2018 Australian Plastics Recycling Survey, but more still needs to be done. This is a sponsored post.

PLASTIC recycling is on the rise in Australia by 10 per cent, according to the 2017-2018 Australian Plastics Recycling Survey, but more still needs to be done. 

Which is why National Recycling Week (November 11-17), founded in 1996 by Planet Ark, continues to bring a national focus to the environmental benefits of recycling. 

This established and highly regarded annual campaign educates and stimulates behaviour change by promoting kerbside, industrial and community recycling initiatives, and by giving people the tools to minimise waste and manage material resources responsibly at home, work and school.

While plastic and packaging recycling in Australia is well established, the Department of the Environment and Energy says only 14 per cent of plastic is recovered for recycling or energy recovery.

The Australian Government, along with states, territories and industry, is working to reduce the amount of plastic waste, increase recycling and minimise the impact on the environment. 

This includes supporting industry to design more sustainable solutions and recover materials before they enter the environment to reduce waste and litter.

A total of 3.4 million tonnes of plastics were consumed in Australia, of which 320,000 tonnes were recycled, according to the Australian Plastics Recycling Survey.

Of the 320,000 tonnes of plastics collected for reprocessing, 145,700 tonnes (46 per cent) were reprocessed in Australia and 174,300 tonnes (54 per cent) were exported for reprocessing.

More information at 

Owners James Fullerton, left, and Taylor Radnell.

Giving designer furniture new life

UNWANTED designer and quality furniture from government departments or private companies often gets discarded, but Ex-Government Furniture owners James Fullerton and Taylor Radnell say the furniture still has a long life. 

“It’s incredibly wasteful [because] the furniture is always of excellent quality, as commercial furniture is built to last,” James says. 

Being in Canberra, a lot of furniture comes from government departments and James says they often come across designer items such as Arne Jacobsen, Ron Arad or Eames chairs. 

“We all need a quality office chair, desk and bookshelves. It’s good to be able to reuse items that would otherwise be thrown out,” he says.

“We offer a free removal service, our customers benefit from budget prices and [getting furniture from us] helps to save the environment, too.”

Open seven days a week, Ex-Government Furniture, which has been a family-run business for more than 20 years and was taken over by James and Taylor about five years ago, has a workshop and storage facility on-site, too. 

“When offices are upgrading or downsizing, moving or want a clean slate, they often have a surplus and we can take it off their hands,” James says.

And, if people are interested in upcycling furniture, Taylor’s brother Ty now works in the warehouse repurposing metal frames and items for other uses. 

Ex-Government Furniture, 6 Yallourn Street, Fyshwick. Call 6280 6490, email or visit 

Metal recyclers recognised worldwide 

WITH more than 100 years’ experience in the metal recycling industry, Sims Metal Management purchases scrap metal from businesses of all sizes and individuals in the greater ACT region.

“We source ferrous metals from manufacturers, known as production offcuts, and from generators of electricity, telecommunication service providers, as well as others who generate obsolete metal,” the company says.

“Members of the public, peddlers and metal dealers, who collect from a variety of sources, also deliver material directly to our facilities.

“Our sister company also has a free electronics drop-off facility at Hume.

“Our processing capacity, which includes five fragmentisers, shears, balers and granulating plants, operates to the highest environmental and quality standards (EPA-approved) to produce products that are recognised and sought after throughout the world.” 

Sims Metal Management says it provides customised recycling services to meet the individual needs of commercial and industrial scrap metal producers, and has a strong customer focus.

“Our services are customised to maximise each scrap provider’s net scrap revenues,” the company says.

“Our goal is to ensure that each client receives the same high level of customer service and efficiency.”

Sims Metal Management, 47 Alderson Place, Hume. Call 6129 8800 or visit

Chris has shed loads of building materials

CHRIS Perkins never knows what building materials will be coming through the front door at Handyman’s Trading Post.

“We’ve got two sheds packed to the brim with new and used building materials,” says Chris, who took over the store in 2015 but has been working there for nearly 25 years.

The store itself has been around for 36 years, and Chris believes it’s the only one of its kind in the area. 

“We have a variety of products but we do get a lot of doors in such as sliding doors, french doors, hinge doors, and front and back doors,” he says.

“We also have doors with brass handles that you can’t source anywhere else.”

At most furniture stores, Chris says it usually takes about six to eight weeks for customers to get their order but at the Handyman’s Trading Post they don’t have to wait.

“The beauty of our shop is you can see what you’re buying and take it home right away,” he says.

And Chris says if they don’t take it home that day, it might not be there the next day. 

“We get things in daily so you’ve got to get it while you can,” he says.

As for the service Chris and his team deliver, Chris says they haven’t had a complaint in 36 years.

“Just have a look at our Google reviews,” he says.

“We treat everyone the same and we tell it how it is so they know exactly what they’re getting before they leave with it.”

Handyman’s Trading Post, 34 Geelong Street, Fyshwick. Call 6280 4036 and email

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