How to get involved in National Recycling Week 2023

By Hailey Durham 23 October 2023

When it comes to recycling what goes around, comes around. You can only get out what you put in, so it's important to get it right! That's why we are providing simple, easy and actionable tips to help you to keep valuable materials out of landfill whether at home, work or school

Planet Ark is aiming to remind Australians this National Recycling Week (Nov 13-19) that much of what we currently send to landfill is valuable material that could be reused, repurposed or recycled. This year’s theme “What goes around, comes around” is all about providing simple tips that enable Australians to keep those valuable materials in circulation

Last year, Planet Ark research revealed Australian households are potentially sending nearly 2.5 million tonnes of unnecessary waste to landfill. We calculated that an estimated 441,000 tonnes of all material sent to landfill by households is likely recyclable packaging, while a massive two million tonnes was organic material that could be composted at home or organic processing facilities. Those numbers might be for households, but we know schools and workplaces deal with similar issues.

To help take action, we have developed useful resources to help you reduce waste and improve recycling at home, work and school, with fighting food and packaging waste a key focus.

It takes all of us to have a collective impact, so in the spirit of cooperation here are our top recommendations for how you can get involved this National Recycling Week.

At home

Joining in National Recycling Week from home can be as simple as checking that you are up to date with the latest guidance on what to put in the recycling bin in your area. But if you want to go a couple steps further, there's plenty of National Recycling Week resources and activities to get involved with.

Download our recycling guide, to help reinforce correct recycling and waste reduction behaviours. You can go through it with the family, your housemates or even the neighbours!

As noted above, food waste is a massive problem in Australia and households are a key contributor. Taking action in your home can not only help to reduce your environmental footprint, but also save you a bunch of money.

To help tackle the problem, we have developed food storage hacks to help you reduce waste in the first place, as well as resources on home composting and FOGO (food and organics recycling) services to ensure it doesn't end up in landfill where it can cause significant emissions.

National Recycling Week 2023 - Fight food and packaging waste

Join an event in your local area, many councils and community groups organise repair workshops, recycling sessions or even waste facility tours! Check out our events page or your local council website to see if there are any events organised in your area.

Can’t find an event? Why not host one? It doesn’t have to be anything fancy; you can organise a simple and fun swap party with neighbours or friends to exchange forgotten possessions that may be useful to someone else. Check out our events guide for more ideas.

Find out what you are hoarding in those unopened drawers and whether it can be recycled through drop off points. There are more than you think, including for old electronics such as mobile phones, laptops, batteries and chargers as well as stuff like paint, mattresses and light globes! Check out to find options in your area.

At work

If you want to be a sustainability star at work, download our workplace toolkit. It is packed with resources ready for you to use with your colleagues including ready-made recycling presentations, a recycling trivia pack, signage to put around the office and more.

Set up a recycling station for tricky items, that way colleagues will have easy access to recycle many items that cannot go in the recycling bin, you only need a couple of boxes and signage, many of these programs are free to use.

Recycling station in office workplace

Learn more about how to tackle plastics at work with our interactive guide! Australian businesses have a big opportunity to improve our management of plastics through reuse and recycling. Doing so will boost our economy, provide more green jobs, and preserve our natural resources.

Don’t forget to register any activity that you do here so that your efforts can be counted in the national tally.

At school

Looking for a fun way to get involved in National Recycling Week at school? Why not join more than 300,000 students for the Schools Recycle Right Challenge. Our Getting Started Guide can help you choose any activities and processes that may be suitable for your school.

We have over 60 free curriculum-aligned school lesson plans that cover everything reduce, reuse, recycle. With lessons covering age groups from foundation to year 12, there is something for everyone.

Cartridges at school

Not in the mood for a lesson? What about an activity? Use any of our activity sheets to have a fun learning experience.

Increase your reach and get parents involved, our Waste Free Lunch Guide, can help you organise a waste-free lunch challenge and provide you with activities, template letters for parents and healthy waste-free recipes for students to enjoy.

Hailey Durham
Hailey has worked for NFP's for the past ten years, delivering, developing, and managing sustainability education programs for primary and high schools. She has volunteered as a field work assistant in alpine and arid Australia and the bush in Zambia. Hailey has two dogs (Gus and Rosie) and is learning how to set up and maintain a no-dog veggie garden.