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Reverse Garbage: Beauty in the Bin!

Sydney is a busy and prosperous city. Residents have a great quality of life, access to all amenities and creature comforts that one could hope for. It also means that people acquire and dispose off a lot of ‘stuff’ here. It’s easier and often cheaper to ‘just buy a new one’ than spend the time and effort to fix things up. The volume of household and industrial trash is alarming. So reading about Reverse Garbage and their work was very heartening.

RG is a not for profit co-operative and is Australia leading ‘creative re-use organisation’. I spent two afternoons at their center in Taylor Square, Sydney. I was supposed to meet the lovely Christine Harris-Smyth to learn more about RG’s work. Unfortunately, she was caught up in work on the first day and had to stay back with her mother at the hospital on the
second. Even though I never got to meet her, the work she does and the ideas she believes in are certainly worth a mention on my blog.

Reverse Garbage, SydneyThe Reverse Garbage shop is a huge storehouse of everything you’d need to make a house a home. Carpets, clothes, books, a tea set, clocks, furniture, lamps, artwork and everything in between. These are all pre owned items. Most are in excellent condition and those that aren’t are either on discounted prices or just seeking a new owner who can see
beyond a minor nick or some chipped paint!

Take my word for it, life is so much sweeter when you simplify. Who needs all this stuff anyway? I’ve been living out of my backpack for 4 months now and I’ve never been happier. I don’t ever want the clutter of ‘stuff’ in my life again- Meaningless, mass produced trends that become trash with the turn of a season. I’d recommend filling your home with love and happy thoughts instead of metal and plastic! I’m a bit of a hippie but I can understand if your idea of home décor differs a little, or a lot. Browsing through the shop, I was appalled to see the things people had kicked to the curb. The wastefulness is criminal in light of those who have nothing. Not enough people make the effort haul their discards to a charity shop, knowing adequately well that there might be many in their cities who crave and need the things they’re rubbishing.

Reverse Garbage’s philosophy is simple and effective- One man’s garbage is another’s treasure! They reclaim discarded materials from homes and offices and save them from a life of rot in the overflowing landfills.

Both the days I was there, I saw dozens of people walking out with their ‘new’ treasures. Students and artists going loony over the rolls of textile, mannequins, canvasses, art supplies. They could see possibilities everywhere!

Reverse Garbage is a deeply involved organization. Apart from collecting, fixing and retailing all these treasures- they also conduct educational workshops and programs, using Reverse Garbage materials to promote environmental awareness and creativity.

Reverse Garbage, Sydney Educational programmes for schools, creative workshops at major community events, kids craft activities, train the trainer craft classes, how to re-use workshops, waste education campaigns for local councils and environmental organisations. They also offer Consultancy Services, giving advice, project management and delivery services to help business, government and community organisations develop and meet waste reduction goals.

They’re the counter balance to a culture of excesses and obsessions with acquisitions. Walking in that shop, I made a promise to myself that I’d never be this wasteful or turn into a mindless consumer. I hope that for the rest of my life, everything I really need either fits into my backpack or in my heart.

I think its possible.

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8 Responses to “Reverse Garbage: Beauty in the Bin!”

  1. Kabir says:

    such a beautiful and simple message – because you cant recycle the planet. loved it.


    wow! this requires some space and patience.

  3. Sahu says:

    very well written tithiya.

  4. Devendra says:

    hey are you warsaw now?

  5. Vicky Siddaramaiah says:

    very nice concept. waste reduction is a lot about making people aware of the stuff they keep mindlessly indulging in!

  6. Andrew Elwell says:

    i need my backup with portable psp! i am good travel the world, ftw!

  7. kiran says:

    you send a very powerful message to all Tithi. If we could truly start such initiatives, there would be alot of sharing and much more saving. Refuse, reuse and recycle, both in body and spirit.

  8. Howard says:

    Another great idea. I just recently refurnished my apartment with other people’s discarded stuff. I wonder what we could do with a little space and a truck? Thanks for the inspiration :)

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