Recyclesmart is a waste-management initiative making it easy to recycle more. It takes certain recyclables that can’t go in the yellow bins – such as soft plastics, electronic waste, textiles, books and even toys – and diverts them from landfill.

It’s as easy as booking an Uber and costs about the same – the current pricing is $15 for two bags of waste. You can opt into a monthly plan and save $1 for regular collections of everyday items, with add-ons available for large electronics or clunky cardboard (perfect if you’re doing a deep clean or moving house).

“We realised the best way to get people to do the right thing is to make it really easy and simple for them,” says co-founder Giorgio Barrachi. “Think about Deliveroo – people don’t want to go out and pick food up themselves, they’d rather have someone to do it for them. It’s the same concept.”

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The Sydney-based business has just expanded to Adelaide, with pickups now available across 16 areas including the CBD, Marion and Port Adelaide.

All you need to do is book a “power pick-up” through the Recycle Smart website, pay online and leave your rubbish out in the bags. An independent driver is tapped to do the pick-up (you don’t need to be there when it happens), then it’s dropped off at collection centres within your local council.

Items Recyclesmart collects include scrunchable soft plastics such as produce bags, cereal-box liners, bubble wrap and squeeze pouches; e-waste including old blenders, charging cables, computer parts, mobile phones and torches; textiles such as clothing, belts, towels and shoes; and so-called “problem waste”, including books, fluorescent globes, batteries, printer cartridges, toys and CDs.

You don’t need to sort the waste out yourself, so all four kinds can go in the same bag. If your waste is left out in plastic bags, Recyclesmart will recycle the bag as well. Reusable shopping bags and canvas totes will be returned, and you can also request to be sent a bag to use.

Soft plastics will be converted into materials that can be used for roads, outdoor furniture and fencing, while electronic waste can potentially become asphalt, concrete building materials, new batteries and more.

Toys, books and wearable clothes are donated to local charities and op shops, while unwearable items get diverted to programs by vetted partners to recover and create new fibres. Other problem waste, such as batteries and lightbulbs, is dropped off at proper recycling facilities capable of processing them.

Since launching in October 2019, the Recyclesmart team has helped divert over 800 tonnes of recyclable waste from landfill.

“Over the past year, we’ve expanded across the entire East Coast, from Melbourne to the Gold Coast, doubling our user base. It was high time we headed south,” Baracchi shared in a statement. “South Australia is renowned for its leadership in sustainability. We’re thrilled to bring recycling to their doorstep, making it as simple as ordering a pizza”.

Keen to try it out? Use code BROADSHEET and book a free pick up between now and 31 May.

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