For over a century, charitable reuse and recycling enterprises have pioneered circular economy thinking.
In particular, these principles are best observed in the operations of charity and social enterprise retailers.
It’s their collection, repurposing and sale of donated goods that fuels Australia’s second-hand economy. As our country’s largest reuse network, Charitable Recycling Australia represents many of these charitable reuse and recycling enterprises.
We believe they are uniquely placed to elevate circular economy thinking and drive its uptake in Australia.
On behalf of our members, Charitable Recycling Australia:
- helps charity and social enterprise retailers grow their revenue, so they can funnel their profits into their charitable mission and purpose
- shows charity and social enterprise retailers how to improve their operations from a sustainability perspective
- advocates for increased government funding to mitigate the financial burden of illegal dumping and the associated costs of waste disposal and site management
- educates consumers on how to donate responsibly and why shopping at charity and social enterprise retailers is affordable, sustainable and ethical
- builds a business case for increased government investment in recycling innovation on a regional level
Charitable Recycling Australia provides the support, advice and advocacy charitable recycling and reuse enterprises need to thrive.
This looks like:
State-Based Meetings and Strategic Advice:
Charitable Recycling Australia’s state directors facilitate quarterly member meetings.
These are forums to workshop solutions to key issues, share peer-to-peer advice and collaboration opportunities, mentor new members and engage with guest attendees from government and commercial sectors.
Charitable Recycling Australia offers best-practice advice and resources that help our members operate like genuine retailers, with a charitable mission. Taking insights from the commercial sector, we show them how to market, merchandise and staff their shops, so they can generate stronger, more sustainable financial returns.
In addition to the state-based meetings, we also support our members through providing standard codes of practice, bin management standards and a charity bin sticker program.
Monthly Member Newsletter:
Our monthly member newsletter gives charitable reuse and recycling enterprises access to the most updated, sector-specific information.
We deliver best-practice insights and advice on building their operational capacity, generating revenue and cultivating sustainability.
Our newsletter also contains news on member and sector initiatives, government grants, relevant papers and policy documents.
Annual Charitable Recycling Australia Conference:
As the biggest national convention of its kind, our annual conference brings together 150+ delegates from the charitable reuse, recycling and retail sector.
This is an incredible opportunity to hear from renowned speakers and experience thought-provoking panel discussions.
Beyond Charitable Recycling Australia members, the event attracts a wide range of stakeholders from government, social enterprises councils and commercial organisations.
The conference is held every October and our member enterprises receive exclusive discounts and the opportunity to save 48% on conference costs.
Landfill Levy Relief and Expectations:
Charitable reuse and recycling enterprises divert 643,000 tonnes of waste from landfill every year and are incredibly resourceful in how they utilise donations.
But the unfortunate reality is that not all donations are usable and charitable reuse and recycling enterprises bear the financial burden of illegal dumping.
This translates into $18 million spent annually in waste management and disposal costs, which are funds that could otherwise be directed towards their charitable mission.
While we still believe there is more that can be done to mitigate this financial burden, Charitable Recycling Australia works closely with all State Governments in the development of waste levy strategies.
This supports and protects our member enterprises, by way of levy exemptions, financial relief and levy rebates.
Ongoing Government Advocacy:
One significant benefit of Charitable Recycling Australia membership is being able to benefit from whole-sector collaboration.
Because we represent the vast majority of charitable reuse and recycling enterprises in Australia, we hold more leverage to proactively seek more and better government funding opportunities, public education campaigns, access to grants and more.
In addition to collaborating with State governments on waste levy policy and implementation, we also engage in a range of advocacy activities on a state and national basis. These include:
- advocating for the State and Federal government to invest in proven interventions that aim to deter illegal dumping (read more here)
- advocating for a National Textiles Reuse Policy to extract maximum value from clothing donations (read more here)
- collaborating with State governments to secure access to relevant grants for charitable reuse and recycling enterprises, particularly for recycling innovation and repair in regional centres.
- participating in State Government working groups on illegal dumping, data collection, container deposit schemes and charitable recycling action plans.
- public education campaigns that promote responsible donating behaviour and participation in the charitable second-hand economy.
Our membership delivers real returns to the reuse and recycling enterprises in our network.
All of Australia’s leading charity and social enterprise retailers are part of our membership network, including:
- The Salvation Army
- Australian Red Cross
- St Vincent de Paul Society
- Save the Children
- Red Nose
- Good Sammy Enterprises
- Brotherhood of St Laurence
- Diabetes Victoria
- Endeavour Foundation
- Epilepsy Foundation
Plus, we also attract plenty of independent members like Link Vision, Family Life, Sacred Heart, Ted Noffs Foundation, Australian Relief Organisation, Helping Hands, Y-Care, Anuha and Reverse Garbage.