A charitable reuse and recycling enterprise is an organisation which is involved in the charitable collection, retail or recycling of donated goods.
Australia has a long history of charitable reuse and recycling. Well before these terms even existed, charities were heavily involved in the distribution of donated goods. Organisations like the Red Cross, Salvation Army (originally known as The Christian Mission), Society of St Vincent de Paul and the Brotherhood of St Laurence were called upon by State governments to provide material aid in times of crisis.
One way that these enterprises operate are as charity or social enterprise retailers – often colloquially known as op-shops. These are shops that collect and sell donated goods. There are also charitable enterprises which may not have a physical shopfront, but instead have collection services, donation bins or be otherwise involved in the repurposing, repair or recycling of donated products.
Charitable recycling is distinct from commercial recycling in Australia. Commercial clothing, cardboard and metal recyclers are a valued part of the Australian recycling distribution chain too.
However, the key difference between charitable reuse and recycling enterprises and commercial recyclers is that the former is not-for-profit. Charitable reuse and recycling enterprises operate for the purpose of emergency assistance, supply or low-cost clothing and/or the support of a broader charitable mission.