About Us

Reverse Garbage was established in 1974 by a group of teachers determined to help the environment by diverting industrial discards from landfill and by reusing materials in their classrooms.

Almost 40 years later, Reverse Garbage is now an internationally recognised, award-winning environmental co-operative committed to promoting sustainability. Each year Reverse Garbage collects tonnes of resources including reusable off-cuts, over-runs, art & craft materials, stage props, nic-nacs, furniture and other items from hundreds of supporting commercial and industrial businesses, as well as through the generosity of the community.

These resources are sorted at Reverse Garbage’s Marrickville site and the community is given the opportunity to purchase items for creative use – or ‘reuse’ – using resources to create new items or to give items a new purpose.

Reuse makes sense as it: prolongs the life of a resource; saves the energy and materials needed to produce brand new materials; prevents otherwise useful resources going to waste/landfill; creates less air and water pollution than if it were recycled; and reduces money spent on new items and costs to dispose.

Reverse Garbage Highlights


  • Opening of the Yenmala Nura (“Let’s Walk Through Country”) Indigenous Storytelling Garden.
  • Presented at the 2nd International Solid Waste Conference in Mexico City, Mexico.


  • Winner in Marrickville Council Target Sustainability Awards – Sustainability Leadership Award.
  • Runner Up in Marrickville Council Target Sustainability Awards – Community Partnership Award.
  • Finalist in Marrickville Council Target Sustainability Awards – Resource Recovery Award.
  • Winner in NSW Business Chamber Regional Awards (South Sydney) in Sustainability and Ethics Awards.
  • Finalist in NSW Business Chamber State Awards in three categories – Sustainability; Ethics; and Small Business.


  • Reverse Garbage wins NSW Business Chamber Business for Peace Award.
  • Reverse Garbage raises $10,000 for the Kool Kids at La Perouse charity through a reuse challenge episode on Channel 10 TV show The Renovators.


  • Reverse Garbage wins Best Environmental Business in City of Sydney
    Business Awards 2010.


  • Reverse Garbage chosen as Finalist in the NSW Business Chamber Awards.


  • Reverse Garbage becomes a self-funded organisation after funding from the Department of Community Services ends.


  • Reverse Garbage services extend beyond the Education sector due to increasing demand from the general public. Valuable materials now made available to the public for creative reuse.


  • Reverse Garbage introduces a mail-order service supplying resources to rural and regional schools and child care centres.


  • Funding by Department of Community services allows Reverse Garbage to expand its services. Reverse Garbage moves into a warehouse premises at The Addison Road Community Centre in Marrickville.


  • Reverse Garbage established. An Area Assistance Plan grant of $35,000 received in order to form a not-for-profit co-operative diverting valuable resources from landfill for Education Sector reuse.

For further information about Reverse Garbage please refer to the menu at the top of our site or contact us at info@reversegarbage.org.au or 02 9569 3132.