While the term ‘upcycling’ may be new to many readers, it is quickly becoming popular with many people as they see the potential in used items and add value by restoring and repurposing them.

Upcycling is a process where pre-loved goods are salvaged and renovated, giving them a new life while reducing the impacts on local landfill. Brisbane residents can start their upcycling journey by searching for treasures at one of Brisbane City Council’s tip shops, located in Acacia Ridge and Geebung.

Both tip shops are open on weekends between 8am and 4pm and sell quality reusable household items donated via Council’s transfer stations instead of contributing to unnecessary landfill waste. Since the tip shops opened, 830 tonnes of unwanted goods haves been diverted from landfill and prepared for sale by the Endeavour Foundation.

For those upcycling and recycling enthusiasts, the national Garage Sale Trail is on Saturday 25 October and will be the perfect opportunity for treasure hunters to search for second-hand bargains at garage sales listed across the city.

Join in the Garage Sale Trail fun by challenging yourself to find a second-hand treasure and add value, repurpose or reuse it for your home. Share your revamped treasures on Instagram using the hashtags #reusebne and #garagesaletrail, to motivate others to join in the fun.

You can also register your individual garage sale in the Garage Sale Trail and further contribute to the circle of upcycling. If you register before 25 September, you’ll receive a free participant pack including posters to help promote your sale.

If you’re looking for inspiration, Brisbane City Council’s website lists artist details and photos from the 2012 and 2013 Recycling Art Competition, including artworks created from household items sold at tip shops.

To kick start your upcycling creativity, be inspired by artists who used trashy treasures to create interesting household furniture including ‘Jeanbag’ by KT Doyle – a comfy beanbag made out of second-hand jeans.

Remember, your upcycling projects and day-to-day efforts can contribute to Brisbane’s vision of a clean, green and creative city.

To find out more about Brisbane City Council’s tip shops and recycling initiatives, visit brisbane.qld.gov.au/waste.

Here are some simple and creative upcycling ideas

• Find a pre-loved piece of furniture at Council’s tip shops in Acacia Ridge and Geebung, or at op-shops and second-hand stores, and give it a fresh coat of paint or fabric refurbish for a brand new and modern look.
• Keep an eye out for old hardcover books to use as mounted shelves, or stack and secure them to create quirky bedside or coffee tables.
• Dress your hanging bulbs with upcycled shades made from reused bottles or colanders.
• Use those old CD stack holders to wind up your spare cables and store them neatly.
• Create a funky new table by sanding back an old door and placing it on trestle legs.
• Reclaim second-hand blankets for interesting fabric to make cushion covers.
• Tailor vintage and retro clothing to become new fashion statements.