History & Mission
Reverse Garbage Co-op Ltd is a not-for-profit worker run co-operative that promotes environmental sustainability and resource reuse.
We collect high quality industrial discards, diverting them from landfill to sell at low cost to the general public. We were set up in 1998 to support Friends of the Earth - Brisbane, to provide meaningful and ecologically sustainable employment and to be an example of a truly sustainable enterprise.
In 2006 John Hepburn, the initiator and co-founder of Reverse Garbage Co-op Ltd, wrote a personal reflection on the initial development of the co-operative. The article was published widely in international co-operative journals and can be read on his blog here.
In January 2011, at the end of their lease the West End institution relocated to a new warehouse in Woolloongabba.
Reverse Garbage Principles
Reverse Garbage strives to be sustainable in every sense of the word: Environmentally, Socially and Financially. We practice what we preach, minimising our own ecological footprint and educating others about reducing theirs.
We practice social sustainability through our worker-managed co-operative model. This model encourages workplace equity, whereby the people that work in the organisation make the decisions about the direction of the organisation. No one owns Reverse Garbage; we make decisions together using a consensus decision-making model.
We are a not-for-profit organisation. Any surplus produced by our business goes into improving and expanding our work and supporting Friends of the Earth -Brisbane. To ensure our long term financial sustainability Reverse Garbage does not accept external financial support for our core business although we do occasionally solicit donations and apply for grants for one-off projects.
What We Do
- Reverse Garbage collects industrial discards from businesses around Brisbane diverting them away from landfill and making them available at low cost to the community
- We run environmental education workshops in schools, festivals, and community groups and at our urban environmental education facility located in our warehouse
- We mail our exciting materials anywhere in Australia, an inexpensive and environmentally responsible alternative to mainstream art supplies
- Gift shop and Gallery, Reverse Emporium stocks high quality art, jewellery, home wares and more. All items are up-cycled from salvaged materials, making them perfect eco-gifts
- We run talks and tours in our warehouse. The talk includes information about Reverse Garbage and can be tailored to suit any group or project
Our warehouse is open to the public Monday to Saturday from 9am - 5pm.
For more information about Reverse Garbage, please contact us!