Our mission is to promote and support reuse, repair, repurposing and recycling through education and events, in order to:
help keep preloved items in use and out of landfill
reduce the need to buy new and
stimulate a local circular economy.
We began life as a Facebook group in May 2020 – a few weeks before the City of Darebin’s hard waste collection started. The primary goal of the group was to save usable items and materials from landfill by helping Darebin residents find new homes for things they no longer required.
There were 1000 members in the first week and 4000 members by our one month birthday. There was clearly a need for this! The community involvement was amazing. Members walked around streets taking photos of hard rubbish piles and posting them on the page, with others asking if someone could pick up a particular item seen in a photo. Some rescued reusable items and posted them later to offer them to the group, or took them to op shops. We had a post for members to add an ISO (in search of) request and ask others to look out for particular items. And a post where people showcased rescued items that they had given new life by cleaning, repairing and/or refurbishing. Inspirational!
Members who volunteer for, or represent, various charitable organisations were collecting specific items from people who'd rescued them and some were driving the streets rescuing items and delivering them to the charities.
In 2021 we ran two reLOVE markets, to bring the community together and help spread these messages. Our first was a trash & treasure market and our second, an upcycle market. We also ran an online charity auction to raise funds for Rotary Inner Melbourne Emergency Relief Network.
In 2022 we opened our first bricks-and-mortar store – the reLOVE pop-up shop. The reLOVE pop-up provided an opportunity for usable preloved items to be rehomed instead of being crushed and going to landfill during the City of Darebin area-wide hard rubbish collection. We ran the store as a two-month pilot to test the feasibility of an ongoing repair, reuse, recycle and upcycle space. Over 4000 items, totalling over 3 tonnes, were rehomed through the pop-up shop during this time.
From 2020 to 2022, we were auspiced to Transition Darebin. Transition Darebin works towards cultivating a relocalised and resilient Darebin that proves liveable for current and future generations. It works this way knowing that other groups are working on the same basis and to the same end. The group helps the Darebin community learn ways to sustain itself by pursuing practical solutions like local food growing, energy efficient homes and buildings, fossil-fuel-free transport, local production of goods and services, and reuse and recycling. Transition Darebin is part of the worldwide Transition Network, which sees the need to adapt to diminishing resources and a rapidly changing global climate.
Our Facebook group enables free exchange of preloved items – helping the local community find homes for items they no longer need, and request items they do need, reduce the need to buy new and contribute to a reduction in landfill. Membership of the group is open to anyone, and items offered are mostly in the City of Darebin and adjoining suburbs. The group is for the use of individuals not professional collection companies. If you wish to join, we ask that you read the rules and answer three joining questions. https://www.facebook.com/groups/darebinhardrubbishheroes
In 2022 a group of 9 DHRH members (including the group's founders) created Hard Rubbish Heroes Incorporated to run the non-Facebook activities of DHRH.
We hope to find a permanent space to offer repair and refurbish workshops and to store and repair rescued and no-longer needed items for rehoming with people who need them, donating to charities, or selling to raise funds for charities and to support our ongoing work.
During council's area-wide, hard waste collection times there are many perfectly good items put out as 'rubbish' that have plenty of life still in them. In Darebin, almost all of the items collected are crushed in a collection truck and sent to landfill. This is what we are working to reduce and, ultimately, eliminate.
DHRH collaborates and connects with local care and support organisations by helping to source and provide material aid needed by these organisations to supply to their at-risk clients. Some examples of this from the pilot pop-up are: providing free art and craft materials for early learning educators who often have to pay for their own classroom materials; providing rubber floor mats and water bowls to wildlife rescue groups; providing good-condition clothing to care organisations supporting homeless men. These are examples of preloved - rescued and
DHRH received the Sustainability Award in the 2020 City of Darebin Community Awards.
We are extremely grateful that the fantastic work the group is doing has been acknowledged in this way.
Thank you City of Darebin.