Charitable recycling is the oldest, largest and most coordinated recycling/reuse cohort in Australia. The St Vincent de Paul Society was founded in Australia in 1854 at St Francis' Church, Lonsdale Street, Melbourne.
Historically, charitable recycling in Australia evolved in a uniquely Australian way to meet the challenges faced by the developing nation. Australia has frequent natural disasters, geographically isolated communities and a strong desire to help those in need.
Long before the term recycling, even before Federation, Australian charities took on the responsibility to redistribute clothing and household goods to those in need.
Donations have always been an act of goodwill and kindness by those who believe that their unwanted items will help others.
In times of crisis, Australian communities turn to charitable recyclers to provide much needed material aid. Red Cross, Salvation Army, Society of St Vincent de Paul and the Brotherhood of St Laurence, to name a few, are the first organisations called on by Australian state governments to help when families are displaced by bushfire and flood.
Every day and in every state of Australia charities, enabled by charitable recycling, assist tens of thousands of people through their community programs.