One of the things I love about my city is the Op Shop culture. Most suburbs I know have at least one op shop, if not more. My suburb has a large op shop that even sorts their clothes into sizes and styles and provides changing rooms. It warms the cockles of my heart to see so many places where (quality) second-hand goods are able to find a second life (or at least exist on the op shop shelf to give customers a good laugh – like a Nana Mouskouri CD or the Russian scientific journal about the sex lives of silk worms). I also love services like Freecycle and Zilch and Facebook groups for the sale or gifting of items between locals, and the classic garage sale.
On the other end of things I hate to see how many items are dumped in different ways around this city. I find it frustrating to see lots of items (such as analogue TVs) left out to be collected by council to go into landfill when good (often free) schemes exist to recycle many of the components in electronic and other goods. It also frustrates me to see how many unsuitable, broken or soiled items are dumped beside charity collection bins or outside op shops, causing the op shops have to spend a lot of time and money sorting & paying to dump items themselves, or risk fines from council for the goods dumped (unsolicited) outside their shops.
If I were Mayor, I’d love to run more campaigns around educating people about different recycling options (or even offering incentives). I’d also love to somehow work to change the culture of our society away from being suck a throw-away one. If we can put effort and money into sourcing items in the first place, I’d love to see us invest equal effort into disposing thoughtfully of the items we’ve used. Finding a new home for an item, or seeing an item broken down into component parts that can be recycled into a new product is a joyous life cycle to witness.