Circular Sydney

City of Sydney logo

ReCo Digital acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the lands upon which this initiative takes place: Gadigal, Worimi, Bedegal, Guringai, Tharawal, Darkinjung, Dharug, Wallumedegal and Gumbaynggirr Country. We pay our respects to the Traditional Custodians of the lands, past, present and emerging. We recognise their deep connection to the lands and their unique cultural heritage, which continues to enrich our shared community.

Discover Sydney’s fascinating circular economy, culture and innovations.

Citizen Wolf and ReCo co-founders at Citizen Wolf factory.

Citizen Wolf and ReCo co-founders. Photo: Jason de Plater.

Doing right by the environment and society in business can be a real challenge. But it doesn’t have to be, does it? We wanted to learn from the movers and shakers to find the answer. Circular Sydney was born.

Circular Sydney shares the stories of visionary individuals and organisations who are pioneering change, overcoming challenges and reshaping Sydney for a more sustainable future.

Their stories are a testament to the resilience, creativity and innovation that we already have in our community. We're excited to share them with you.

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Editor’s Notes

The Future Is Circular

ReCo co-founder Danling Xiao
Danling Xiao
Co-founder, ReCo Digital

What is a circular economy? A circular economy is where wastes no longer exist, and resources are continuously in use. It’s a simple concept, but it represents a complex and crucial transformation.

Circular Sydney explores the many facets of this transformation—from big topics like systemic change, supply chain complexity, policy reform, business innovation, money and social justice to the individual actions we can all take right now.

Borrowing from Uncle Phil Bligh’s wisdom, sustainability is about having a good relationship with the land, place and Country. It means creating space for First Nations people and walking the journey together. 



Through introspection, inspiration and education, we hope we can understand where we’re at, envision our collective destination and co-create that future together.

Circular Sydney diagram

Circular Sydney follows the full product cycle, 
centred around ecological and human wellbeing.

ReCo Circular Sydney hero art. Picture showing 2 circles connecting.

Artwork: Paige Hasaballah / Delta Venus

Chapter 1

Circular Design

Circular economy designs out waste. From products, buildings and cities, design expands to the economic system and social justice. Dr. Paul Callaghan teaches us: always design with purpose; our ability to create comes with responsibility.

ReCo Circular Sydney hero art. Picture showing 2 circles connecting.
Chapter 2

Circular Materials

Everything comes from nature. In a circular economy, materials are treated with respectful, mindful intention – everything is used purposefully, reused, recycled. Dr. Danièle reminds us of the Elders' wisdom: take only what you need; don’t be greedy.

ReCo Circular Sydney hero art. Picture showing 2 circles connecting.
Chapter 3

Circular Manufacturing

The Australian manufacturing industry has seen drastic decline over the past few decades. However, can it present opportunities for innovation? In this chapter, we explore the cutting-edge research and technology that Sydney’s brightest minds bring to the (re)manufacturing field.

ReCo Circular Sydney hero art. Picture showing 2 circles connecting.
Chapter 4

Circular Logistics

How do we move goods with minimal impact? Uncle Phil Bligh teaches us to respect Country and its timeless stories, to honour the land and its people. Looking ahead, can we combine ancient wisdom with modern technology to achieve net-zero emissions in logistics?

ReCo Circular Sydney hero art. Picture showing 2 circles connecting.
Chapter 5

Circular Consumption

Circular consumption keeps things in use for as long as possible. As Alice and Kiran from Regen Sydney explain, it’s also about regenerating — to give back as we take, to build relationships, and to heal the land and its beings.

ReCo Circular Sydney hero art. Picture showing 2 circles connecting.
Chapter 6

Reuse

Reuse is at the heart of what we do at ReCo. It's not only about minimising waste, but also maximising resources, creating social impact and building a sustainable and equitable future together.

ReCo Circular Sydney hero art. Picture showing 2 circles connecting.
Chapter 7

Recycle

Recycling should be the last resort, but it’s still a crucial part of a circular economy. It keeps resources in use. In this chapter, we explore the waste situation, the recycling industry and how to recycle better.

Produced by ReCo Digital using ChatGPT.

We thank our incredible team, supporters and interviewees for their contributions in making this project happen. We pay our respect and thank Uncle Phil Bligh of Darkinjung Country for inviting us to his circle and sharing his wisdom and stories.

Danling Xiao

Danling Xiao

Creative Director & Editor

ReCo DigitalLinkedin logoInstagram logo
Gemma Dawson

Gemma Dawson

Advisor, Waste & Circular Economy

City of SydneyLinkedin logoInstagram logo
Matthew Wright-Simon

Matthew Wright-Simon

Advisor, Impact

Engage ChangeLinkedin logoInstagram logo
Paige Hasaballah

Paige Hasaballah

Artist

Delta VenusLinkedin logoInstagram logo
Zoe Duc

Zoe Duc

Featured Editor & Co-ordinatior

Linkedin logoInstagram logo
Adam Matthews

Adam Matthews

Featured Editor

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Lina Wood

Lina Wood

Featured Editor

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Lucy Campbell

Lucy Campbell

Featured Editor

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Myra Mow

Myra Mow

Featured Editor

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Pak Chuen Lee

Pak Chuen Lee

Featured Editor

Linkedin logoInstagram logo
Kim Warner

Kim Warner

Senior Editor

Monograph CommunicationsLinkedin logoInstagram logo
Anett Petrovics

Anett Petrovics

Project Manager

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Got a sustainability project?

At ReCo Digital, our passion is driving positive change. We integrate sustainability, creativity and technology into our approach. If you're working in a sustainability project, let's connect and explore how we can support you.

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