In the Northern Territory, Katherine is known as the place where 'the outback meets the tropics'— it’s also known as the town that turns trash into treasure!
What Is Katherine’s Annual Junk Fest?
Junk Fest is an annual event in the Katherine community calendar that celebrates art, creativity, and the limitless potential of recycling. Junk Fest is an amazing example of Katherine residents doing whatever they can to lower their environmental impact, and they’re doing it in style!
Some residents start their projects months in advance; creating intricate sculptures and bizarre fashion pieces made wholly out of junk. Thinking outside the box is certainly recommended, because top prizes range from $500 to $1,500!
Some of the entries are absolutely incredible, functional pieces of art, and some are created for a bit of a laugh. Either way, it’s an awesome demonstration of how waste can be repurposed into something new!
Katherine’s Growing Waste Crisis
As the sustainable festival grows in popularity and participants, so too does its core message — the residents of Katherine have very little access to recycling services. Junk Fest was initiated out of the need to create better awareness about recycling and the growing waste crisis.
"There's a lot of frustration that there is no recycling and the Junk Festival reminds us not to be complacent about what we do with our waste," said Katherine Regional Arts executive director Jacinta Mooney to ABC News’ Isabel Moussalli.
Instead of investing in recycling services, Katherine’s Town Council plans to expand the local landfill site — forcing residents to come up with creative ways to reduce their waste. Aside from the annual Junk Fest, some residents post their recycling interstate!
Junk Fest 2021
This year’s Junk Fest drew in more than 1,800 people! This number is phenomenal, considering the 9-year-old festival drew in just 50 people in its first year.
In a Facebook post, Katherine Regional Arts - KRA thanked the community, sponsors and volunteers. “Seeing Junk grow into what it now is surreal... we are so grateful that so many people see the value in what Junk Fest stands for and delivers”.
2021’s Junk Fest also displayed some of the Top End’s greatest talent! Throughout the day, plenty of bands, dance performances, choirs and MC’s graced the stage and provided the audience with entertainment.
Upcycled Products & DIY Projects
Upcycling is all about turning “trash” into treasure. Here at F&F, we love seeing innovative examples of upcycling that are creative, functional, and eco-friendly!
We have lots of upcycled products at Flora & Fauna made from recycled rubber, recycled plastic, and even recycled wine bottles. These products show that “waste” items can truly have a second life.
Our Mojo Candles are made from reclaimed wine and beer bottles. They partner with local restaurants, bars and pubs to collect their old wine and beer bottles, which means that every candle is different!
Feeling crafty? Repurposing and upcycling unused household items ensures that nothing goes to waste! Take a look at our Top 10 Upcycling Ideas for some trash-to-treasure inspiration.
Katherine’s Junk Fest shows that recycling doesn’t have to be boring! By injecting some art, creativity, colour, and fun into the process — we can begin to reimagine and extend the life of traditional “waste” products!
If you’re an avid upcycler (or a complete beginner), make sure you check out these blogs for more inspiration.
Flora & Fauna acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past and present.