Reverse Garbage basically takes factory rejects, leftovers of marketing giveaways, unsold stock, old shop fittings, former Mardi Gras floats, bits of wood, unwanted furniture, fabric samples, offcuts of plastic or rubber; anything seemingly unusable that would otherwise go to landfill. It is a massive warehouse in a hippie commune, run by volunteers who name the most obscenely minuscule prices you can imagine. Weekdays are quietest, but if you go on a Sunday morning there's a huge market that surrounds it with amazing food, craft and second-hand items.
Whenever Reverse Garbage is open, you can also stick your head into The Bower just across the way - slightly more upmarket (in a very non-upmarket way), The Bower caters to the nesting hipster by coming up with incredible vintage furniture and bric-a-brac, still at about the cheapest rate you could possible imagine. Plus a lot of weird architectural rejects like doors, sinks, fireplaces and fences. When I needed to make a set piece for a play where some characters were rowing across the stage in a bath (don't ask), I went straight to Reverse Garbage and found a round black tabletop and to the Bower and found a tub. Then I got four casters, screwed it all together and we were away. The casters were the most expensive bit.
Putting on a play and need to build a set? Go to Reverse Garbage.
Teaching a primary school art class? Go to Reverse Garbage.
Want to redecorate your house or garden? Reverse Garbage.
Want scraps of fabric? Some furniture or offcuts to practice carpentry? Reams of paper? Foam packing? Badges, bags, bottles, bins, books? I'm making a rhetorical point here.
The main thing is that you might be inspired. When I went recently, we found several giant wooden fans - perfect for mum's "Balinese garden." There were also thousands of samples of SPF 15 Dove moisturiser. IT'S LITERALLY UNPREDICTABLE!