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Reduce your waste

There are many ways you can reduce the amount of household waste you produce to help save money and protect the environment. 

Appliances and furniture Toggle accordion

Most appliances and furniture and other non-perishable items can be recycled or reused:

By law retailers must provide a way for you to dispose of your old household electrical and electronic equipment when you buy a new version of the same item from them.

Clothing recycling Toggle accordion

We also provide facilities to recycle clothing conveniently around the borough so that it can be recycled and others can enjoy them. You can dispose of your unwanted clothing at these locations:

  • Sebastian Court, Upney Lane (by the Ripple Road end), Barking, IG11 9QR
  • Civic Centre Rainham Rd North, Dagenham RM10 7JE
  • Frizlands Lane Recycling Centre 123 Rainham Rd N, Dagenham RM10 7ES
  • Old Dagenham Methodist Church Rainham Rd S, Dagenham RM10 8YT
  • The Victoria, Axe Street, Barking, IG11 7LZ

Food waste Toggle accordion

Wasted food has a major impact on climate change as most of it ends up in landfill sites where it rots and produces the greenhouse gas methane.

Here are some tips to help you reduce the amount of food waste you produce:

  • plan your meals each week and use a shopping list to make sure you buy only the food you need
  • storing food correctly can help extend its shelf life. For example, keeping fruit and vegetables (except bananas and pineapples) in the fridge can help them last up to two weeks longer
  • understanding ‘best before’ and ‘use-by’ dates. Food can be eaten up to a ‘use-by’ date or frozen before it and kept for much longer. The ‘best before’ date is a measure of quality, so food can still be eaten after that date but it may not be at its very best
  • use up your leftovers - Love Food Hate Waste has lots of recipes for leftover food and a portion planner
  • try composting your food waste. Don't forget you can order a discounted compost bin from us

Plastic bags and containers Toggle accordion

Here are some  tips for reducing your use of plastic bags and containers, plus advice on what types of nappies to use:

  • plastic bags can be reused to carry shopping or as bin liners
  • cleaned out containers can be used for storing small items
  • if you have young children you can use reusable nappies or biodegradable nappies and nappy sacks

Reusable nappies Toggle accordion

What are the Benefits of reusable nappies?

When using reusable nappies, you reduce your baby’s exposure to chemicals, save money, reduce waste and benefit the environment.

  • Real nappies are made from soft fabrics and contain less chemicals than disposable nappies, making them kinder to babies' skin and less likely to cause irritation.
  • Using real nappies for your baby can reduce household waste by nearly half.
  • Real nappies can save you up to £500 per child.
  • Using 1 reusable nappy instead of a disposable every day could save 1000 nappies from landfill during the early stages of a child’s life.

How do the nappies work?

Real nappies are really easy to use. They are two-piece nappies with the 1st piece being a waterproof wrap which can be reused over multiple changes. The 2nd piece is a washable absorbent cotton cloth which you replace when soiled. You fold the cloth like you would a piece of paper, lay it inside the wrap and put it on your baby. Soiled cloths can be washed at 40 degrees. For more information about real nappies, please visit the Real Nappies for London website.

What do we offer?

We will provide you with a free trial pack subject to availability. If you apply for a trial pack, you will be required to participate in feedback surveys and virtual or in-person support groups. We will therefore ask for your email and/or phone number to stay in touch and learn about your experience. You should not sell the trial pack or pass it on to anyone else.

How to apply

Apply on our reusable nappies page

Reuse Toggle accordion

A large proportion of what we throw away can be reused. By reusing or repairing items you can help reduce the amount of waste you produce.

There are many ways to reuse items:

  • local preschools and crèches often need boxes and other items for children’s activities
  • repair broken items instead of buying new ones
  • reuse shopping bags as bin liners
  • use containers such as butter tubs for storing jigsaws, nails, toys or coloured pencils
  • buy a reusable (artificial) Christmas tree

You can even get free help to fix electrical items such as slow or damaged laptops, kettles, and radios at one of our restart parties.

Donate it

Don’t throw away that old sofa or table because someone else might be able to use it. There are a number of non profit organisations that will collect good quality, second hand goods for reuse:

Other web-based organisations are also available to help you find new homes for your unwanted furniture and other home appliances:

Think before you shop Toggle accordion

If you’re out shopping, you should think about the following:

  • making your own presents or cards - your local library will have a list of local craft groups for help and inspiration
  • selecting items with minimal packaging
  • buying products sold in refill packs
  • choosing a multi-purpose cleaner instead of buying lots of different cleaning products
  • avoiding multi-packs of mini food portions
  • not buying disposable products - try buying multi-use ones, such as rechargeable batteries, electric razors
  • buying fresh vegetables and milk locally during the summer from Dagenham Starter Farm
  • borrowing books and renting DVDs from your local library rather than buying them new
  • consider buying secondhand items