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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. 

Clothes, appliances and furniture Toggle accordion

Most clothes, 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.

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. There are tips on how to do this at Slim your bin. You can also order a discounted compost bin from us

Plastic bags, containers and nappies 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

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

Slim your bin Toggle accordion

Our slim your bin campaign is to encourage you to reduce, reuse and recycle so that households produce no more than a single bin full of non-recyclable rubbish each week.

Slim your bin has lots of great advice and information about how you can reduce waste and help protect the environment.

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: