Reducing your waste

There are many ways you can reduce the amount of waste you put out for collection and help save us money for vital areas of work.

Clothes, appliances and furniture

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

  • clothes, appliances or toys can be donated to charities or brought to our Reuse and Recycle Centre
  • furniture and bulky items can be taken to our Reuse and Recycle Centre or you can arrange a bulky waste collection with us
  • get free help to fix electrical items at one of our restart parties
  • you can also donate goods to the TCL Reuse Centre – a charity that prevents reusable items going to landfill; using them to help those in need, by providing good quality second-hand furniture, white goods, computers and household items at affordable prices

Remember that 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

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 – the Love Food Hate Waste website has lots of recipes for leftover food and a portion planner
  • try composting your food waste

Plastic bags, containers and nappies

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

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
  • borrowing books and renting DVDs from your local library rather than buying them new
  • consider buying second hand items.