Making Waste Work

Making Waste Work is a Council campaign to encourage residents to reduce, reuse and recycle their waste.

As well as asking residents to think about the rubbish they produce, we are looking at the way we collect waste in an aim to boost recycling rates and reduce the amount of rubbish sent to landfill.

Our Street Champions will be helping to spread the message and below you can find some handy tips on how you can make a difference.


  • Don't buy things that you don't really need – on average we throw away a third of all the food we buy. Write a shopping list and stick to it
  • When you do buy things, choose things that are well made and that will last
  • Buy food with less packaging or that is less manufactured
  • Where possible buy locally produced goods that have not had to travel so far to you – this will reduce your carbon footprint
  • Use reusable bottles or flasks for drinks and airtight containers for snacks and packed lunches instead of disposable wrappers
  • If possible don’t use disposable versions of everyday items such as cameras, paper tissues and plastic cutlery
  • Take your own bags when you go shopping to reduce the number of carrier bags you use
  • Photocopy and print on both sides of the paper and always think before printing a document if you really need to
  • If you don't want to receive any junk mail, you can write to the Mailing Preference Service (MPS) . You can use this free service to stop being sent mail you have not asked for. Visit the Mailing Preference Service Website [external link] or call 0845 703 4599. You can also contact Royal Mail [external link] about unaddressed mail
  • Whenever possible buy household products in bulk or in concentrated form
  • When you buy electrical equipment, especially computers, check to see if they can be upgraded rather than just thrown away 
  • Use rechargeable batteries
  • Make gifts or cards for family and friends, instead of buying them
  • Grow your own vegetables and flowers
  • Consider switching from disposable nappies to reusable cloth nappies [external link]


  • If you have unwanted good quality furniture you can donate it to the Kings’ Church Furniture Recycling Scheme. This gives people on low incomes the chance to buy furniture at greatly reduced prices. More information about furniture recycling
  • Take old clothes and bric-a-brac to a charity shop, car boot sale or jumble sale
  • Sign up to a recycling marketplace like the Recycle website [external link] or Freecycle [external link]. They give you the chance to give away unwanted items to people in your area – keeping them out of landfill
  • Recover old furniture to give it a new lease of life
  • Host a clothes recycling party and ask all your friends to being items they no longer want. You can swap clothes and end up with a whole new look
  • When you've finished reading a book, lend it to a friend. Alternatively, join the library so you don't need to buy any new books
  • Use glass or plastic containers to store things in (just make sure they are properly labelled)
  • Reuse yoghurt pots or the bottom half of plastic bottles to grow plants in
  • Reuse envelopes by sticking a label over the old address
  • Plastic carrier bags can be reused as shopping bags or bin liners
  • Get your printer and toner cartridges refilled when you've finished with them  
  • Before buying a new electrical appliance check how much it will cost to repair it so you are not tempted just to throw it away when it breaks
  • Keep a pile of scrap paper by the phone for messages
  • Use old T-shirts, towels and shirts as dusters or as rags to for clean your windows


  • Bag it, Box it, Bin it - remember if you are using our kerbside recycling scheme - cardboard and paper go in your blue bag and glass goes in your green box. Everything else goes in your wheeled bin or can be taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centre
  • To get a free green box or blue bag to store your recycling email
  • A wide variety of material can be taken to the Household Waste and Recycling Centre on Whessoe Road.
  • Take glass, cans, paper, textiles and books to the recycling banks around the Borough
  • Make or buy a compost bin or worm composter to recycle your food scraps and garden waste into compost, which you can use to grow new food or flowers
  • Five million Christmas trees are bought in Britain every year. If you buy one, make sure it's composted afterwards. We collect trees every year - look out in December/January for this year's venues
  • Buy recycled. It's only by buying things made from recycled materials that you will make it worthwhile to recycle things in the first place
  • Unwanted prescription glasses can be donated to Vision Aid Oversees who send them to the developing world. You can leave glasses at any branch of Vision Express and many independent opticians. Visit the Vision Express website [external link] to find out more
  • You can donate old mobile phones and printer cartridges to charity.

Frequently asked questions about recycling

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