There are many reasons why it’s good to recycle and with a bit of thought and effort, most items can be. Here are some ideas and recycling tips to get you started.
Recycling tips for your home, the office, garden & more
- Make the most of your home recycling bins. Paper, glass, hard plastics and cans can all be recycled and most councils accept all or most of them.
- Large supermarkets often have bins for items that can’t go into home recycling bins.
- Compost! 35% of household waste is organic matter that can be put in the compost bin.
- Re-use glass jars and takeaway containers for storing leftovers.
- Buy products that last – avoid ‘built-in obsolescence’ where products are designed to fail, meaning they can’t be repaired and you have to buy new.
- White goods such as washing machines, freezers, cookers etc. can be taken to scrap dealers or recycling centres.
- Instead of throwing old furniture out, see if it can be given to someone who can repurpose it. Many charities, such as Sue Ryder and the Salvation Army, will collect.
- Old blankets and towels can be used for dog or cat beds, or for picnics.
- Odd bits of packaging and fabrics, and items such as ribbons can be donated to schools and nurseries for craft projects.
- Toner cartridges – buy remanufactured cartridges and return empties to the supplier.
- Paper – buy recycled paper and use both sides. Only print pages that are essential – most documents can be saved online. Reuse scrap paper for notes.
- Buy rechargeable batteries when you can, but many large supermarkets have collection points for old non-rechargeable batteries.
- Computers, mobile phones and tablets can be recycled and some charities will take them. Make sure to wipe all your data first!
- Save water. Collect cooking water and unused water from the kettle in a watering can for the garden.
- Egg cartons – plant seeds in compost, then when you have seedlings the whole ‘egg section’ can be planted outside.
- Think creatively: offcuts of wood, pallets, crates, old bathroom sinks, wooden furniture – almost anything can be turned into planters, bird tables, bird baths, bee houses and more. Bricks and odd paving slabs can be used in the garden to add interest to planted beds or paths. The internet is full of projects for containers and other creative ideas.
- General garden waste such as cuttings can either be put into bins provided by the council or taken to your local recycling centre.
- Use reusable bags instead of plastic.
- Take clothes to charity shops or put them in a textiles bank found at large supermarkets. You can even recycle shoes, or donate them.
- If scrapping your car is the only option you can get it collected from our sister company Hamptons.
- For general building waste, you can hire a skip.
There are a number of websites on which to advertise unwanted items that other people may be able to make use of. Try the Reuse network, Freecycle, local Facebook groups and neighbourhood apps such as Nextdoor. The key is to think creatively and it soon becomes a habit!