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Why Recycle?

The world is a place of limited resources, so we should recycle everything we can. Recycling is ecologically and economically important, it plays a huge role in preserving the life we lead today.

There is a great deal of waste, which could be recycled that ends up in landfill sites which is harmful to the environment.

What you could do at home

A large percentage of UK household's still do not recycle enough and throw everything that they consider 'rubbish' into their ordinary bin.

Much of this waste can be recycled and should be disposed of separately to general household waste.

Here are some ideas of how you can help cut down on the amount of rubbish you produce. You could reduce the rubbish in your bin by over 50%.


  • Don't buy heavily packed goods.
  • Buy 'loose' food rather than pre-packaged.
  • Stop junk mail and faxes through the Mailing Preference Services.
  • Cancel delivery of unwanted newspapers, donate old magazines to waiting rooms.
  • Use your own shopping bags when visiting the supermarket or use the doorstep delivery service.
  • Grow your own vegetables. Many varieties can be grown in small gardens.
  • Use a nappy laundry service, and save disposable ones for holidays and long journeys.
  • Take a packed lunch to work or school in a reusable plastic container.


  • Reuse carrier bags. Each person in the UK uses an average of 134 plastic bags each year.
  • Reuse scrap paper for writing notes, etc.
  • Reuse envelopes - stick labels over the address.
  • Rent or borrow items you don't use very often - e.g. party decorations and crockery. Some supermarkets hire out glasses for parties, saving on disposable cups.
  • Donate old computer and audio visual equipment to community groups or schools.
  • Buy rechargeable items instead of disposable ones e.g. batteries and cameras.
  • Buy things in refillable containers e.g. washing powders.
  • Buy concentrated products which use less packaging.
  • Take old clothes and books to charity shops, or have a car boot sale.
  • Look for long lasting (and energy efficient) appliances when buying new electrical items - ensure these are well-maintained to increase product life cycle.


  • Choose products in packaging which you know can be recycled.
  • Compost - lots of kitchen waste can be composted. Contact your local council for details of local composting schemes and details of any compost bin sales.
  • Buy products made from recycled materials. Most supermarkets now stock a wide range of these items.

What else can you do?

As well as home recycling bins, there are many recycling banks across the UK that can be used to recycle different materials.

They are located on streets across the UK as well as in supermarkets and outside housing estates.

Most recycling banks are emptied on a regular basis. However, if you do come across one that is over-flowing, contact your local council who will arrange for the bank to be emptied. You can also contact your local council to report vandalism to the recycle banks.

Now that you know what items you can recycle, find a handy place to store them. Make sure you encourage everyone in your house to think whether items can be reused or recycled before they're thrown away.


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