Reuse top tips
Before you throw items away, think about how they can be reused. Below are our top 15 tips on how to reuse those everyday bits and pieces.
- Carrier bags – they can be reused when you go shopping or as bin bags around the house. Buy a bag for life and keep handy for every time you pop to the shops.
- Old clothes – can be donated to charity shops, given to friends or family. You may also be able to mend a favourite item or turn it into something else – such as a cushion cover or a rag rug. You can also recycle them by placing in the red bag with your boxes.
- Books, CDs and DVDs – donate them to charity shops or take them to the recycling banks at the Household Recycling Centres.
- Paper bags – make useful wrapping paper.
- Newspaper, cardboard and bubble wrap – can make useful packing material when moving house or to store items.
- Magazines – pass on to friends and family or you may be able to donate them to dentists, doctors surgeries or hospitals.
- Envelopes – by sticking labels over the address you can reuse envelopes or use them as scrap paper to make notes on.
- Jars and pots – use them as small containers to store odds and ends or reuse them to store your homemade jams or pickles.
- Plastic bottles – cut off the top half of the bottle to cover germinating seeds like a mini-greenhouse cover. Try using a reusable bottle for water and fill up whilst on the go.
- Scrap paper – can be used to make notes and shopping lists. Don’t forget to use both sides and then recycle it in the blue box when you no longer need it.
- Rechargeable batteries – these can be reused many times before they need recycling.
- Greetings cards – reuse as gift tags before recycling in the burgundy bin.
- Packaging – such as foil and egg cartons – ask your local schools and nurseries if they would like them for art and craft projects.
- Car boot sales and online auction sites – other people may find use for your old items, plus you could earn some extra cash.
- Used wood – could be used in woodcrafts for making objects such as a spice rack or a bird box.
- Old furniture – could be given a new lease of life by upcycling. Some items can be donated to charity see our furniture reuse page.