Reuse top tips

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Before you throw items away, think about how they can be reused.  Below are our top tips on how to re-use those everyday bits and pieces.

  1. Carrier bags – they can be re-used 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Books, CDs and DVDs – donate them to charity shops or take them to the recycling banks at the Household Recycling Centres.
  4. Paper bags – make useful wrapping paper.
  5. Newspaper, cardboard and bubble wrap – can make useful packing material when moving house or to store items.
  6. Magazines – pass on to friends and family or you may be able to donate them to dentists, doctors surgeries or hospitals.
  7. Envelopes – by sticking labels over the address you can reuse envelopes or use them as scrap paper to make notes on.
  8. Jars and pots – use them as small containers to store odds and ends or reuse them to store your homemade jams or pickles.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Rechargeable batteries – these can be reused many times before they need recycling.
  12. Greetings cards – reuse as gift tags before recycling in the burgundy bin.
  13. Packaging – such as foil and egg cartons – ask your local schools and nurseries if they would like them for art and craft projects.
  14. Car boot sales and online auction sites – other people may find use for your old items, plus you could earn some extra cash.
  15. Used wood – could be used in woodcrafts for making objects such as a spice rack or a bird box.
  16. Old furniture – could be given a new lease of life by upcycling. Some items can be donated to charity see our furniture reuse page.
  17. Consider taking your broken electronic items to a repair shop to extend the life of often perfectly serviceable products.
  18. Baby and children’s clothes, toys and furniture reuse. If you have any good condition and reusable:
    • Baby clothing
    • Children’s clothing (under 12 years)
    • Children’s toys
    • Baby and children’s furniture (we are unable to take mattresses)


  19. Clothing and small toys can be taken to any Children’s Centres in North Lincolnshire. If you have any large toys and furniture, please call the centre prior to taking the items.  They are unable to take any electrical items which have not been PAT tested. These items are reused to support families in North Lincolnshire through our Children’s Centres.
  20. You could look at running a swishing event or sell your clothes online, or even make other items from the clothing such as wheat bags or sock puppets.