Beeswax sandwich wraps – these are a reusable alternative to clingfilm. They are self-sealing, easy to clean, last for at least a year and can be rewaxed to make them last even longer.
Bric-a-brac – unwanted bric-a-brac/reusable items can be donated for reuse at the Household Recycling Centres. Simply present items to a site attendant who will determine what is suitable for the reuse scheme. You can also donate items through the furniture reuse scheme.
Batteries – rechargeable batteries produce less waste because they can be recharged and reused hundreds of times. They also use less energy because recharging batteries is more energy efficient than the cost and energy of making new batteries.
Ceramics – unwanted ceramics and china can be donated to local charity shops. Alternatively, broken ceramics and china can be used for drainage in plant pots.
Clothing and curtains – can be donated to local charity shops.
Christmas trees – Real Christmas trees are always the best and greenest option, as opposed to artificial trees which are made from a combination of materials and therefore cannot be recycled. If you do opt for an artificial tree, make sure you buy one which can be reused every year to minimise waste and if you decide that you no longer want it, consider donating it to a charity shop.
Drinks – make fresh, homemade drinks in reusable, re-sealable containers, rather than buying separate cartons, cans and bottles.
Electrical items which are still in good condition can be donated to our furniture reuse schemes so that they can be reused by someone else.
Food waste – uncooked fruit and vegetable waste can be home composted. Consider buying a special composter which can compost all garden and kitchen waste including cooked and uncooked food. www.getcomposting.com
Furniture which is still in good condition please see our furniture reuse schemes page for information on how it can be reused by someone else. If damaged, you could repair and upcycle your furniture or it can be taken to the Household Recycling Centres for disposal or recycling or collected by our bulky collection service.
Freegle is a UK organisation that aims to increase reuse and reduce landfill by offering a free Internet-based service where people can give away and ask for things that would otherwise be thrown away. Visit the Freegle website.
Green waste – composting provides a soil fertiliser whilst reducing disposal costs and creating a valuable usable product.
Go Local – buying at your local market or farmers market often means less waste in the form of packaging and less waste in the cost of emissions for transportation. Why not take your own reusable fabric bags or boxes to take your produce home. To find your local market visit the Shop at North Lincolnshire’s Markets page.
Inkjet cartridges – check if your toner cartridges can be returned to the manufacturer for refilling and reuse or refill them yourself.
Junk mail – stop unsolicited mail and help the environment by reducing paper waste. The Mailing Preference Service (MPS) is a free service which enables customers to have their names and home addresses, in the UK, removed from mailing lists used by the industry. To register visit www.mpsonline.org.uk or telephone 0845 7034599.
Kitchen waste – uncooked fruit and vegetable waste can be home composted. Consider buying a special composter which can compost all garden and kitchen waste including cooked and uncooked food. www.getcomposting.com
Library books – borrowing books creates a sharing economy that cuts down on consumption and the waste it causes.
Milk – buy milk in reusable glass bottles from a milkman, rather than plastic bottles or cartons. Glass milk bottles are a greener alternative because glass is 100% recyclable and can be recycled endlessly into new glass bottles or jars. The more recycled glass we use to make new glass, the less raw materials the industry needs to use to produce glass.
Mirrors – if in one-piece, unwanted mirrors can be donated to a local charity shop. Broken mirrors should not be placed in the green box and should instead be put into your general waste bin.
Musical instruments can’t be recycled but can be donated to your local charity shop, advertised for sale, or offered free to a good home. Oxfam is one charity shop that has a network of specialist music shops. which will accept donations of unwanted musical instruments and sheet music. Alternatively these could be recycled along with the reusable items at the Household Recycling Centres.
Nappies – reusable nappies are a much more cost effective and environmentally friendly option than disposable nappies. Including the cost of water and electricity for washing them, they still work out cheaper than disposable nappies.
Oil – not all methods of cooking use oil, try alternatives to frying – grill, bake, steam, poach or slow cook instead. Measure out how much cooking oil you use rather than pouring liberally into the pan, some foods release fat when they cook so start by adding a small amount and only add more if you need to.
Packaging – consider the packaging that foods are contained in. Buy loose fruit and vegetables, rather than pre-packaged ones and buy long lasting items like washing powder, pasta, cereal and biscuits in bulk to minimise packaging waste.
Picnics and packed lunches should be packed in a reusable airtight container, rather than aluminium foil or cling film wrapping.
Paint – make sure you know how many metres you are going to be painting and check the information on the paint pot to see how much coverage it will give. Remember to close the lid properly to help keep your paint in good condition for longer and donate any unused paint to a Community Re-Paint scheme or local group if they need it.
Quilts – quilts cannot be recycled in the textile banks across the area. Quilts can be donated to your local charity shop or animal shelter.
Repair – take care of your belongings with regular maintenance and repair products to extend their life.
Spectacles – all of our Household Recycling Centres can accept spectacles in their cases for reuse. We have teamed up with Vision Aid, a charity dedicated to eye care for developing countries to reuse spectacles.
Soap – hand/body wash can be replaced with bar soap, eliminating the need for a disposable plastic bottle and the non-recyclable pump that comes with it.
Toys – used toys can be donated to charity shops, sold, or given away. Alternatively, host a swapping event with friends, family and neighbours, as often toys are in perfectly good condition, but children are bored with them.
Understanding environmental impact – reducing and reusing reduces greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change. This helps sustain the environment for future generations, reduces the amount of waste that will need to be recycled or sent to landfills and incinerators and allows products to be used to their fullest extent.
Walking aids – if these are on loan, please return to the hospital or surgery. If you have purchased these, take to the Household Recycling Centre and show it to a site attendant who will decide if it is suitable for the reuse scheme. If it is not suitable you will be able to leave it at the site for disposal.
Wheelchairs – if these are on loan, please return to the hospital or surgery. If you have purchased this, take to the Household Recycling Centre and show it to a site attendant who will decide if it is suitable for the reuse scheme. If it is not suitable you will be able to leave it at the site for disposal.
Wrapping paper – preferably, don’t use paper at all, buy presents that don’t need to be wrapped, such as vouchers and experience gifts or put them in a box which can be used again and again. If you must use paper, plan the amount of paper you need and make sure it can be recycled in your blue box. Avoid paper that is made from plastic or aluminium and paper with glitter which is almost impossible to remove in the recycling process. If in doubt do the ‘scrunch’ test – if it stays scrunched, it can be recycled.
Xmas trees – Real Xmas trees are always the best and greenest option, as opposed to artificial trees which are made from a combination of materials and therefore cannot be recycled. If you do opt for an artificial tree, make sure you buy one which can be reused every year to minimise waste and if you decide that you no longer want it, consider donating it to a charity shop.
Yoghurt pots can be reused as plant pots, children’s paint pots or for school projects.
Zips – unwanted zips and sewing accessories can be donated to your local charity shop.