We've selected 7 handy tips to help recycle household waste and items that you might not use anymore.

1. Locate your local recycling points

Recycle Now is a very handy website. It has extensive advice for your specific recycling queries and a variety of links to send you off to services tailored for your needs and area. One of it’s best features, and, the first port of call on your drive to recycle, is the Recycling Locator. Tap in your postcode and find out what you can do locally, including bottle bins, plastic and clothes banks and recycling centres.

 

2. Get your bins ordered

Once you know what can be acheived locally, it’s a good idea to find out from your council if you have all the available recycling bins. Often people do not, particularly if you are fairly new to your address and they weren’t present when you got there. Collections are different for each council area e.g. some don’t take food waste, some don’t take garden waste, so check your local recycling points to make sure everything it covered. And don’t forget to put the collection dates leaflet on the fridge!

 

3. Furniture and whitegoods

Bought a sofa or a new fridge? Lucky you! Often retail companies will offer to take your old goods away as part of a delivery service—so do check. If not, you can book in a collection with the local council but this may come with a service charge. Councils do however keep a list of local ReUse Organisations (and they are easily searchable online) who will collect items that are in good working order and sell on to local people who are strapped for cash.

 

4. Medicines

Now this might sound like an odd one to put on the list, but A LOT of money is wasted each year on unused medications. Aside from the financial aspect, making sure the left over prescription medicines are incinerated properly and not eaten by a pet or child—or enter the water supply via the loo or sink—is very important. Take them to the pharmacy. Some pharmacies will even take old inhalers, which typically end up in landfill.

 

5. Freecycle

Great if you are in the rental sector and find yourself moving about a lot. Freecycle is a national members’ board that specifies in hooking lonely household goods up with vacant spots in homes. Computer chairs, bicycles, televisions, bookshelves, you name it, its yours provided you can collect. Join your local group, check the rules, and start swapping.

 

6. Sell

It’s ok to make money from your old things. Lots of people sell on branded goods and unwanted presents throughout the year. The trick with sites like eBay and Gumtree is good pictures and an honest description. For eBay it’s worth checking the price that similar items have recently sold for, to guide your pricing. Try it out, if it doesn’t sell then no big deal. But it might help you give a bit of money to a charity you support, or it might be much-needed boost to a dusty wallet.

 

7. Party!

Your house. BYOB. Take what you want. In a lighthearted and fast-paced twist on the traditional yard sale: make an evening of it and get your mates round! You might have several soirees over the spring clean: free-clothes, free-books, free-plants, free-tools… It’s a useful way to catch up with people you’ve not seen in a while and everyone gets a party bag!

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