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Reduce your general waste

Recycling symbol

There are many steps you can take to help you save money as well as doing your bit to help the environment and many of these start at home. 

Becoming more aware of the waste you produce is an important place to start and these pages will give you some suggestions of the actions you can take to help reduce, reuse and recycle even more of your waste.

Tips for reducing waste

Reducing waste is the most environmentally-friendly option compared with reuse and recycling. It requires no energy, uses no resources, creates no waste and even saves money.

You can reduce your waste by:

  • Consuming less - do you really need another t shirt?
  • Buying products with less packaging, such as loose fruit and vegetables. Look out for traders at Preston Markets selling loose groceries
  • Shopping at zero-waste or refill stores and reusing your containers
  • Using a reusable water bottle and coffee cup
  • Taking tips from reduce food waste
  • Printing double-sided, if you need to print out work
  • Switching to paperless mailing/billing
  • Buying products sold in refill packs or bulk quantities
  • Using low energy light bulbs and rechargeable batteries
  • Using a reusable bag when going shopping
  • Using reusable menstrual products or trying reusable nappies for babies

Tips for reusing waste

After reducing waste and buying only things you need reuse is the next step. There is no energy involved with reuse apart from finding out who could make good use of it.

You can reuse your waste by:

  • Buying milk from the milkman. Each glass milk bottle can be reused up to 20 times
  • Using envelopes and delivery packaging again by putting a sticker over the previous address - useful if you are selling old clothes!
  • Using both sides of a piece of paper before you recycle it
  • Craft new sheets of paper by using old scraps. For details visit Wikihow - How to Make Paper at Home (with Pictures)
  • Using plastic margarine and yoghurt pots for paint and glue or for growing seeds
  • Using refillable pens instead of disposable ones
  • Taking old clothes, books and toys to charity shops or use exchanging sites such as Freecycle and Freegle
  • Buy rechargeable batteries and refillable print cartridges

Give away unwanted items

Why not consider giving away your unwanted items for others to reuse...

Freegle is an online service which allows you to get and give unwanted items for free from residents within your local community to help keep potential reusable items out of the waste system.

For more information on giving away your items and how to join the community visit I Love Freegle - Preston Freegle Group.

To find out what residents are giving away in Preston currently visit I Love Freegle - Preston items.  

Alternatively, you can donate your unwanted items to local charities, a number of which will collect free of charge.

Tips for repairing waste

Repairing any well used items is the next step to the waste hierarchy. Making repairs to the products we already have, such as sewing up a hole in a jumper, or changing a fuse in a plug, extends the use of these items and is overall more environmentally friendly.

You can bring items along to Repair Café Preston in the city centre where volunteers will help to fix your broken or well worn items and give them a new lease of life. You can find event details on their Facebook page.

Repair Cafe Preston - Home | Facebook

Tips for recycling waste

Recycling is the final part of the waste hierarchy, before disposal. If you have reduced your waste, reused and repaired what you can, the best way to dispose of an item is to recycle it in the correct way.

Recycling conserves resources, provides thousands of jobs and allows recyclable material to be used hundreds of times, also saving energy. Did you know, recycling saves 18 million tonnes of CO2 a year, which is equivalent to taking 12 million cars off the road?

Recycling does not always mean the item you disposed of will return as the same thing. A recycled plastic bottle could be transformed into another bottle, a bench, or a watering can! Everything we use is a valuable resource so it is important that we recycle correctly.

For a useful list of items you can and can't put in your recycling bins see What can I put in my recycling bins? Or visit our recycling A-Z.

As well as using your recycling bins you can recycle even more of your waste by using a recycling A-Z, visiting your local recycling centre (tip) or looking at the alternative recycling options for items we do not currently accept at kerbside.

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