Reducing waste

Why do we need to reduce waste?

The waste we all produce effects the environment around us. From plastics in the oceans to toxic contamination of our land from landfill sites, we all have a role to play in minimizing the impact we have on the world around us.

The good news is there are lots of simple things we can all do to reduce the amount of waste in our lives. Where we can’t reduce the waste, there are things we can do to re-use and recycle items.


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Ditch single-use

Coffee cups, water bottles, straws, cutlery, carrier bags – all these ‘single use’ items can be swapped for reusable options that will save money and the planet.

  • Most coffee shops offer a discount for bringing your own reusable cup. If you forget a cup, then Costa will recycle paper cups from any coffee shop – just drop them off.
  • If you need water on the go, there are refill points around the city! Download the Refill app to find out where they are.
  • From stainless steel to glass – there is a huge range of reusable straws available all of which are better for us and our planet in the long term.
  • Fed up of the flimsy plastic cutlery that you pick up with your lunch? Bring your own!

Other waste reducing tips:

  • Put an end to junk mail by registering with the free Mailing Preference Service. Alternatively fix a polite notice to your door asking for no free newspapers or circulars.
  • Avoid packaging. More and more products are becoming available without any packaging. From fruit and veg to toiletries like shampoo and conditioner, try to find packaging free alternatives.
  • Stop shopping. When we purchase products, it creates a demand for it and all the waste that goes along with it, from its production to delivery. Before you click buy or head to the tills stop and think – do I really need this? This is especially true with clothing – it’s estimated that £140 million worth of clothing ends up in landfill each year.

Food waste

A whopping one third of all the food we buy in this country is thrown away! It’s an expensive habit and a few simple changes could save the average family £60 a month (£720 per year).

We’ve put our favourite ideas into a dedicated food waste page. You can also find more advice to help reduce food waste by visiting the Love Food Hate Waste website.

Unfortunately, some food waste is unavoidable but there are ways to keep it out of your black bin.

If you’ve got a garden then you should have already signed up for free garden waste collections – this year, we started accepting food waste in the brown bin too. Alternatively, you could have a go at composting.

Washable nappies

The average baby will have some 5,000 nappy changes in their first 2.5 years! Swapping from disposable to washable nappies is kinder to your pocket, the planet and your baby. We even offer a cashback scheme. Find out more on our washable nappy page.


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Many of the things we consign to the bin can be repaired, re-used or recycled.


Whether its last season or last century – clothes and shoes that are in good condition can be donated to charity shops or clothing banks. If you can’t drop them off, many charities offer free collections right from your front door!

If an item of clothing has a hole or a tear, see if it can be repaired or re-used before you throw it in the bin. There’s more information and advice on the Love Your Clothes website.

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Furniture that is in useable condition can be donated to many charity shops, sold or swapped. It really doesn’t need to be taken to the tip.

If you fancy getting creative, then upcycling can help turn your furniture (and much more besides) from drab to fab. Upcycling could also save you money as it is often less expensive than buying new furniture. If you’re not sure how to get started head over to Pinterest for inspiration!

Freegle Derby

This is a web-based service for people who want to give and get items that are too good to be thrown away, from things like chairs and beds to smaller items such as jam jars. It's all about reusing and keeping items from being thrown away and it's free.

Visit Freegle to find out more and see what's on offer around Derby.


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Recycling uses less energy and fewer resources great news for our planet!

We accept a wide range of materials for recycling. You can find a comprehensive list of materials in our A-Z of recycling and rubbish.

When collecting recyclable materials from around your home please remember to wash and squash them! Washing and squashing leaves more room in your blue bin for more recycling and increases the quality of our recycling.

Contact details

Post address:
Waste Management, 15 Stores Road, Derby, DE21 4BD

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