Many items found around the home can be used for different purposes. Furniture could be repainted for a new look, clothing could be dyed or restyled or you could invest in using reusable nappies. There are many local community groups that facilitate the giving and receiving of free items and there are also many local charity shops throughout Cheshire East that provide a very valuable service to their customers and reuse. So, before you throw anything away , think if or how it could be reused first.
Furniture reuse forum
Over 10 million reusable items of furniture are sent to landfill by local authorities in the UK every year - almost 30,000 items every day according to the Furniture Reuse Network.
The Cheshire Furniture Reuse Forum is made up of 12 not-for-profit projects that work closely with the Councils to divert reusable furniture and appliances from going to landfill. The Forum works throughout Cheshire East to collect and redistribute quality furniture and appliances to support low income families. In 2010-11 the Cheshire Furniture Reuse Forum reused 600 tonnes of furniture, which helped to furnish the homes of nearly 15,000 families.
The Cheshire Furniture Reuse Forum also supports the community by offering work placements to people who otherwise would be out of work. In 2010-11, the Forum delivered 2,000 hours of training aimed at helping people back into work.
The Forum will collect furniture and appliances in good condition for free from households across Cheshire East.
For more information about donating your unwanted furniture and appliances visit the Cheshire Furniture Reuse Forum website.
There are many environmental reasons and incentives to switch to real nappies.
Reusing clothing and textiles
Textile banks and charity shops both take unwanted clothes and textiles, so that they can be reused and do a very valuable job of keeping a large amount of textiles out of landfill. Have you thought about customising your clothes with a fresh set of trendy buttons or re-styling it to get a few more years wear from it? Give it a try next time you want to refresh your wardrobe.
To find your nearest textile bank or charity shop, please follow the links.
Community reuse groups
Freegle is an umbrella organisation for 300+ online groups facilitating the giving and receiving of free unwanted goods in local communities across the UK. Already, over 1.2 million people are freegling!!.
The aim is to keep anything usable out of the waste stream and landfill, by providing friendly online local groups, to connect unwanted items with people who can reuse them. Putting locals in touch with each other along the way also builds community spirit and the reduction in waste contributes to neighbour sustainability.
Freegle is powered by local volunteers, for more information visit Macclesfield Freegle, Wilmslow Freegle, Crewe and Nantwich Freegle or find your nearest group.
Freecycle is a grassroots movement of people who are giving and getting items for free in their own towns. The Freecycle groups match people who have things they want to get rid of with people who can use them. Their goal is to keep usable items out of landfills. By using what we already have on this earth, we reduce consumerism, manufacture fewer goods, and lessen the impact on the earth. Another benefit of using Freecycle is that it encourages us to get rid of junk that we no longer need and promote community involvement in the process. The first UK Freecycle group was set up in London in Oct 2003. There are now 494 groups spread across the country, with 1,722,575 members!
To find out more, visit Freecycle
When you put your recycling out for collection or use a recycling bank, you are helping in the first part of the recycling loop. These items are made into new items that are then sold as new products. By buying products made from recycled materials you are helping to create a demand for recycled products which helps to make these products more economically viable. Recycled products also use a lot less energy to make.
Help close the recycling loop
There are many everyday products you can buy that contain recycled materials such as toilet paper, writing paper, kitchen paper and bin liners.
More specialist items include:
- mouse mats made from recycled tyres
- notepads made from recycled paper
- pencils made from plastic vending cups
- soil improver for your garden made from composted green garden waste
- fleece jumpers with recycled plastic in their fibres
- wine glasses made from recycled wine bottles
- beautiful glass floor and wall tiles made from recycled blue and green glass bottles
- CD cases made from old circuit boards
To find out more about buying recycled, visit Recycle Now .
Bags for life
Each year in the UK more than 10 million plastic carrier bags are produced: if laid end-to-end, these would stretch to the moon and back five times! By switching to a 'Bag for Life' the average person can prevent around 300 plastic bags ending up in landfill sites each year. Go to the Bags For Life section for more information.
By reusing some of your food waste and garden prunings you can make valuable compost for your borders and save yourself money. To find out more, visit the Home Composting advice section.
Waste and recycling is now provided by Ansa - a company owned by Cheshire East Council