How you can help
Reduce, re-use, recycle
The United Kingdom produces 420 million tonnes of waste every year – enough to fill the Albert Hall in London every hour. Most of our household rubbish is disposed of in landfill sites but we are running out of space. As a consequence the cost of disposal is increasing rapidly, and this in turn affects householders through council tax rises.
Here are some suggestions of things you can do to help:
- Use recycled paper for printing and photocopying, and use both sides of the paper. Paper used on one side only can also be reused on the other side for telephone messages, reminder notes, shopping lists, kids’ scribbles and so on.
- Send e-cards rather than paper cards at Christmas. There are plenty of websites around that provide lots of different designs.
- Use a cloth hankie: it takes 6,000,000 trees to make one year's worth of tissues for the world.
- Save the amount of paper consumed by unsolicited mailings. To remove your name from marketing companies' databases, contact the Mailing Preference Service|.
- Refuse unnecessary packaging. For example, when you buy fruit and vegetables choose the loose ones instead of buying them pre-packed.
- Look after your car’s tyres by maintaining the correct air pressure. This can almost double their lifespan.
- Avoid using disposable items such as plastic cups and paper plates whenever possible. Keep a mug, bowl and cutlery at work instead.
- Avoid using disposable nappies. A wide range of modern, easy-to-use reusable nappies is now readily available.
- Drink tap or filtered water rather than bottled water, which generates a lot of waste plastic.
Re-use old stuff
- Reuse plastic carrier bags and remember to take them with you when you go shopping, or try reusable cloth bags instead.
- Reuse envelopes by crossing out the old address.
- If you have things that you no longer want but which are still useable (for example children's toys or clothes), try to find someone else who needs them, or take them to a charity shop.
- Save the front half of old greeting cards to reuse as postcards or gift tags.
- Instead of always buying new, repair items that are worn or slightly damaged where possible.
Recycle the rest
- The new and improved household waste collection service, introduced in April 2009, is specifically for the collection of glass, paper, cans, textiles, food waste and plastic bottles from domestic households. For other materials or if you do not have a doorstep collection, use one of the Council’s numerous recycling sites. See Household Waste Recycling Centres.
- Although your food waste can be collected as part of the recycling service, you might prefer to keep it! If you have a garden, why not buy a compost bin and put your kitchen scraps in it to make lovely, fertile soil conditioner to feed your plants. Calderdale Council, in partnership with Blackwalls / Straight, offers discounted compost bins to all Calderdale residents. See Garden waste and composting.
And don’t pollute!
- Don't pour chemicals or paint down the drain – they will end up in the river damaging fish and wildlife! See below for information on safe disposal sites.
For more information about reusable nappies, contact the CHANGE project on 01422 847080.
Mailing Preference Service|
MPS, DMA House, 70 Margaret Street, London W1W 8SS on 020 7291 3310.
The Freecycle network is an international movement which aims to keep perfectly useable goods from going to landfill. The idea is simple – if you have something you no longer want, you post a message on your local Freecycle group and arrange for someone who does need it to collect. Membership is free.