Reduce, reuse and recycle

How to reduce your waste

Calderdale produces approximately 78,000 tonnes of waste every year – which would roughly fill the Piece Hall courtyard from bottom to top. Most of our household rubbish is disposed of in landfill sites but we are running out of space.

Here are some suggestions for how you can help:

Smart shopping

Reducing what we buy in the first place is the most effective way of reducing waste. If we don’t buy it in the first place it cannot, in the long term, become waste. Up to a quarter of the rubbish we throw away is packaging. Millions of carrier bags were given out to shoppers in Calderdale last year. Most are used once and then thrown away adding to the huge pile of rubbish going into landfill sites.

What we should be doing is Smart Shopping!

You could think about the following before buying a product:

You can also consider the following when out shopping:

If you follow these shop smart ideas you will put pressure on retailers to stock fewer items with unnecessary packaging. More packaging means more rubbish and higher prices.

If you do your bit and smart shop you will reduce the amount of rubbish we have to get rid of and you could save yourself money.

Buying recycled

Waste reduction and recycling have a wide range of environmental benefits. They reduce demand for raw materials preserving natural resources and habitats. They also reduce both energy use and pollution, result in less waste going into valuable landfill space, and promote public awareness and personal responsibility for the waste we create.

However, recycling has not actually taken place until we buy products made from recycled materials. For recycling to be economically viable and recycling schemes to be successful, there must be a market into which collectors of waste can sell their materials. Buying recycled creates a demand for the collected material, aiding the development of the materials reprocessing infrastructure and therefore increasing opportunities for recycling.

As well as helping the environment, buying recycled also helps to generate investment in new industries and creates new jobs.

The process of buying recycled is called "closing the loop" as a product cannot be described as recycled until it has been incorporated into a new product, thus coming full circle. This process ensures that the supply of waste materials balances demand, and stimulates the market in recycled products.

How can you help?

Junk mail

If each house in Calderdale receives just one item of junk mail a week – this equates to 4.5 million unwanted letters across the district each year. If you want to cut the amount of junk mail you receive contact the Mailing Preference Service for an application form on:

If you receive unwanted faxes you can get your name removed from mailing lists by contacting the Fax Preference Service:

To put a stop to non-addressed, hand delivered mail like magazines and flyers that are delivered direct by your postal worker, write to:

State in the letter that you no longer wish to receive non-addressed, hand-delivered mail. Make sure you include your full address and postcode.

Other ways you can help to reduce waste in Calderdale include:

Love Food, Hate Waste

In the UK we throw away 8.3 million tonnes of food and drink a year. For recipes, tips and tools to help you reduce food waste from the Love Food Hate Waste campaign go to Love Food Hate Waste|External link.

Benefits of reuse

Just because something is not useful to you anymore does not mean that it has no use. Many of the items we throw away every day can be useful and may have a value to people who are not so well off, both in this country and abroad. We need to think carefully about how we dispose of some of these items, for example:


Furniture represents one of the most difficult items to dispose of. It is heavy, bulky and often there is a large quantity of it especially in house clearances. As a result it is often thrown away. This is a problem for the council too as they often have to use specific vehicles to collect it, not their usual dustbin wagons.

You can donate many items of old furniture to the following:

Electrical and Electronic Equipment

Many everyday consumer items now contain electronic parts. Every year an estimated one million tonnes of waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE) are discarded by householders and commercial groups in the UK. Dealing with this waste is an important issue as rapid technological changes mean that our electronic appliances tend to go out of date more quickly. Getting the latest model makes many items that are still in working order redundant.

The complex array of product types and materials make waste electrical and electronic equipment difficult to manage.

The main component of waste electronic and electrical equipment is large household appliances known as white goods, which make up 43% of the total. The next largest component is I.T. equipment which accounts for 39%. Much of this is made up of computers, which rapidly become obsolete. Televisions also represent a large proportion, with an estimated 2 million TV sets being discarded each year.

Reusing and recycling is one way to reduce the environmental impact that these products have.

Where can I recycle my electrical equipment?

In Calderdale, the best way to deal with old electrical goods is to consider:

DOT-COMmunications collect unwanted IT equipment for repair, refurbishment and redistribution to local not-for-profit organisations as part of the Microsoft Authorised Refurbisher scheme. Older, damaged or below minimum specification hardware is recycled in-house to above WEEE specifications. (All data is securely wiped to above MoD standard and any materials, which cannot be reused, are properly recycled). To find out more visit DOT-COMmunications|External link


How can I reuse my paint?

Community re-paint is a network of paint reuse schemes across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The purpose of the scheme is to collect left over re-usable paint from householders, and re-distribute it to those who need paint but cannot afford it.

The following list is a guideline of what criteria are in place for this scheme:

For more information visit Community RePaint|External link.

Other ways to reuse old stuff include:


For more suggestions and information about recycling visit Recycle Now|External link.

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Last Updated: 28/06/2016