Translation disclaimer (Translation disclaimer)

This content has been translated by a computer program and may not be 100% accurate.

(This content has been translated by a computer program and may not be 100% accurate.)

Reduce, reuse and recycle

Here you can find tips, advice and information on how to reduce waste, reusing and recycling.

How to reduce your waste

Calderdale creates around 78,000 tonnes of waste each year. This would roughly fill the Piece Hall courtyard from bottom to top. Much of this waste can be reduced, reused or recycled.

For more about recycling, visit: Recycle Now.

Here are some suggestions for how you can help:

Buying recycled

Waste reduction and recycling have a wide range of environmental benefits, they reduce:

  • Demand for raw materials, which preserves natural resources and habitats.
  • Energy use and pollution, which means that less waste goes to valuable landfill space,.
  • Promotes 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 create investment in new industries and new jobs.

The process of buying recycled is called "closing the loop". A product can only be called recycled when it has been turned into a new product, so coming full circle. This process ensures that the supply of waste materials balances demand, and stimulates the market in recycled products.

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:

  • Mail Preference Service

    The Mailing Preference Service

    Freepost 22


    W1E 7E2

    Telephone: 020 7291 3310

    Website: Mail Preference Service

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

  • Fax Preference Service

    Telephone: 020 7291 3320

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

  • Door to Door Help Line

    Royal Mail

    Beaumont House

    Sandy Lane West


    OX4 6ZZ

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.

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.

Benefits of reuse

Just because something is not useful to you, does not mean that it has no use. Many of the items we throw away each day can be useful. They can 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:

  • I.T. equipment can be reused either locally or even abroad.
  • Furniture and household equipment can be refurbished, usually through local authorities or community recycling groups.
  • Unused paint can be put to good use thus reducing damage to the environment caused by dumping in landfill.
  • What really seems like rubbish can be used for other purposes, such as:
    • Plastic drinks bottles as garden cloches for seedlings.
    • Carrier bag as a bin liner at home.


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 also a problem us, as we often have to use specific vehicles to collect it.

You can donate many items of old furniture to:

British Heart Foundation

Halifax Retail Park



Phone: 01422 344740

Chas Furniture Store


Allenby House

Rees Way




Phone: 01274 726790

Website: CHAS@STvincent's

Pass it on

394 Bradford Road




Phone: 08456 341360

Electrical and electronic equipment

Many everyday consumer items now contain electronic parts. Every year, around one million tonnes of waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE) is discarded by UK homes and business.

Dealing with this waste is an important issue! Rapid changes in technology mean our electronic appliances often go out of date 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 (43%). The next largest component is IT 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:

  • Reuse. Pass them on to someone else who could use them if they are still in good working order.
  • Donate to charity shops. Some accept electrical equipment, but please check with them first before taking your goods to them.
  • Refurbish. hand them on to a company who can refurbish them.
  • Recycle. Rather than put them in the bin, take them to your local HWRC. There they can be added to other scrap for recycling. If you have bulky items to recycle contact the Council to arrange collection.

DOT-COMmunications collect unwanted IT equipment. They repair, refurbish and re-distribute it 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 .


  • It is estimated that around 25% of domestic paint purchased goes unused.
  • The disposal of paint is extremely difficult as paint and its containers have several environmental impacts.
  • Paint which is over 20 years old may contain hazardous substances that would now be treated as 'special waste'.
  • Paint can't be put into landfill, incinerators or drains due to the high chemical content that will cause pollution.
  • Paint is better 'disposed' of by re-using it. This can either be in your own home, sharing it with a neighbour, or the containers with remaining paint can be reused by a community repaint scheme.

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:

  • Paint tins must be at least one third full.
  • Paint must be less than 10 years old.
  • Paint must be in its original container and be suitable for domestic use.

For more information visit Community Repaint.

Shop Smarter

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.

What we should be doing is Smart Shopping!

You could think about the following before buying a product:

  • Do we really need the product?
  • Do we need the additional packaging that is being offered?
  • Are we being given something we just don’t want?
  • Is there an alternative which does not create waste?
  • Should we pay a little more now for something that will last much longer?

You can also consider the following when out shopping:

  • Choosing products with less packaging.
  • Buying loose vegetables and fruit where possible.
  • Supporting the bag for life schemes.
  • Re-using carrier bags.
  • Choose refills where available.
  • Use cloth nappies.
  • Choose recycled products such as tissues, toilet rolls, kitchen towels, writing paper, pens, rulers and plant pots.
  • Look out for the recycling symbol and the Buy Recycled logo.

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.

Other ways you can help to reduce waste

  • 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 phone messages, reminder notes, shopping lists, kid's scribbles and so on.
  • Send e-cards rather than paper cards at Christmas, birthdays and anniversaries. 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.
  • Look after your vehicle'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. There is a wide range of modern, easy-to-use reusable nappies now.
  • Drink tap or filter water, not bottled water that which creates a lot of waste plastic.

Other ways to reuse old stuff

  • Reuse plastic carrier bags and remember to take them with you when you go shopping. You could also try re-usable cloth bags.
  • Reuse envelopes by crossing out the old address.
  • If you have things that you no longer want, but which are still useable, such as children's toys and clothes, find someone else who wants them. You can also take them to charity shops.
  • 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.
  • Try joining a Freecycle group.

Webpage feedback

Was this page helpful? Rate this page helpful Rate this page unhelpful