By reducing the amount we throw away we can help the environment, reduce the amount we spend on disposal costs and save on our household budgets.
There are lots of small changes you could make that can make a big difference.
Clothing and textiles SHOW
Clothing and other textiles never need to go in the bin as they are put to good use no matter what their condition. Good quality items can be reused but those that are no longer fit to wear will be used to make new products such as seat padding or insulation.
- Charity shops will welcome clothes, shoes and other textiles, as well as other household goods, such as crockery, books, toys and games.
- Textile banks are located around the city and raise money for various charities and local schools.
- Marks & Spencer have teamed up with Oxfam to enable customers to donate unwanted clothing. Shwopped items are resold, reused or recycled and allow Oxfam to fund all sorts of vital projects around the world. So next time you’re clearing a space in your wardrobe, drop any unwanted clothes into your bag and drop them off in a Shwop box at your nearest M&S
Composting is such an easy thing to do and will provide you with lots of nutrient rich, free compost for your garden or plant pots.
It is not only your garden clippings and veggie peelings, but all these items are organic and will also compost well:
- Egg shells, tea bags and coffee grounds
- Shredded paper can be added in layers between the organic material
- Dust from your vacuum cleaner bag
- Straw from the rabbit or guinea pig hutch
- Cut flowers
- Tissues, paper towels and paper napkins
- Ashes and charcoal from the fire or barbecue
Too much green waste to compost?
Southampton City Council's garden waste collection service provides a fortnightly collection from the kerbside. We provide a brown lidded wheelie bin which is a clean and convenient way to dispose of your garden waste.
If you are stuck with any unwanted computer equipment and you are not quite sure how to dispose of it, you may want to consider contacting Jamie’s Computers.
Jamie’s Computers is a computer recycling social enterprise, an arm of The Society of St James. They offer a free professional and secure IT disposal service to businesses and individuals. Donated computers are refurbished and made available for reuse and anything that cannot be reused is recycled.
If you are interested in their service or to find out more please contact or visit them via one of the following channels
Telephone: 023 8063 2198
Address: Unit 32 Mount Pleasant Industrial Estate, Mount Pleasant Road, Southampton, SO14 0SP
Food waste SHOW
According to research, we throw away seven million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year, the majority of which could have been eaten.
Each month the average family throws away £60 of food that was bought, but not eaten. Not only is that a waste but it is bad for the environment too.
Food waste can only be disposed of in the rubbish bin and therefore is sent to the Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) where is it incinerated.
Helping you to reduce food waste
Plan your meals and shop to a list. Check what you need before you go shopping and only buy what you need.
Check the use by dates and freeze anything you will not use in time. You can freeze items right up to and including the use by date.
Keep your fridge at the right temperature and store foods correctly. Bread and potatoes are best stored in a cool cupboard, rather than in the fridge.
Get your portions right. Cooking/serving too much is a common problem so get to know the correct portion size, especially for things like pasta, rice and vegetables.
Why food waste cannot go in with garden waste
The garden waste we collect from the kerbside is turned into soil conditioner by a process known as ‘open area windrow’, which is used only for garden waste materials and cannot accept any food or animal waste.
The collected garden waste is shredded and then laid out in a long pile to decompose, usually in the open air and turned frequently to provide oxygen for the micro-organisms that help decompose the material and the high temperatures kill off any harmful microbes, weeds and plant diseases.
Open air windrow composting is generally used for garden waste materials only, and cannot accept food or animal waste. Garden waste containing these other types of material have to be processed using methods such as in-vessel composting (IVC) or anaerobic digestion (AD) in order to comply with the Animal By-Products Regulations.
Furniture and bulky items SHOW
Furniture and other bulky items are expensive to dispose of and often end up in landfill. Many of these items are in good condition and could find a new home.
Provides services which relieve the effects of hardship, disadvantage and poverty for individuals and families living in Southampton and the surrounding area.
Address: 33 Mount Pleasant Industrial Estate SO14 0SP
Telephone: 023 8077 3132
Debra furniture and electrical charity shop
Debra furniture and electrical charity shop may collect any unwanted furniture and electrical items, and, unlike many other charity shops in Southampton, can choose to accept furniture that is missing fire labels or needs restoring. Contact Debra furniture for further information:
Address: 12-13 East Street, Southampton SO14 3HE
Telephone: 023 8022 2044
Farplace Animal Rescue
Address: Unit 3, 35 Victoria Road, Woolston, Southampton, SO19 9DY
Telephone: 023 8043 5899
Free collection of furniture and large electrical items.
Oxfam furniture shop
Address: Romsey Road, Shirley SO16 4BZ
Telephone: 023 8077 9580
You can also list your unwanted items on one of the many free websites such as
Junk mail SHOW
Direct advertising mail can be a great way to find out about special offers, but if you would like to reduce the amount you receive, there are a couple of services which can help you.
Longer life SHOW
There are lots of things we buy and use only once or twice. This is not only a waste of resources, but can be expensive in the long run.
- Bottled water is expensive compared to a reusable bottle and water out of the tap
- Buy a cheap portable barbecue that you could use over and over again instead of a disposable one, and you can even compost the ash
- Retro items from charity shops are very on trend, so use ceramic crockery and napkins instead of plastic cups and paper napkins for your event
- Use dish cloths or even old t-shirts that are no longer fit to wear instead of disposable cloths
- Use energy efficient bulbs that can last up to eight times longer and will use less electricity
Packaging makes up a large proportion of the waste in our bins so here are some tips to help you ‘slim your bin’:
- Buy fruit and vegetables loose to avoid unnecessary and expensive packaging
- When possible only buy items with recyclable packaging for example in a box instead of blister packs
- Reuse plastic takeaway containers to store food
- Foil containers can be reused for cooking and freezing and foil wrap can be washed and reused again
- The bags used for sliced bread are thicker than most other plastic bags and can be washed and used for freezing or storing food
- Reuse wrapping paper, bows and ribbons and make gift tags from old birthday and Christmas cards
- Cartons and Tetra Paks are strong and can hold liquids so can be used as a plant pot or a glue/paint pot when doing crafts with the children
- Plastic egg boxes can also be used for paint and glue or for planting seeds in the spring