The best way to manage waste is not to produce it at all. As well as recycling, it has never been more important to think about reducing and reusing the waste you create.

What do we mean by reduce and reuse?

  • Reduce means taking steps to prevent and lower the amount of waste that we create.
  • Reuse means using a material as many times as possible, such as reusing a plastic bottle or donating clothes to a charity shop.

How can I reduce my waste?

Reducing the amount of waste we produce in the first place will have a big impact on how much waste we have to send to landfill. Not only does reducing waste help the environment, often it can help you save money.

Five quick ways to reduce your waste:

You can also visit Greener Scotland and Recycle for Scotland websites.

Stop unwanted mail

As some direct mail is poorly targeted and goes straight in the bin, Recycling for Scotland has put together 5 easy ways to reduce unwanted mail to help you reduce the amount of unwanted mail you receive.

The Mail Preference Service can also help you reduce the amount of unwanted mail you receive.

Home composting

Home composting your uncooked fruit, vegetable and garden waste will help to reduce the amount of waste you produce and create a nutrient rich compost for your garden.

Recycle for Scotland has put together information to help you compost at home.

Reuse carrier bags

Plastic carrier bags can often be reused for carrying shopping and other items. Remember to take plastic bags with you next time you go shopping.

A 5p charge for single use carrier bags has been introduced in Scotland to encourage the reuse of plastic carrier bags.

You can find out more about the carrier bag charge by visiting Zero Waste Scotland.

Reduce food waste

Love Food Hate Waste

Did you know Scottish households can save up to £470 a year making a few small changes and reducing the food they throw away? That’s nearly £40 a month!

Some food waste is unavoidable. You can recycle unavoidable food waste such as peelings, banana skins, bones, teabags and eggshells using the weekly food waste collection.

To find out how you can reduce your food waste, please visit Love Food Hate Waste.

Real nappies

Real nappies will help to reduce the amount of waste in your green bin. Disposable nappies take up a lot of space in your bin and end up in landfill which is bad for the environment.

Using real nappies will also save you money. You can save around £500, and even more if you use real nappies for your second or third child. The total cost of using real nappies can be up to half of buying disposable nappies.

You can find out more by visiting Recycle for Scotland.

How can I reuse my waste?

Many of us already reuse items without even thinking about it, such as passing on newspapers and magazines, donating books to charity shops, reusing plastic bottles or saving glass jars to store items from around the house.

Reusing materials helps to make sure that we are making the most of our waste and save valuable natural resources.

For more information on how you can reuse your waste, please visit Zero Waste Scotland.

National Reuse Helpline

Before you put it out, can we pick it up?

Furniture and household goods can be reused by local community organisations. This helps local people in need and benefits the environment. We will come and collect your unwanted items and pass them on to someone else who needs them.

For more information or to donate unwanted items, please phone 0800 0665 820. Please make sure donated items are in good condition.