Isle of Wight Council

Waste Education

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Materials Recycling Facility

Tips to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

Despite the various methods we use to manage waste efficiently and sustainably, the best way of dealing with waste is to simply create less.

Reuse packaging like bottles and tubs for lunches, freezing portions, or use in the garden

  • Use envelopes/scrap paper for shopping lists or messages.     
  • Avoid disposable items like plastic cups and plates.       
  • Buy second hand from online auctions or charity shops.      
  • Donate or resell unwanted items.       
  • Buy recycled products (close the loop) e.g. loo roll, printer paper, even clothes!   
  • Use rechargeable batteries.       
  • Use the fortnightly kerbside recycling collection.  You can check when you are due to get a recycling (green bin) collection by simply clicking here, entering your postcode and selecting your address.  You can then click 'view the calendar' where you also have the option to print.    
  • Use the household waste recycling sites for other items that you can’t reuse.       
  • Compost raw food waste at home or use the weekly, kerbside, food waste collection.

Reduce the amount of material that needs to be reprocessed or disposed of; and the easiest way to do this, is to take less home.

Be a SMART shopper – Save Money And Reduce Trash

  • Choose products with less packaging, like loose fruit and vegetables.     
  • Take your own bags or boxes when you go shopping.
  • Buy durable items instead of disposables – plastic/ceramic plates and cutlery rather than paper ones.
  • Bulk-buy items you use a lot of, like soaps, and washing powders.      
  • Choose refillable products – like liquid soaps and gravy!

One man's trash is another man’s treasure!

  • Reuse something in the same way – like refilling a jar with some homemade jam, or try something new – like using it as storage.       
  • Plastic takeaway tubs make a great alternative to foil/cling film for freezing meal portions or taking sandwiches and it stops them being squashed too.        
  • Egg cartons make great seed trays, when big enough just plant each section straight out and the cardboard will rot away.        
  • Cut the bottoms off of plastic bottles and bury neck down next to plants to get water straight to the roots and avoid evaporation.


The upcycling concept was the title of the German book written by Gunter Pauli in 1997.  Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value.

You can use such items as:

  • Jewellery - whether it is broken already and you make another unique piece from a collection of bits or you use other items and transform them into stunning accessories.
  • Furniture - A recently upcycled grand piano became a bookcase standing against a wall.
  • Textiles and clothing - Try making some soft furnishings from textiles and old clothing or vice versa.
  • Bric-a-brac - Upcycle jars for using difficult-to-store items in jars e.g. buttons or ribbons. 
  • Waste Packaging - Doy Bags are a range of bags, purses and accessories made from recycled juice packs.  They are made by a women's cooperative in the Philippines and fairly traded.  To visit the Doy bag website please click here.

Charity Shops and other Projects

Electrical items and other items in good repair can be donated to charity shops and other organisations that operate re-use schemes. Please see listed below some of the organisations on the Isle of Wight:

Storeroom2010 in Cowes will take some furniture, such as chairs, tables, sofas and beds that are still in a usable condition.  The furniture can be donated to Storeroom2010, who will collect and reuse furniture within the community. To visit the website please click here.

British Heart Foundation have a shop on the outskirts of Newport who accept unwanted furniture and electrical goods, they also offer a house clearance service, for which a charge will be applied. To visit their website please click here. 

Earl of Mountbatten Hospice is a local hospice which also runs a furniture re-use scheme, their warehouse is located in Newport.  To visit their website please click here.

Please Note: The image provided on this page has been supplied and is copyright of 'WRAP'.