Reducing your waste

Save money and the environment

There are many good reasons to reduce the amount of waste we produce and to reuse and recycle more. 

Reasons to reduce, reuse and recycle

The main reasons to reduce, reuse and recycle more are:

  • energy and resources are wasted whenever an item is thrown away
  • raw materials are a limited resource – we might not always be able to replace what we throw away
  • less waste means less pollution 
  • disposing of waste is very expensive and requires a large amount of energy

Scale showing the reduction of waste as most desirable to the least desirable which is disposing of items at landfill

Practical tips to help you reduce, reuse and recycle


Removing single use plastics is an easy way to help the environment:

  • take a reusable coffee cup or water bottle with you to work or when you go out - see Refill for more information
  • take a reusable bag with you to ensure you don't need to buy a plastic carrier bag
  • when shopping look at how items are packaged. Try and buy an item with less packaging and, where unavoidable, ensure that you buy items in packaging that you can recycle
  • take a plastic tub with you to the supermarket to put deli items and fresh food in


Around 7 million tonnes of food is thrown away by UK households each year, reduce your waste and you could save up to £700 a year:

  • Love Food Hate Waste provides a variety of recipes designed to use up any leftovers
  • think about how much food you cook. If you are creating leftovers, use these for lunch the next day
  • use your freezer to store any additional food. You could also freeze any leftovers you have.
  • understanding 'use by' and 'best before' dates:
    • use by - means do not eat this food after the 'use by' date
    • best before - means this food can be eaten beyond this date (aside from eggs)
    • display before - these dates only relate to shops and can be ignored
  • visit a community fridge to use unwanted food or donate food


Compost kitchen vegetable and fruit waste along with your garden waste. A range of home composters, caddies, water butts and wormeries are available at reduced prices from Get Composting.


Ideas to reuse include:

  • take any unwanted items, in a good condition, to your local charity shop
  • visit Freegle to advertise your unwanted items for reuse
  • Norfolk County Council offer reuse shelters at their recycling centres 
  • reuse envelopes that you receive. Cross out the previous address and use it again
  • we run reuse events so people can recycle and reuse unwanted items


Tips for recycling: