Reduce your waste - top tips

Avoid food waste

love food hate waste logoUK households and businesses produce around 9.5 million tonnes (Mt) of food waste, 70% of which was intended to be consumed by people (15 billion meals).

Wasting food costs the average UK household £500 a year. In the UK, we throw away around one third of the food we buy. Most of whch could have been eaten. Of this, 40%, (almost one million tonnes) isn’t even touched, and at least 10% is still in date.

The most common reason for food being wasted is that too much is prepared and cooked and is left uneaten and unused.

See Love food, hate waste for more information.

Easy ways to avoid wasting food

  • Measure your food portions to keep leftovers out of your bin.
  • Plan your meals so you are less likely to have random leftover ingredients
  • If you do have leftovers, check out our rescue recipes to use them in other meals.
  • Store your food well so it lasts as long as possible.

For food waste you can’t avoid please compost it at home or, if you have access to our food waste collection service, please use your caddy and we will compost it for you.

Smart shopping

By shopping 'smart' we can greatly reduce the amount of waste we produce and can save money too.  It's not difficult, it doesn't take any extra time and it can make a big difference.

Try some of these ideas to get the most out of your food shop:

  • Make a list before you go shopping. It will help you not to buy items which won’t get used
  • Don’t be lured by special offers and always check “use by” dates
  • Take your own reusable shopping bags and avoid plastic carrier bags
  • Buy items which are loose or have less packaging on them – they are usually cheaper than over packaged goods. Complain to the store if you think the goods are over-packaged and/or remove excess packaging and hand it back to the store. See below about reporting overpackaged items
  • If possible buy in bulk and avoid multi-packs of small containers
  • Don’t go shopping when you are hungry as this may encourage you to buy food that you won’t eat
  • Avoid single use and disposable items and buy refillable products where possible. E.g. refill your water bottle instead of buying a new one
  • Don’t forget to close the loop - by buy recycled products made from recycled materials if possible (toilet paper, tissues, refuse sacks)
  • Buy rechargeable batteries. These can be recharged 1000 times, so by buying a pack of 4, you are saving 4000 batteries from going to landfill
  • Use low energy light bulbs. They save energy as well as money on your bills.

Give and take items

By giving away your items rather than putting them in the bin you can reduce waste. It’s also a great way to get fantastic items free of charge!


If you want to recycle that special something rather than throw it away you can sign up to a free website such as Freecycle, Freegle or a local group such as this Facebook swap shop.

These groups match items people want to get rid of with items people want.

Swap and swishing events

Swap events will be held during the year to give you the chance to swap unwanted items including clothes and accessories, paired shoes, books, bric-a-brac, toys and unwanted gifts. If you have something large like a piano or shed bring a photo along. To register to receive information about future swap events keep an eye on the events section of the website.

Reduce junk mail

Mail Preference service

The Mailing Preference Service is a free non profit service which allows subscribers to register their wish not to receive unsolicited addressed mail. It allows you to have your name removed from most mailing lists in the country.

To find out more about the MPS or to use the service call 0845 703 4599, you can also find out more and register online.

Royal Mail Opt Out Service

Royal Mail will stop delivering unaddressed mail to your home if you choose to opt out of the service. You can do this by writing to them, or emailing them. Please see Royal Mail Opt Out Service for more information.

Get a ‘no junk mail’ sticker

Placing a ‘no junk mail’ sign on your door is the only way to stop unwanted mail hand delivered by local traders. Residents can request a free 'no junk mail' sticker by emailing their name and address to