We can all make a difference!

Individuals can reduce their household rubbish and reuse and recycle more and community groups can take action and help to promote this message to the wider community. Help Wiltshire Council reach the target of recycling 50% of our rubbish in 2020 and improve the quality of recycling collected.

Starting at home we can: 

Reduce our rubbish by using and buying less ‘stuff’. You could make a shopping list so that you only buy what you need and save money at the same time! See Love Food Hate Waste and Carry On Composting for ways to reduce food ending up in your bin and Love Your Clothes to find out how to keep your clothes wearable for as long as possible. 

Reuse – if you do have to buy something, try to get as much life out of it as possible before recycling it; for example, take unwanted clothes or kitchenware to a charity shop. Try buying what you do need from a charity shop or check out refurbished white goods and bikes available from the Repair Academy.

Recycle your rubbish using your black box, blue-lidded wheelie bin and local Household Recycling Centre. Wiltshire Council and Recycle Now have lots of useful information about what and where you can recycle.

Reducing plastic waste in our environment….

There’s been lots of attention focused on plastic recently, especially single-use plastic such as straws, soft-drink bottles and take-away cutlery. Less Plastic and Surfers Against Sewage have guidelines on how you can use less plastic at home and in your local community. You can also check out the Refill app to avoid buying drinks in plastic bottles. The Refill scheme is looking to expand to include coffee cups, takeaway food containers and beyond – see here for more information.

Spread the word

You can spread the message about reducing waste and recycling more locally by speaking to friends and family, putting up posters and displays in public venues, running information stands at events and in shopping areas, or giving talks to local community groups - Wiltshire Council’s website is helpful and the national campaign website Recycle Now contains lots of recycling facts.

A great step to show you’re serious about taking action is to do a ‘waste audit’ of your house or community facilities – a chance to see what is being thrown away - and then set up systems to reduce the rubbish and recycle as much as possible.

Have fun with it

Other fun, waste-reducing activities you could organise include:

  • Upcycling workshop: A session to create useful things out of items around the house that are rubbish or no longer useful in their current form. Examples include making draught-busting snakes out of old tights and clothes, upcycling furniture, or running seasonal sessions to reduce waste at Christmas or Halloween. Wiltshire Scrapstore in Lacock has great supplies for reuse if you need resources.

  • ‘Swish’ (clothes swap) or swap shop: People bring along items they no longer want and swap them for something they do want, saving them money and reducing waste.

  • Repair Café: A social café with a difference! A group of skilled volunteers help people mend their household items that would otherwise be heading for the bin. Having refreshments available is part of the attraction!

  • Share shop or tool library: A community library of things for you to borrow, use and return, rather than buy. These can be catalogued and requested online, or kept in an actual place, such as a shop you can visit to hire the items if you have somewhere suitable.

  • Community fridge: Set up a fridge in a safe, accessible place in town, find local shops and businesses happy to give surplus food they can’t use or that’s past its sell-by or best-before date and put the food in the fridge so that it’s available to anyone who can take it and make use of it.

  • Or you could fundraise or run an event to encourage ‘greener’ upcycled gardens.  

Consider what could work where you live and what interests, skills and resources are available in your community. Think about how you can get other local groups, businesses and schools in your area involved.

Do get in touch with Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Sustainability Officer Jessica Thimbleby at [email protected] or on 01380 736077 if you have any questions or would like support to set up any of the above. You can also follow Slim Bins Wilts on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

Waste Free February  

#WasteFreeFeb 2020 was a huge success with over 300 people taking part and over four tonnes of rubbish kept out of the bin! Thank you to everyone who took part - find out more here.