B3.13 Waste Minimisation at Home


Every year UK households throw away the equivalent of 3 ½ million double-decker buses (almost 30 million tonnes), a queue of which would stretch from London to Sydney (Australia) and back.


There are opportunities to reduce waste everywhere. Some tips for reducing waste at home are provided below:

Junk Mail

Unwanted mail accounts for a large proportion of household paper waste. To reduce the amount of unwanted mail you receive addressed to you, you can register with the Mailing Preference Service.



Food Waste

It is estimated that a third of the food we buy is thrown away. This website provides information on to how ensure you store food properly to prevent it going off and ideas for recipes to use up what you have.

Visit the website: http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/

of the Waste and Resources Action Programme.

Food waste and other organic matter may be composted. You can put raw food, such as salad items, raw vegetables, egg shells and tea bags into a composter. This will save you money as you will not need to buy compost.

NB: Do not put raw meat, cooked meat or citrus fruits into your composter.

More information on composting is available from the Community Compost Group:




In 2001 UK households produced the equivalent weight of 245 jumbo jets per week in packaging waste.


Try to purchase items that do not have excessive packaging on them. This will encourage suppliers to reduce the amount of packaging the use, which will reduce the amount of waste in your home.


Four million children in the UK live in households that cannot afford to replace worn out or broken furniture and three million children live in households that cannot afford to replace broken electrical items.

Source DWP March 2007


The Furniture Action Network distributes unwanted furniture to people who need it. Details are available on their website:



Community Groups are provided with unused paint. This was previously by the Charity Repaint, however, it is now administered by Local Authorities. Please contact your Local Council for more information.