Reusing things lessens our negative impact on the environment. Upcycling clothes, furniture and more. Fixing things that are broken. Considering what we throw away and whether someone else might want to swap or use it. Here are some practical ideas to consider introducing to your life.

Furniture, toys and books

Charity shops are always grateful to receive unwanted books, toys and bric-a-brac. Hospitals too are often grateful for donations of good quality toys. Look for places that sell second-hand books or even furniture rather than buying new every time (and take any old items back so they can be reused again).

There are a number of local charities and organisations that may be interested in your second-hand furniture and appliances if they’re in good condition. Find out more on our Bulky Waste webpage.

Reuse clothes

Lots of us are guilty of holding onto clothes which we no longer wear, for one reason or another. The average UK household has around £4,000 worth of clothes in their wardrobe, but around 30% of clothing in wardrobes has not been worn for at least a year.

Make some time to sort through your clothes and see what you can reuse, share or recycle. Consider:

  • selling good quality items online
  • donating to charity shops
  • rescuing or repurposing old t-shirts as cleaning cloths
  • using pretty fabric as eco-wrapping for gifts
  • recycling worn out items at a textile bank

In addition:

  1. Embrace vintage and swapping. There are many vintage and charity shops in Newark, Southwell and Ollerton. Clothes swap and swishing events are becoming popular around the district and many events are free or raise money for charity. You can follow Southwell Swishing on Facebook.
  2. Buy less. Only buy what you really need and consider spending a bit more on quality items that will last, rather than fast fashion.
  3. Look for eco-friendly materials and natural fibres. Go for cotton over polyester, for example. They feel a lot nicer when you wear them and they don't contain microfibres that go into our water and marine environment when we wash clothes.


The Community RePaint scheme helps locals share and re-use spare tins of paint. You’ll find them at a number of Recycling Centres.

Paint is available for both individual households and community groups.


Composting at home is a great way to reduce the volume of waste going to landfill. It’s great for garden wildlife too. Everything from torn up cardboard to fruit and vegetable peelings, and grass cuttings to the contents of your vacuum cleaner can go in, helping to create a nutrient rich compost for your garden.

Once the food is broken down to compost, dig the nutrient rich material into your soil. This breaking down usually takes a year but can be sped up by:

  • making sure you have the right balance between green and brown matter in the bin
  • ensuring the contents of the bins are not too wet or too dry
  • stirring contents of the composter to keep it aerated
  • locating your home composter in a sunny position

Get tips on home composting from Recycle Now.

You might also want to consider a water butt to reuse rain water in your garden.

Garden recycling

If you can’t compost at home, consider joining our garden recycling service. All garden material is composted and used to improve local soils.