Reduce, reuse, recycle

We encourage local residents to recycle as much as possible, but the best thing to do is not to produce waste in the first place.

Before buying something, first consider whether you really need it, or if there is anything you can do to reduce the environmental impact of using it.

These are the three important steps to help you deal with your waste responsibly, which will benefit the environment.


You could save money by reducing your waste. Waste reduction can begin at the supermarket, shop or when buying something online.

  • Purchase products with less packaging.
  • Buy only the food that you need and will eat.
  • Use leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day.
  • Fix broken things rather than buy new.
  • Buy reusable batteries rather than having to keep buying new.
  • Register for the mail preference service to reduce junk mail.


Reusing will also help to reduce waste.

  • Refill plastic drinks bottles
  • Reuse carrier bags or a stronger canvass bag when you go shopping.
  • Use old newspaper as packaging material rather than using bubble wrap. Shredded paper can also be recycled afterwards as long as it's put in a clear sack before being put out for recycling.
  • Visit charity shops, boot sales and use online auctions or reuse networks for a variety of goods such as:
    • furniture
    • electrical goods
    • clothes and textiles
    • books, CDs and music.


If you need to dispose of something, first consider whether it can be recycled. In Royal Greenwich, there is a weekly collection for mixed dry recycling and food and garden waste that is available to most households and a large number of flats.

For a large number of household items not collected, there are also:

This means that there shouldn't be a lot left to go into the general waste bin.

By reducing the amount of waste we create, we'll save natural resources and reduce carbon emissions. It will also keep disposal costs to a minimum, enabling the Council to spend money on other important services.

Despite getting energy and heat from incinerating our waste, it's still better to reduce, reuse or recycle first.

Read what happens to your recycling