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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Compost


It’s always best to reduce the amount of waste we create in the first instance. This not only reduces the amount of waste that’s produced in the first place but saves on valuable resources.

Reducing can be done in many ways and you probably do it without even realising. Small things like taking your own carrier bags to the shops and printing double-sided all help to cut down on waste.

Here are some ideas you could try at home:

  • Ditching the junk mail by signing up to the ‘Mailing Preference Service’
  • Drinking water from the tap rather than buying bottled.
  • Choosing items that have less or no packaging.
  • Avoiding ‘single serve’ foods and packets by buying larger amounts and separating into portions.
  • Opting for more concentrated items such as juices and washing detergent that go further.
  • Using rechargeable batteries rather than disposables.
  • Take your own lunches and hot drinks to work rather than buying ‘on the go’ meals.
  • Cut down on food waste, and find out how you could save an amazing £700 a year by checking out these recipes to use up leftovers, storage advice and time saving tips.


After reducing waste, the second best option to reuse items to prevent buying extra goods that might not be needed. Similar to reducing waste, you probably reuse items all the time without realising. This could be something as small as refilling a plastic water bottle to taking unwanted items to a charity shop.

Have a look below for some great reuse ideas:

  • If you have items or clothes in need of repair, don’t throw them away! There are places all over Devon that could repair or reuse these items. Have a look at the reuse directory for more information.
  • Save take away containers and plastic water bottles for handy lunchboxes.
  • Take unwanted items to charity shops or advertise them on a site such as Gumtree, Preloved, Freegle and Freecycle.
  • If you need an item or some clothing for a one off occasion, consider renting rather than buying.
  • Remember to take your reusable bags with you on a food shop to prevent you from needing to buy more.
  • Make the switch to reusable nappies rather than disposables. Not only could this save you a fantastic £500 year but helps to cut down on nappy waste.
  • Consider attending or even organising a clothes swap event where you can take your unwanted clothes and find yourself a new wardrobe!


After reducing  and reusing, the next most preferred option is to recycle the waste we produce. Recycling is a process that turns unwanted items into new materials and helps to save on resources by reducing the need for further material extraction.

THANK YOU to the residents of Devon, who work hard to recycle and have helped to achieve a recycling rate of 55% last year. This is a fantastic achievement; however there is still more work to do to get Devon back to the top!

Find out where you can recycle your items below:


The majority of your everyday recycling can be done at the kerbside as part of your household collections, click here to find out what you can recycle on your kerbside. If you need a replacement recycling container click here.

Recycling Banks

There are hundreds of banks across Devon where you can recycle items such as glass, textiles and paper. Click here to find your nearest recycling bank.

Recycling Centres

There are a total of 19 recycling centres across Devon where you can recycle a variety of both bulky and smaller household items. Click here for more information and to find your nearest one. You can find out more information on what happens to your recycling after it’s collected here.