Reduce your waste

Tips on how to reduce your waste levels through prevention, reuse or recycling.

The cost of waste

Waste is expensive, both for our pockets and the planet. Once something goes in the rubbish bin there is a cost attached to collecting and disposing of it.

West Sussex residents are already doing a good job, but  there is more to be done. On this page are some simple steps you can take straight away to help us on our way to saving £2.5 million.

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For more information on reducing waste by recycling more please visit the Recycling locator.

Change your shopping habits

  • Shop smart - Plan meals, make a shopping list and buy seasonal produce.
  • Think about how you can reduce your waste before you shop. Buy things with a little less packaging, or no packaging at all. Visit online sites or charity shops and buy second hand items.
  • Think about buying items that last a little longer, such as rechargeable batteries instead of disposable ones. Or real crockery, cups and cutlery instead of disposable items.
  • Invest in key pieces of clothing rather than buying 'fast' fashion items that are worn only a couple of times before being discarded.

Change your cooking and eating habits

Around 40 per cent of the rubbish in an average West Sussex bin is made up of food waste. Most of this is actually avoidable and 70 per cent could have been eaten at some point.

Saving food from the bin is not only good for the environment but can also save you money; waste food is the equivalent of £20 per month per person, or £70 per month for a family of four.

Try some of these tips to reduce the amount of food waste you produce.

  • Check your fridge and freezer temperatures – Keeping your refrigeration at the correct temperatures will prevent food waste. Fridges should be at 5 degrees Celsius or below and freezers at -18 degrees Celsius or below. From time to time, check any built-in digital thermometers against a free-standing one to ensure accuracy. 
  • Batch cook - Make more than you need for one meal and freeze the rest for another day. Not only does this save wasting food, but saves you time and money too.
  • Before throwing food out, consider whether it can be frozen to be used another day. For example, lemons can be sliced and frozen to go in drinks, or partially used tins of ingredients can be placed in a container and frozen, if suitable.
  • Use leftovers - Think about how any leftovers can be used to form the basis of another meal, such as soups, sauces or sandwiches.
  • Visit the Love Food Hate Waste website for more ideas, recipes and information.

Compost it

In West Sussex there are lots of easy options for recycling green waste generated in our gardens and outside spaces.

  • Home compost bins
  • Kerbside collection bins (available through your district or borough council)
  • Green waste skips at recycling centres (RC).

Sometimes our gardens generate green waste that can’t be composted at home. Woody prunings, excess grass cuttings or just the sheer volume of garden waste are when green waste kerbside collection services come in handy.

Home composting

If you have a garden, get a compost bin. By keeping a container in the kitchen to collect your fruit and veg peelings for compost you could reduce your waste by up to 10%. 

Much of your kitchen waste can be recycled in this way, reducing your waste and saving you money by making compost that can be used on your garden. It’s free, and an easy way to help the environment and give your garden a natural boost.

We have teamed up with Get Composting to help you buy a composter at a reduced price - a 220l compost bin for £18.00 or a 330l compost bin for £21.00. 

You can compost:

  • uncooked vegetable peelings and fruit
  • rabbit and guinea pig bedding
  • torn, shredded or scrunched up paper and cardboard
  • coffee grounds and tea bags
  • grass cuttings and young or annual weeds
  • houseplants and flowers
  • finely chopped or shredded shrub prunings
  • wood ash
  • eggshells.

You can't compost:

  • cooked food
  • fish, meat scraps or bones
  • pernicious weeds, such as bindweed, thistle, dock roots, or weeds in seed
  • magazines
  • cat or dog litter
  • large, unchopped woody branches
  • soot
  • coal ash
  • plastics.