Waste minimisation

There are three key actions to think about when considering the waste that a household creates. Reduce Reuse and Recycle! This page includes tips to help householders to address these three R's and minimise the amount of waste that they need to throw away.

Reduce Waste

You can reduce the amount of waste you create by choosing what you throw away!

  • Pass on any usable unwanted items, or make use of goods that are no longer wanted by others. There are several online forums which can assist with this. Try www.freegle.org.uk, www.rag-and-bone.co.uk, or www.free2collect.co.uk.
  • Use a shopping list, only buy the things you really need (you'll save money too!).
  • Avoid goods that have excessive packaging.
  • Minimise the use of disposable and single use products where possible.
  • Buy products that are strong, and will last you a long time.
  • Take your own shopping bags to the supermarket.
  • Prepare some meals at home instead of buying excessively packaged convenience foods, and consider growing your own vegetables.
  • For a personal touch make gifts or cards for family and friends, instead of buying them.
  • Consider buying second-hand items instead of new ones. Check out the classified sections of local newspapers, charity shops or local jumble or garage sales.
  • Repair clothes, household items and appliances where possible rather than replacing them with new ones.
  • Try to hire, share and borrow things, rather than buying new ones.

Reuse Waste

Many items found around the home can be used for different purposes. Before you throw something away, think about how it could be reused.

  • Reuse old envelopes - cover the name and address with a sticker or paper.
  • Reuse sheets of paper that have only been used on one side for drawing and writing on, or to make telephone pads and shopping lists.
  • Use empty plastic water or soft drink bottles as drink containers.
  • By cleaning out jars, pots and boxes, you could use them as containers to store odds and ends.
  • Old clothes could be made into other textile items, such as cushion covers.
  • Save old egg cartons, toilet rolls, and margarine and ice-cream tubs for children's arts and crafts. Your local school may be interested in reusing such materials
  • Save your plastic shopping bags and reuse them next time you go to the supermarket.
  • Cut the bottoms off milk cartons and soft drink bottles, punch some holes in them, and use them to plant seedlings in your garden.
  • You could even arrange a sale at your house to make some money, and let others reuse your old things that you no longer have a use for. Alternatively, your local charity shop may be interested in your unwanted goods.

Recycle Waste

If you can't reduce or reuse the waste, then try to recycle. There are opportunities to recycle all of the items below through facilities across the Borough:

Glass Plastic Bottles
Cans Car Batteries
Paper Engine Oil
Textiles Green Waste
Foil Books
Shoes Cardboard

To find out what can be recycled and how, contact Woking Borough Council using the details below or see www.woking.gov.uk/waste.

Waste Disposal

Finally, if you cannot reduce, reuse or recycle, make sure that you dispose of the waste carefully and safely. You should use wheeled bins or bags provided by Woking Borough Council for household waste, or use litter bins if you are in public areas.

More bulky household waste items can be taken to one of the local Civic Amenity Sites, operated by Surrey Waste Management. Woking Borough Council operates a household collection for large items, although a charge is made for this service.

Contact Woking Borough Council or Surrey Waste Management if you are unsure of how to dispose of your waste safely.


  • Woking Borough Council is responsible for the collection of household waste in the Borough. The Council provides kerbside recycling services for paper, cardboard, cans, plastic bottles and green garden waste, and provides numerous household recycling sites. For information contact the Council's Waste Services Helpline. Tel 01483 755855, email waste@woking.gov.uk, or visit www.woking.gov.uk/waste.
  • Surrey Waste Management (Vine court, Chalk Pit Lane, Dorking, Surrey) are responsible for the disposal of waste in Surrey. Please contact them for information about waste disposal or local Civic Amenity sites for household waste. Tel 01306 748 300, email surrey.waste@sita.co.uk
  • Woking Community Furniture Project (27 North Road, Woking, Surrey, GU21 5DT) is a local registered charity who collect unwanted furniture and electrical items from the local community to reuse and distribute at a low cost to families and individuals in need, who live in Woking and the surroundings areas. Opening hours: Monday - Saturday 9:00 am to 4.40 pm. Enquiries: telephone 01483 750005, email wokingcfp@gmail.com or visit the Project's website at www.wokingcfp.co.uk
  • Woking Borough Council's 'Recycling Directory' provides a wider range of recycling contacts, to help you to prevent other household items from going to landfill. There are contacts for recycling computers, mobile phones, household furniture, printer cartridges and much more.

  • Freegle. Freegle is open to all who want to "recycle" that special something rather than throw it away. Whether it's a chair, a fax machine, piano or an old door, feel free to post it. Or maybe you're looking to acquire something yourself! Non-profit groups are also welcome to participate. See the website www.freegle.org.uk for details of your most local Freecycle group.
  • Rag And Bone. This is a web site that aims to link together people who have large or bulky household items that are no longer required, with others who can give them a new home. Everything listed is free-of-charge when collected. See the web site www.rag-and-bone.co.uk for details.