COVID and Christmas clear-outs are leading to a lot of unnecessary waste

As we enter another Lockdown, where many public, hospitality and entertainment outlets will be temporarily closed, coupled with a lot of us now having to work remotely, it seems like home is where we will be spending a lot more of our time. With all this time at home and with Christmas nearing, many of us may decide to have a clearout – disposing of any old clothes, games, furniture items etc. In theory, this seems the ideal situation, however, how to handle this waste during these current times can become very problematic.

Although it is very tempting to become organised and get rid of your unwanted items whilst you stay home, it is important that you put great thought into the after-effects of this waste. Planning is key when it comes to waste management, placing these unwanted items into the general waste bin, only worsen the problem as they lay in a landfill for hundreds of years.

Planning your clearout will help you to repurpose your unwanted goods via the means of appropriate recycling. For example, clothes can be taken to an accessible clothes bank or charity shop who are accepting donations. This may become problematic if the shops are currently closed, so instead save them until they reopen, or sell them, repair the items or upcycle them. We have lots of tips on how to cut down on your textile waste.

For bulkier items such as furniture, these can also be taken to specialist recycling centres – minimal research will help you find second-hand shops or appropriate recycling centres where your items can be re-used rather than just disposed of. And of course, you could always try and sell or donate these items – one mans trash is another man’s treasure and with many families struggling at the moment, especially as the festive season nears, you may find your unwanted items are the ideal gift to someone struggling.

In terms of food waste, this is always a hot topic for us. With us being at home more often, this gives us the ideal opportunity to start planning our meals and food consumption better, trying out new recipes to use up expiring goods and simply eating at home more. Food waste usually begins with over purchasing, which is where preparation and lists are always a good tactic before heading to the supermarket. If you do have unwanted food items, tins or bread and milk, there are many outlets currently accepting donations to provide to families that are struggling – again some effortless research will allow you to find a cause similar near you.

We want to encourage you to be mindful of your waste during the lockdown, avoid the mistakes that happened during the first lockdown and taking better control of your waste and unwanted goods.

For more advice on how to better your recycling tactics, check out our Literature Bank.