Reduce and reuse waste

It's great to recycle your waste, but if you can avoid producing waste in the first place, that's even better for the environment. Everything we buy and use has an impact on the environment, so if you can reduce your waste by not creating things, or find ways to use them for longer, that's the best thing to do. 

Reduce your waste in Edinburgh

Even simple actions like reusing carrier bags can make a difference and save you money. There are loads of places in Edinburgh which help you avoid waste and help you to re-use things. From toy and tool libraries, to refill shops, this is a great place to start.

Find out more at Shrub Co-op. or have a look at our own Reuse Tool to find ways to reuse, donate and repair locally.

Household items

For large items that you no longer need but are still in good condition, you can have them collected by an organisation listed on the Scottish re-use tool or have a look at our local re-use tool.

Small items in good condition can be donated to charity shops or to some of the organisations listed on Shrub's map and exchange schemes advertise items for free to reuse in your local area. Examples of exchange schemes include Edinburgh Freegle.

The Edinburgh Remakery operate a service to collect and refurbish electronics and have several collection points across the city. They can accept a wide range of items including laptops, tablets and smartphones as well as smaller items like headphones and chargers. They can't accept general household electrical goods, such as toasters and kettles. They're also able to provide other services to help you make more of what you already have, including repair services, sewing machine hire and workshops to inspire you and teach new skills.

Food waste

Junk mail

There are different ways to stop different types of mail, including registering with Royal Mail, and the Mailing Preference service.

Real nappies

Modern reusable nappies are practical and easy to use and an eco-friendly alternative to disposable nappies - our Real Nappies guide gives more information.