What you can recycle at your local civic amenity site

Filed in Blog by on June 23, 2009 10 Comments
FavoriteLoadingAdd article to favourites
Mr Green Recycles cardboard

Mr Green Recycles cardboard

Yesterday at 5pm, we trundled off to our local recycling centre with the car stacked to the roof with garage goodies. Poor Little Miss Green was sandwiched in between boxes, bags and buckets of baggage.

By the end of the evening; the garage was unrecognisable from the one we had opened the door on at 9am that morning. Mr Green worked like a superstar, hardly pausing for rest throughout the day, even after his close dice with death.

We had a couple of pleasant surprises at the Recycling centre. One of the staff took us under his wing and instructed us on where to put things. We were able to save a few things from recycling and from the landfill, for reuse!

Here’s a run down of what we Freecycled and what we recycled, along with a list of our landfill items:


  • Printer
  • Dvd player
  • Stereo receiver / amp
  • speakers
  • wooden play cooker
  • wet and dry vacuum
  • Tape deck
  • Turntable
  • Bass subwoofer for car
  • Exercise bike
  • Huge wind chime
  • child’s booster seat
  • 3 wooden chairs
  • 20 feet carpet for allotments / compost insulation
  • bags of sheeps wool


  • 1 mouldy rug – it was actually falling apart and had been nibbled by mice
  • 1 damaged polystyrene box – I was going to use it as drainage material in pots for next year, but that would have meant storing it for another 9 months
  • 1 broken lampshade
  • Bubblewrap – far too much to post to GHS for recycling and not able to be recycled locally
  • 1 bag garage floor sweepings – no good for compost due to materials in there
  • 1 broken plastic crate
  • 3 tins paint


  • huge bag textiles such as throws
  • large amount of cardboard
  • old car battery
  • coffee maker (WEEE)
  • CRT monitor
  • Non working keyboard (WEEE)


At our recycling centre, they have a ‘reuse’ section where salvageable ‘bric a brac’ can be donated. We had a couple of items which were able to be put to good use – a metal music stand and an old metal drill stand. We thought they would be recycled with the metal, but were even more pleased to see them potentially reused.

In addition, items on our Freecycle group shift pretty quickly and no one had bagged the sheeps wool. I thought that would need to be landfilled too, but over to the reuse section it went, on the advice of the member of staff there!

Lastly, someone spied our tins of paint and told us he was doing a mural at a local children’s nursery. He was delighted to take the brightly coloured paint and give it a new home; and so were we! That left us with just 3 tins of creams / white to get rid of.

I want to talk more about the paint in a later post, because we learned something very interesting about it. But for now there is breakfast to make and more work to be done.

I hope you’ve made your own pledge and are joining in the festivities with WRAP’s Recycle Week – it’s not too late to join in!

Tags: , , , , , ,

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (10)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Kira says:

    It’s always worth offering the bubble wrap on Freecycle too. I often see packaging materials being offered or wanted on our local site and I’ve got rid of a couple of bags full of mixed jiffy bags and bubble wrap on there over the past few years myself. So many people are selling their old possessions on Ebay and need cheap packing materials at the moment. Just a thought 🙂

  2. Mrs Green says:

    Hi Kira,

    You are so right. I even did this at the beginning of the year with some bubble wrap I’d been collecting and had 4 people after it! You can tell I was tired at the end of the day as it didn’t even cross my mind.

    I guess in my defence, this was pretty dusty stuff; it had been on the floor of the garage and tbh, I probably wouldn’t have used it for eBay things.

    I COULD have cleaned it up though – thanks for your thoughts; I definitely could have put some effort in and Freecycled it if I’d thought more about it.

    Ho hum – I’ll try and remember if we find any more 🙂

  3. Kira says:

    You’re still doing a sterling job so I wouldn’t feel too bad about it. I just wanted to put that idea into anyone else’s mind who might be following and clearing out their own ‘don’t mention the garage’ type space. I still haven’t tackled mine so you’re doing much better than me!

  4. Considering the before picture, I would say that if that is all you landfilled even for now is great.

    Isn’t great also when you can take stuff to the HWRC and know it is being dealt with properly.

    When we did our shed we were the same as you and my only gripe at the time was some paint.

  5. Mrs Green says:

    @Kira: Do you have plans to tackle your area, Kira – or is it a ‘one day’ job for you too!?

    @maisie dalziel: It was pretty good, Maisie, when you consider what was in there. Freecycle has been an absolute Godsend. Paint was an issue for us too, as you might have read about by now…

  6. Kira says:

    We tackled some of our garage around Easter and I’d like to get in there and finish it off but that will have to wait until the end of July. I’m planning a de-clutter week once a lot of commitments are out of the way and the garage will be part of that but the filing cabinet and my hoarding of letters and information from years ago is the big task. I’m also planning a series of little treats (like ice-cream as I never buy ice-cream) to encourage me along the way. At least with the filing cabinet 99% of the rubbish will be recyclable.

  7. Eco Champion says:

    Thanks for the ideas.

    My wife has corned me and told me that i need to clear out the garage.

    These are useful tips.

  8. Mrs Green says:

    @Kira: Well done Kira, at least you have made a start. I did a filing cabinet purge some years ago. Invest in a good shredder if you can and this can be added to your compost heap throughout the year if you have one. I think treats to motivate you is a great idea 🙂 Good luck!

    @Eco Champion: Hi Eco Champion, glad it was useful for you and good luck with clearing the garage! when do you think you will get around to it?

  9. Charity says:

    That’s an impressive amount of decluttering! Sadly my council centre is not as helpful. They’ve been advertising in the council magazine that they now accept foil and all plastics with the triangle on, so we dutifully saved up a few weeks worth. Got there and “Oh no, there’s no demand for that.” We were instructed to put the foil in with the metal, and the plastics in with “hard rigid plastic e.g. garden toys”. I sent a complaint, but got no response.

  10. Mrs Green says:

    @Charity: Hi Charity; – we are very lucky with our local council! What a shame your council are not as helpful – do keep writing / ringing and putting the pressure on. Do you have like-minded friends that might support you in this?
    It’s a pity when you went to so much trouble to separate and hang on to your recycling 🙁

Leave a Reply