Aspire for a greener 2024

It is that time of year when many people will be setting resolutions and goals for the months ahead. This year, we’re encouraging North Yorkshire residents to change their waste habits and reduce, recycle and reuse more than ever.

The Christmas period was a time to celebrate at our household waste recycling centres, with more than 5,000 toys and games donated as part of the Reuse Santa campaign – smashing last year’s total of 3,000. All were redistributed to charities in time for Christmas.

Reducing waste

The turn of the year marks the start of sale season, when bargains are to be had. Residents are asked to think about what they really need, as buying unnecessary products only leads to more waste.

Other tips before shopping are to make a list – especially for big food shops. Figures show 70 per cent of wasted food comes from our homes and is a huge contributor to climate change. It costs the average family £700 a year.

On the topic of food, it is important to keep your fridge at the right temperature to make food and drink last longer and save you money. The North Yorkshire Rotters are a group of volunteers who inspire people to change their food waste habits. Read more about the North Yorkshire Rotters.

A man behind a desk with lots of recyclable items

North Yorkshire Rotters providing advice of reuse and recycling.

Recycle more

North Yorkshire’s refuse and recycling teams collect a large amount of recycling on their rounds, so make sure you have all the containers you need. Residents can easily order new or replacement waste and recycling bins.

We encourage people to check what can be recycled. In the county we get up to 15 per cent of recycling with items that should not be in there. We put this down to ‘wishcycling’ – a well-intentioned action of placing items in the recycling bin, hoping that they will be recycled. The most common items are plastic bags, crisp packets, used nappies, textiles and toys.

If you aren't sure what can go in your recycling container, please do not ‘wishcycle’. Check what you can put in your household rubbish, garden waste and recycling bins, sacks, boxes or bags.

People delivering items to our household waste recycling centres

We have household waste recycling centres across North Yorkshire. 

Reuse more

It’s not just coffee cups and straws that can be swapped for reusables. Paper kitchen towels, washing up sponges and cling film all have reusable alternatives.

Textile waste is responsible for about 20 per cent of global clean water pollution. So, if you splash the cash on new clothes in the sales, make sure to turn your unwanted clothes into cleaning rags.

Finally, with the cost of plastic shopping bags at an all-time high, it is worth investing in reusable tote bags which can be stored in your car or handbag. The smallest things to protect the environment can also go a long way in saving you money.