Climate Emergency - Reduce, reuse and recycle

Reduce, reuse and recycle

In line with the Climate Emergency, and the Council’s commitment to provide a cleaner and greener Kingston, it is important that we work collectively across the borough to reconsider how we manage our waste. 

There is an environmental and financial cost to developing and managing waste. From production, to transportation, use and disposal; every single process utilises a significant amount of natural resources, generating emissions which pollutes the air and natural environment around us. For every extra item that goes through this waste process, more money is also spent by residents and the Council.

As a borough, we should be proud that our recycling rates have been increasing. However, currently not everything can be recycled, and too often many items get thrown away, that can simply be reused or avoid having to enter the waste stream in the first place. For waste management, there are a number of benefits for everyone in Kingston to adopt the three R’s - reduce, reuse and recycle.

Reducing waste

The perfect solution to meet our climate goals, is simply to reduce the amount of waste we produce in the first place. Reducing waste both lowers the demand for new goods to be made, as well as lowers the amount of items going through the waste process. Both of these helps to conserve natural resources; avoids emissions providing cleaner air and natural environments for us to enjoy; and reduces the financial cost to you and your local community. 


  • Buy less by buying goods that last longer or repairing old items. If you need to buy something, try buying something second-hand.
  • Cut down on packaging waste by choosing products that have less packaging when shopping, such as loose fruits and vegetables, or buy a veg box. 
  • Buy less online to reduce the amount of packaging you end up with.
  • Bring lunches from home in reusable containers to reduce single-use packaging.
  • Buy reusable goods to cut down on single-use items like nappies, carrier bags, coffee cups or plastic bottles.
  • Reduce unwanted junk mail by registering with the Mailing Preference Service to have your name removed from direct mailing lists.
  • Plan your meals in advance to prevent any food going to waste

Reusing waste

Often the items we throw away, can be utilised for other purposes or by other people. Reusing more contributes to the overall reduction of waste, as the demand for new products reduces and less ends up being processed through the waste streams. This not only helps to protect our environment, but reduces the overall cost to you as consumers and residents. Donating unwanted items to local charities and second-hand stores also supports local jobs and your local economy. 


  • Reuse plastic takeaway containers to store food, or plastic bottles to carry a drink, or glass jars for storing household items, to reduce the amount of single-use packaging going to waste.
  • Search online for different ways you can reuse packaging items.
  • Search this database to find local charities for donating your unwanted items for reuse.
  • Use online platforms such as the Kingston Freegle or Freecycle groups; the Reuse network; Facebook marketplace; gumtree or ebay to buy and sell second hand items. 

Recycling waste

If you cannot reuse the item you are looking to dispose of, then you should look to recycle it. Utilise the recycling service you have at home, or bring the item to local recycling points. Recycling waste reduces the amount of resources required to produce new products, saving emissions, the need for landfill and reduces any potential pollution to your local environment. 


  • The recycle now website has extra information on where you can recycle particular items in your local area. 
  • As well as recycling waste, consider buying goods which are made with recycled materials to minimise the environmental cost of the goods you are buying.


Composting is an environmentally friendly way of recycling your kitchen scraps and garden waste and is an inexpensive way to provide nutrient rich compost for your garden. The majority of your kitchen scraps can be composted whilst the rest can go into your food waste bin for collection. There are compost bins you can purchase, but it is also just as easy to create your own compost heap.

Compost bins from £19

We have teamed up with to provide residents with reduced rate compost bins, accessories and water butts that can be delivered to your door.