Reducing waste

‘Buy less, Waste less’

Living a more sustainable life requires us to live by the motto ‘use less and waste less’; this can be applied to food and non-food items, there are many ways we can embed this motto into our everyday lives and in many cases it allows us to save money, make better use of what we have and help others by passing things on when we no longer need them.

To help to embed this motto into our everyday lives, it helps to follow the ‘waste’ hierarchy. Loosely explained, it is the list of ways in which waste can be managed. The methods are ranked in order of priority according to most environmentally friendly to least.

Waste Heirarchy

The following is a list of projects, businesses and tools available locally that will help you to achieve a low waste life .

Reducing Waste

OLIO connects neighbours with each other and with local businesses so surplus food can be shared, not thrown away

Too Good to GO Take home left-over food waste from local businesses

The Thrifty Tiffin is a project to reduce the amount of unnecessary waste produced through our take-away services

Refill is a campaign for reduce plastic bottle use, you can download the refill app to refill your re-useable plastic bottle at registered businesses around Colchester. Follow Refill Colchester on Facebook

En-forms complete list of refill shops across Colchester and the surrounds

Take part in the Colchester Borough Council Plastic Pledge to cut down on your single-use plastics

Love Essex is an Essex County Council service offering information, services and even discounts on how to get rid of your rubbish, reduce your waste and recycle more in Essex  

Why not take part in the Love Essex plastic pledge and receive great tips, tools, discounts and the chance to win prizes

Colchester Borough Council Get paperless Register to receive your Council Tax, Business Rates and Benefit accounts by email

If you’re an Anglian Water customer you can receive paperless bills by registering for MyAccount

Enform – No Junk Mail Guide Follow this comprehensive guide for getting less junk and unnecessary paper mail

Sudbury and Colchester Party Kit Hire Aims to reduce the amount of disposable partyware that is sent to landfill by loaning your party ware including plates, cups and cutlery

Halstead Eco Party Kit Hire offers party box hire covering Halstead and the surrounding areas


Restarters is an online repair community to learn how to repair, help others to repair their items and help build the repair culture. Registration is required

The Clothing Clinic is a recycle, repair and remake project for clothes. Advice is free, they can assist you to make the most of your clothes and material. Small charge applies to restyling and repairing of clothes


ReUse Essex  A website directory listing charity and Community groups that accept a range of items throughout Essex with a postcode and item search facility

OLIO connects neighbours with each other and with local businesses so surplus non-food can be shared, not thrown away

The Give Away Group is a Colchester based Facebook group that supports local people to give away items they no longer need to prevent landfill, help others and build community

JUST FREE stuff Colchester area is a Facebook group for sharing unwanted items

Colchester Freegle A free Internet-based service where people can give away and ask for things that would otherwise be thrown away

Freecycle free Internet-based service where people can give away and ask for things that would otherwise be thrown away

Eco Essex Rehome, Reuse, Repurpose is an Essex wide Facebook group for sharing unwanted and random items difficult to rehome

Trash Nothing Give things away or browse for things locally to avoid landfill


Colchester Borough Council waste and recycling information for residents and businesses

A full list of recycling banks where you can recycle bottles, cans, cartons (including Tetra Pak cartons), plastics & textiles is available from the Colchester Borough Council website

En-form has compiled a comprehensive Waste and Recycling (including Terracycling) information across Colchester and surrounding areas with lists of what can be recycled and where

Terracycle is an innovative recycling company that has become a global leader in recycling typically hard-to-recycle waste. As well as removing this waste stream from the general waste, the waste collected can earn rewards for your school or favourite non-profit

Organise ink cartridge recycling through The Ink Bin or find a local collection bin and drop off your used printer cartridges to prevent these ending up in landfill

St Helena Hospice Tree-cycle scheme offers collection of real Christmas trees from across North East Essex for recycling in return for a donation to the charity

Dealing with Litter

Keep Britain Tidy are an independent charity who run frequent campaigns for keeping our streets and parks clear of litter, you can get involved, follow their campaigns or volunteer, they also organise lots of local litter picks

Essex Beach & River Clean-ups are a voluntary organisation that organise and share local litter picking events. Follow them on Facebook and get in touch if you want to organise or join in with a local litter pick

Litter Warriors has been set up by Colchester Borough Councilto encourage individuals and groups to set up or join an existing litter picking group and receive the litter picking equipment too

​GoodGym helps you get fit by doing good. A group of runners that combines regular exercise with helping the community. This group will help with litter picking, tree planting, community gardens etc

Share your litter picking contributions on the Facebook community group Colchester Litter Pickers   

Other location specific litter picking groups to join:

Tollgate & Lakelands Litterpickers Stanway Colchester Essex

Clear Litter Away From Stanway Today

Wombles of Wivenhoe

Langham Litter Pickers


West Bergholt