Households throw away £435m a year

Households in England are throwing away £435m in repairable goods every year, according to new research.

The Local Government Association (LGA) is calling for a reuse drive amongst householders, claiming that taxpayers could save over £60m a year through reusing the 615,000 tonnes of textiles, WEEE and furniture that are thrown away unnecessarily. The report also suggests that reuse can generate social value by creating jobs, and supporting local causes and charities.

Mike Jones, chair of the LGA’s Environment and Housing Board, said:

“Every year, a mountain of televisions, kettles, furniture and other items are thrown away, even though they are not broken and could be re-used. There are opportunities for far more reuse of a range of goods, and we want consumers to get involved and play a bigger part in this.”Mike Jones, chair of the LGA’s Environment and Housing Board

The reuse sector has recently been criticised for being “too polite” by Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, who called for reuse organisations to make better use of the Localism Act 2011. Reuse of household items, such as furniture, could be the key to tackling resource poverty in the UK.

The Green Party also recently spoke out about increasing reuse. At the Zero Waste Awards recognition luncheon, Green Party deputy leader, Will Duckworth, argued the need for prioritising reuse over recycling.

“I just wanted to share something with you, I don’t like recycling. Now, that’s not to say I think that people should throw things away. It’s that recycling should be the last resort and that throwing things away should never happen.”Will Duckworth, Green Party deputy leader

Furniture Donation Network is a charity operated collection and reuse service for good quality furniture and white goods. Working with collection partners and local authorities across the UK, we collect good quality items from householders for refurbishing and resale to low income families. As well as diverting these items away from landfill, Furniture Donation Network provides quality items for resale to those who cannot afford to buy new. This in turn generates income for the Recycling Lives social welfare charity, tackling homelessness and unemployment in the community.

Furniture Donation Network can only collect items that are in new or nearly-new condition, as broken or worn items are often difficult for our collection partners to generate revenue from. Instead, they can be collected by our sister service, Bulky Waste. The Bulky Waste service collects bulky items- such as furniture and white goods- regardless of condition. All items will either be reused or, if not possible, recycled.