What is Reduce?
Reduce is the first stage of the waste hierarchy and is defined as avoiding unnecessary material or energy intensity in production, including transportation and consumption of goods. Reduce is also the general reduction of material and energy consumption to avoid unnecessary waste production. Waste that is not created in the first place does not need to be reused or recycled, so preventing or reducing waste generation is the most effective and environmentally friendly way to tackle our growing waste problem. The table below gives examples of reduce that you can easily take part in.

How can I Reduce my waste?
To find answers to your other Reduce questions, click on the links in the table below.

How To Reduce
Home composting
Composter, food digester or wormery
Compost these items at home:
Food waste, peelings, tea bags/leaves or coffee grounds, egg shells, house and outdoor plant clippings, leaves, grass
Avoid over-packaging
Fruit, vegetables and bread
Buy loose to avoid packaging waste
Juice, cordial and cleaning products
Buy concentrates to avoid packaging waste
Reject junk mail
Mailing Preference Service
This service is run by the Post Office and is a way of having your junk mail stopped
Solar power
Solar powered garden lights
Use solar power to avoid having to dispose of batteries
Mechanical power
Wind-up radios and torches, clockwork watches and toys
Another way to avoid using batteries
Use services
Vouchers and experiences
Buy experiences instead of breakable
presents to avoid Christmas and birthday waste
Shopping bags
Use your own or refuse unnecessary bags at the shops
Reduces the number of plastic bags to be disposed of
Electrical equipment, furniture, clothes and toys
Make things last longer rather than throwing them away

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What is composting?
Composting is a method by which organic/green waste is turned into soil conditioner, which can then be used as fertiliser. During the composting process, green waste is broken down by good bacteria and insects using oxygen. Organic waste breaks down over a few weeks into mulch that can then be used as fertiliser.

You can compost at home as a more sustainable way of dealing with organic waste from your home and garden. In some areas, organic waste is also collected directly from households in separate kerbside collections and taken to central composting facilities. The compost produced is then sold to industry or householders in the local area, or used as soil conditioner.

For more information, see the Composting at Home section of this website and troubleshoot using Doctor Compost.

What can I compost at home?
You should include a balance of green and brown materials to achieve the best results when composting at home. The following materials can be included:

Animal bedding
Small branches and twigs
Cardboard (shredded/torn up)
Hedge trimmings
Paper towels
Sawdust and wood shavings
Cut flowers
Egg shells
Fruit and vegetable waste
Garden and house plants
Tea bags and coffee grounds

You should NOT put cooked food waste or animal-based products, such as dairy and meat, into your compost bin. This ensures that you do not attract any vermin to your compost.

My compost is not working - what can I do?
Depending on your specific problem, there are many possible explanations for unsuccessful home composting. Visit Doctor Compost to find a solution to your composting problem.

I have unwanted pests in my compost - what can I do?
Depending on your specific problem, there are many possible explanations for unwanted pests in your compost bin or heap. Visit Doctor Compost to find a solution to your pest problem.

Where can I find out more about composting?
What is being done in my area to meet national targets?
For more information, see the Composting at Home section of this website and troubleshoot using Doctor Compost.

You can also take your green waste to your local recycling centres to be composted centrally.

You can also visit the WRAP website.

Where can I buy a home compost bin?
Some Local Authorities provide discounted home composting units to residents. If this service is not available in your area, you can purchase home composters and other equipment from Blackwall or Wiggly Wigglers.

Can I use worms from my garden for my wormery?
Where can I buy worms for my wormery?

You should not use garden worms for your wormery, not least because of the high volume of worms needed, but you can buy worms for this purpose from suppliers. You can buy worms from fishing tackle shops or online from the following websites:

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What can I do about over-packaged goods?
You can try to avoid excess packaging by buying loose fruit and vegetables from the supermarket or choosing concentrated products like cordial. The Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations 1998 require that producers are responsible for ensuring that packaging is minimised, that it is able to be recovered and recycled and that it contains restricted amounts of certain hazardous substances. These regulations are enforced by your Local Authority Trading Standards or Consumer Protection Department. If you feel that a product uses an excessive amount of packaging, you can contact your Local Authority to report this.

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I receive a lot of junk mail, how can I stop this?
You can reduce the amount of unwanted direct mail that you are sent by registering with the Mailing Preference Service. For more information or to register, please call 0845 703 4599 or visit

You can also write to:
Mailing Preference Service
Freepost 29 LON 20771

If you want to reduce the amount of unwanted faxes you receive you can call the telephone number above, contact:
Facsimile Preference Service
DMA House
70 Margaret Street
or visit:

You can also write to Royal Mail to stop un-addressed items being delivered to you:
Royal Mail Door to Door
Room 130
Wheatstone House
Raraday Road

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Where can I buy mechanical and solar powered goods?
You can buy a range of mechanical and solar powered goods at


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If you have any queries, please email us, or call 01786 468 248