Recycling in the Home


(Please move if necessary - I had a check of the mega threads but couldnt find anything that similar... Unless Im totally stupid and blind :o )

I was just downstairs in the kitchen making some toast when I ran out of marg, and got another out of the fridge. As I was about to throw the old carton away, I thought - No, Must be good and recycle (ive got a big box with 2 bits of card as a divider so I have 4 sections, with a bag in each, one for glass, one for cans, one for plastics, and one for paper - and doesnt smell if things are rinsed quickly before chucking them in).

Anyway, the plastic's bag was looking a little full, so I thought, hang on - I can recycle it so it doesnt even have to leave the house.

My 250gram plastic marg container is now a thoroughly useful freezer tub, and I intend on using that for left over rice, pasta, sauces, whatever really. I needed some freezer containers and my fridge helpfully provided one. When I use a 500gram tub, Ill use it for individual soup portions. Saves on buying freezer bags anyway! :D

I got thinking about more things that could be recycled at home, and I thought of using an old vegetable oil bottle as a freezer container for soups, stocks, and bread/veg water.

I then thought of students, yogurt pots with lids could be used as handy transporters of washing powder to the laundrette, instead of buying tablets which are way more expensive. (might not work though, I suppose it depends on how secure the lid is... :eek: )

And then I got stuck!! Im going to start saving my posh jam jars anyway so I can make my own - but is there any other useless household bin/recycling bin fodder that we should be keeping for other purposes?

Jo xx


  • se999
    se999 Posts: 2,409 Forumite
    If you get charity re-use stickers you can re-use envelopes or use the free ones that companies send for you to reply. I also collect packing materials & jiffy bags & use the same stickers for when I sell things on amazon/ebay. The labels do say that they're official charity re-use labels, and people actually seem to like the idea. is one example.

    When clothes are at the end of their life, see if the buttons are still ok, if so collect them (use sewing thread to join together sets), then you've got a chance of replacing when a button goes missing, or if you don't have one to match, you can replace with a set you've already got. The fabric either use around the house as dusters/cloths or put into fabric recycyling collections.

    OH's old shirts are always good for using when doing messy DIY,painting etc.

    Plastic carrier bags are always used for bin liners, also collect a batch ready for carbooting. Now we use cloth bags for normal shopping, and only get the plastic ones when we need them.

    Cleaning spray bottles, currently being saved for use when I switch to old style cleaning, but got to use the old chemicals up first, it would be silly to throw them away.

    Have already spotted the tesco's large economy mushroom containers should be just right for seed trays.

    I've always used the large size coffee jars for sprouting beans in. Small jars with screw top lids are ideal for making/keeping salad dressings in.

    Use cotton handkerchiefs instead of paper tissues.

    Egg boxes, find someone who keeps chickens and needs some for selling them in, or find someone who wants them for craft activities.

    There's already been a recent thread on shreaded paper and ways to use it

    Tesco's & some charities for recycling of ink cartridges and mobile phones.

    To be honest the list is infinite :D .

    Also look out for requests on freecycle, people do ask for wine bottles for homebrewing or jamjars for making preserves.

    P.S. I do like the idea of this thread, there's always something you've not thought of.
  • culpepper
    culpepper Posts: 4,076 Forumite
    keep the sample bottles after you've used the shampoo and refill for on holiday.
    wash out empty individual soft drink bottles to take shopping on hot days .
    freeze the juice from tinned fruit to make ice lollies.
    keep spoons from take away icecream to put with kids yoghurts for school.
  • Rebob
    Rebob Posts: 1,010
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker Mortgage-free Glee!
    Save take away tubs and trays to save individual portions of leftovers. They stack well in the fridge or freezer.

    Fill an old shower gel bottle with shampoo so it can hang in the shower.
    The best bargains are priceless!!!!!!!!!! :T :T :T
  • I am currently saving plastic squash bottles, I cut the bottom off them and bodge a hole or two in and Im going to use them for plant pots when the time comes for potting on any seeds etc. I always save ice cream tubs and flora tubs for putting things in the fridge or freezer in, packed lunches, and I use them as worktop bins too, I have one on the side and pop used tea bags, veg peelings, inner tubes from kitchen rolls ripped up etc, when its full it goes outside and I start a new one. When my compost bin finally arrives I think Ive already got enough filled ice cream tubs to fill it.
  • Simba_25
    Simba_25 Posts: 329 Forumite
    I have to admit ive never been one for recycling. But i am moving house soon and want a 'new house, new start'. Recycling is definately going to be one of my new things! Reading what is on here so far it all seams so obvious and i can kick myself for not thinking of it before now!
  • Ticklemouse
    Ticklemouse Posts: 5,030
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Please be aware that if you are usng things like marg tubs for freezing food in, then use them in the microwave, that they will be leaching nasty chemicals into the food, as they are not designed for that purpose. Microwave safe placcy tubs are made of a certain type of plastic that doesn't do this. I think that freezing them also increases this effect, but not too sure on this one. It's for this reason I now use pyrex bowls in my microwave and have consigned my old non-micro safe placcy ones to other jobs.

    (says she who defrosts mince in a microwave when it's been frozen in plastic bags :))
  • BWZN93
    BWZN93 Posts: 2,182
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Thanks for that - note to self - dont put in microwave!! Ill risk the freezer though, ive been eating marg for long enough and it doesnt seem to have done too much harm (she says while dribbling on herself and looking crazy eyed at the pc....)

    Jo xx
  • I always wash out 3 litre milkbottles, cut the tops and bottoms off and pop over seedlings or any herbs that have been attacked by insects. It seems to keep them a bit safer.
    Three years, six months, three weeks, 13 hours, 48 minutes and 30 seconds. 26011 cigarettes not smoked, saving $11,704.80. Life saved: 12 weeks, 6 days, 7 hours, 35 minutes.
  • apple_mint
    apple_mint Posts: 1,102
    Combo Breaker First Post
    I save the corks from wine bottles to put on the ends of garden canes so that I don't poke my eyes out

    ... use the mushroom trays for growing seedlings and plants

    ... save the seeds from peppers to grow my own

    ... save small bottles to refill and take out with me on hot days

    ... save large bottles for bottling my ginger beer

    ... egg boxes to give back to my free range egg lady

    ... vegetable and fruit peelings to go in my composter

    ... cardboard and newspaper (not the coloured ink pages though) for the composter

    and I didn't do all this until I became an old styler. This forum is great for recycling ideas :D
    Enjoying an MSE OS life :D
  • I recycle:

    ...toilet roll tubes to make crackers at Christmas (haven't quite worked out the logistics yet but they are starting to take over the spare room now) and notelets to make gift tags or new cards

    ...envelopes from junk mail - the prepaid ones are brilliant with a sticker over the prepaid address

    ...paper gets cut up into notepads for by the phone (or writing down ideas from this site!)

    ...old toothbrushes become useful cleaning implements (jewellery, grouting etc.) lots of the ones already mentioned above.

    Since trying to live OS I throw away a lot less and also make a concerted effort not to buy things in packets if I can help it. The amount of packaging we use as a society really bugs me!
This discussion has been closed.
Meet your Ambassadors


  • All Categories
  • 341.6K Banking & Borrowing
  • 249.6K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449K Spending & Discounts
  • 233.5K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 605.5K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 172.3K Life & Family
  • 246.6K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.8K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards