Cans, cardboard, carpets, cartons, CDs, chemicals, clothing, computer equipment and more.
Cans and Tins
You can recycle these as part of your kerbside recycling scheme.
Remember to wash and squash them.
Car and Car Spares
Car batteries and engine oil are accepted at all Household Recycling Centres for safe disposal.
Local scrap yards reclaim and sell car parts. W & S Recycling will collect and dispose of your car if requested. This service is free. Small quantities (1/2 gallon or 11 litres) of petrol and diesel can be taken to a Household Recycling Centre for safe storage.
Engine oil should not be poured down the drain. It will be accepted at Household Recycling Centres for safe disposal.
Cardboard boxes are useful for storage and the large boxes can be flattened and stored for later reuse.
You can also compost small amounts of cardboard. Remember to tear it/screw it up first. Egg boxes are good for composting because they create air pockets and provide structure. Avoid composting frozen food packaging and cartons to hold liquids.
Cardboard can be recycled at Household Recycling Centres and certain recycling sites around Dorset. Some councils accept it as part of their kerbside recycling schemes. Remember to flatten boxes to save space.
Most areas of Dorset now have banks where you can recycle your food and drink cartons. Check the list of mini recycling centres in your district for more details.
Alternatively liquid carton containers can be sent to the Liquid Carton Manufacturers Association (opens in a new window) for recycling. Use the link for further information, and for a set of address labels, which must be used.
Old cards can be cut up and made into gift tags.
Some shops operate recycling schemes at Christmas time. Look out for special collection boxes. In previous years Tesco and WH Smith have had collection boxes in support of the Woodland Trust.
Carpets and rugs
Many carpets are disposed of just because they are dirty!
Hiring an industrial-sized steam cleaner will transform your carpets or you can find a company that that does it if you don't want to do it yourself.
Use in the garden as a mulch mat if is Hessian-backed or use a small piece to cover an open compost bin. If you are making a pond, old carpet can sometimes be used beneath the liner.
Donate to furniture reuse centres.
Avoid accepting new bags and reuse old bags as much as possible.
You could use a real cotton bag or buy "Bags for Life" from most supermarkets.
Carrier bags can be used again as bin liners at home. Some charity shops may accept old carrier bags for reuse.
There are plastic bag recycling points at selected supermarkets, where you can recycle all brands of carrier bags.
Most areas of Dorset now have banks where you can recycle food and drink cartons.
Check the list of mini recycling sites in your district for more details.
Alternatively liquid carton containers can be sent to the Liquid Carton Manufacturers Association (opens in a new window) for recycling.
CDs can be hired from libraries which will save you money.
Pre-recorded CDs can be donated to charity shops or to hospital radio. Unwanted CDs can be turned into bird scarers by suspending them on a string.
Try to avoid buying hazardous chemicals as they can be dangerous to children, wildlife and pets.
Hazardous substances can only be taken to certain Household Recycling Centres where they will be put into safe storage. Call Dorset County Council for further details.
China, Ceramics, Crockery
Broken crockery can be used to add drainage in the bottom of flower pots.
Most charity shops take china etc. You could also consider car boot sales. You'll be surprised by what people will buy!
China and crockery cannot be recycled in your kerbside box. Take it to a Household Recycling Centre.
Try to use only the correct amount you need.
Try to throw away only empty containers.
If you have large quantities of an unknown cleaning product then take it to a Household Recycling Centre and they will be placed in the hazardous chemical store.
You could consider saving some money by using natural products instead e.g. vinegar and scrunched up paper for cleaning windows. If you buy Ecover cleaning products then these can be refilled at some health food shops.
Empty plastic bottles that cannot be refilled should be recycled. They can be placed in some kerbside boxes and in all plastic recycling banks. Remember to remove bottle tops and to wash and squash the bottles.
Try to store food in reusable containers instead of using cling film as this cannot be recycled.
Needles and syringes must not be placed in your normal household rubbish.
Most producers of clinical waste have a support service which includes collection of their waste. Please use the following advice for the disposal of household clinical waste:
Sharps (e.g. needles) - GP'S and local Police Stations have sharps boxes.
Nappies or incontinence pads - can be disposed through the normal refuse collection service
Out-of-date medicines - local chemists will accept out-of-date medicines for proper disposal
For advice on other household generated clinical waste, call the Medical Transport Services on: (01202) 851322.
Residential or Nursing homes should contact the environmental agency on: (01258) 456080.
Clothing made from 100% natural materials (e.g. cotton or wool) can be put into your home compost bin.
Wool is a good source of nitrogen for your compost. Remember to cut the materials into smaller pieces.
All textiles can be donated to charity shops or furniture reuse centre or placed in textile banks at recycling centres. Textiles must be clean and in good condition if donated.
These will be accepted by some charity shops.
If they are made from metal they can be placed in the metal skip at a Household Recycling Centre.
Old coins and foreign coins can be taken to most charity shops.
You could also try to find local coin collectors in your area using your telephone directory or the internet.
Collectors may be interested in old, first edition and classic comics.
These can be taken to second hand book shops. They can also be donated to doctors' and dentists' surgeries.
Comics can be recycled through some kerbside recycling schemes and in all paper recycling banks.
Composting is a natural process which breaks down organic waste to make a soil conditioner that is packed with nutrients.
Things you can compost :
Uncooked vegetable peelings and fruit, rabbit/guinea pig bedding, torn paper/cardboard, coffee grinds, tea bags, grass cuttings, young and annual weeds, houseplants and flowers, finely chopped/shredded shrub prunings, wood ash.
Things you can't compost:
Cooked food, fish/meat scraps, pernicious weeds, magazines, coal ash, large unchopped woody branches, cat/dog litter.
Each year, the Dorset local authorities offer a range of compost bins at reduced rates. Visit our compost bin offers webpage for more details.
Computer and IT Equipment
Some local retailers will take back computers that are not too old.
Contact your local supplier to see if they will accept your model.
You could consider donating your computer to Computer Aid International (opens in a new window). They also take the peripheral devices, modems, printers, colour monitors etc. This charity works with individuals and organisations. Ring to discuss donation and possible collection. Computer Aid International works in partnership with organisations in the UK and overseas.
Jamie's Computers (opens in a new window) in Hampshire also recycles computers. This is a social enterprise arm of The Society of St James; Southampton's largest homeless charity. Jamie's Computers provides an IT disposal service to businesses and individuals, refurbishing donated computers and making them available for reuse whilst anything that cannot be reused is recycled.
Based just north of Shaftesbury, Blackmore IT (opens in a new window) offers a free IT recycling service. It is data safe, guaranteed and certifies and complies with the Environment Agency and EU Waste (WEEE) legislation. They collect audit, report, recycle and even provide certificates - all for free. Their client base includes councils, schools, and businesses.
Some furniture reuse organisations also accept computers and IT equipment.
You could consider donating these to a furniture reuse centre.
They can also be accepted at Household Recycling Centres, but please note that you will not be permitted to enter a site with a van or a trailer over 6ft x 4ft ( 1.83m x 1.22m), unless you have a van permit, a hire van or a commercial vehicle voucher. Please visit the van and load carrying vehicle page for more details.
Alternatively many councils will collect these items from your home. You will have to pay for this service.
Reuse corks in the bottom of flower pots to improve drainage or chop up and use as mulch on the top of pot plants.
Natural corks will rot eventually so they can be composted.
Cosmetics and toiletries
Unopened and unused toiletries and cosmetics can be donated to charity shops, charity events, etc.
Old lace curtains can be put over fruit bushes to protect them from birds.
There is now a network of shops buying and selling old curtains called The Curtain Exchange (opens in a new window). You could also take the curtains to a charity shop or donate them to a furniture reuse organisation.
Most charity shops take cutlery.
Some furniture reuse centres also take cutlery.
You could also consider car boot sales.
You'll be surprised by what people will buy!