Treading Softly - Environmentally considerate living in a rural english home and garden

Treading Softly

Surplus Resources

Recycling plastic bottle caps, metal bottle tops and jar lids, aluminium foil
"Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did
nothing because he could do only a little"
- Edmund Burke
Once we have used the many and varied materials brought into the house or garden, there are some materials or resources, all or part of which, permanently or temporarily, are not needed. The management of these materials is as much considered as the time and effort spent upon their acquisition.

Here's what we do with our Surplus Resources:

What is Recycled


Glass Weekly Kerbside collection
Newspaper, cardboard, junk mail and office paper Weekly Kerbside collection
Tins, cans Weekly Kerbside collection
Plastics Type 1 and Type 2 - mainly bottles and their caps, yoghurt pots, food trays Weekly Kerbside collection
Textiles - worn out old clothes, cloths, towels and curtains Weekly Kerbside collection
Shoes Weekly Kerbside collection
Batteries - all types of appliance batteries Weekly Kerbside collection
Heavy duty plastic bottle tops Weekly Kerbside collection
Metal - beer bottle tops, nails, screws, jar lids Local recycling centre
Aluminium - milk bottle tops, tin foil, product packaging Weekly Kerbside collection
Vegetable Peelings and vegetable surplus Composted on site
Garden and lawn cuttings All on site. See Composting
Wine Bottle corks As 'mulch' on outdoor plant pot
Computer CDs and DVDs Posted to a recycling center
Old pairs of Spectacles Recycled via Boots Opticians
Treated timber and wood Local recycling centre
Crockery, pottery, paving slabs and general hardcore Local recycling centre
Wood ash from the Wood burning stove Spread under fruit trees
Fluorescent tubes or energy saving light bulbs* Local recycling centre
Engine Oil from motor mower servicing Local recycling centre

* These bulbs are classified as hazardous waste and
therefore can only be disposed of at recycling centres.

What is Re-used


Unwanted household items Use the local Freecycle or Freegle networks
Good quality old clothing Local Charity Shop(s)
Cereal packet plastic bags Use as freezer bags or other food wrap.
Office printer A4 Paper Always use both sides before recycling
Glass Jars and their lids Home-made Jams, storage for nails, screws etc and for an annual sweet stall at the village fete.
Yoghurt Pots (1 litre) and lids Kept for seed storage and use in the garage.
Furniture - wall shelves, kitchen top, doors Household furniture gets re-used in several forms in the garage

What is Renovated


Personal Computer After saving all data and settings, the hard drive cleaned off, the Operating System re-loaded and then all software and data re-installed. Without changing the hardware (box, mouse, keyboard or screen) and devoid of the unnecessary files and software acquired over several years, the PC is like a brand new machine and runs fast and true.

Cost £135.
Laptop or Personal Computer

With relatively little material and cost, the upgrade of a laptop's or PCs RAM Memory can have a big impact on its performance and extend its life and value considerably.

Cost: £20 - £40.


Trousers have been waistline-adjusted at one of the several clothing repair and adjustments services which have popped up in recent years. Saved the need to buy new ones.

Cost: £15 a pair.
including bookcases, TV Stand, Dining Table, Armchairs
All but 6 pieces of furniture in the house are "second-use" so many items have been re-polished, re-varnished, re-painted or re-covered.


2012 Bathroom renovation involved retention of 1960's bath, basin and toilet units which were re-surfaced in situ, thus saving landfill for the old units and the natural resources and energy to acquire new.

Cost: About the same as buying in and installing brand new units.

So what's left to landfill?

Non-recycled surplus which is destined for LANDFILL consists primarily of light plastic film and typically weighs 500 - 750 Grams (1 - 1.5Lbs) per week. There is a fortnightly Kerbside Collection by the Local Authority.