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A to Z guide on waste - E

Some ideas to help you decide what to do with your unwanted items.

Egg boxes

Give egg boxes to market traders and farm shops or donate them to schools or playgroups.

Use to plant seedlings in and then bury them in the ground and they will disintegrate.

Use cardboard egg boxes in your compost heap to balance the excess grass cuttings. Find out about composting your waste.

Electrical appliances and equipment

Use wind-up or solar powered appliances where possible.

Buy good quality items that are guaranteed to last longer.

Give them to family and friends, sell on an online auction website or app or on social media.

Donate to a furniture project. Check with them first that they can accept it.

Sometimes you can return broken, unwanted or old appliances back to the manufacturer. Please check with them.

Some local district or borough councils offer a bulky waste collection service.

You can take your electricals to your nearest household waste recycling centres to be recycled.

For more information on recycling electricals please see our information on electrical waste.

Engine oil

See oil (car oil) on A to Z guide on Waste - O.


Send emails instead of letters where possible. Consider sending eCards rather than material greetings and Christmas cards.

Place new address labels over the previous address and reuse your envelopes.

Use the backs of envelopes for notes or shopping lists.

Envelopes are difficult to recycle due to the glue that is on them - they can be added to your compost bin. Make sure you remove the plastic window. Find out about composting your waste.

Some councils may recycle them. Please make sure you remove the plastic window. Check with local district and borough councils for kerbside collections in your area.