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A to Z guide on waste - P

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


Avoid excess packaging where possible by not buying it in the first place.

Buy loose fruit and vegetables rather than pre-packed.

You can compost packaging such as cardboard and paper. Find out about composting your waste.

Unfortunately there are no plastic packaging recycling facilities as there are no reprocessing plants in the UK who can take this material at present.


You can donate leftover paint to the Community RePaint Derby project run by the Play and Recycling Centre (PARC).

Household quantities of paint can be taken to your nearest household waste recycling centres.


You can return your pallets to the supplier for reuse. Some companies are willing to pay for good quality pallets providing that you have a substantial number.

Use your pallets to make decking or fencing in your garden.

Search online for companies who will collect pallets for you.


Find out how to stop junk mail.

When writing and printing try and use both sides of the paper.

Use online documents rather than printed and send emails rather than letters.

Blank sides of paper and envelopes may be useful for note taking, lists or children's drawings.

Carefully unwrapped Christmas wrapping paper can be reused.

Small amounts of paper such as shredded paper and receipts can be composted in a home compost bin. Find out about composting your waste.

All district and borough councils in Derbyshire collect a wide range of paper for recycling from your kerbside, including:

  • brochures
  • catalogues
  • junk mail
  • directories
  • newspapers
  • magazines

Some will also collect other types of paper such as envelopes, shredded paper, wrapping paper, wallpaper and brown paper. All you need to do is put it in the right recycling bin, bag or box for your area and leave it out for to be emptied on your collection day. Check with your local district or borough council - the one you pay your council tax bill to - to find out exactly what they collect.

Find out what happens to your recycling.

You can also take paper to our household waste recycling centres.

In Derbyshire we still throw away about 10,000 tonnes of paper each year which could have been recycled.

It takes 7 days for a recycled newspaper to come back as a newspaper again.

Paper produced from virgin raw material uses far more energy and water than if we recycle our unwanted paper.


Please see hazardous waste.

Phones (household)

Offer them on your local Freecycle or Freegle network.

Advertise them in the free ads in your local newspaper or sell them on online auction websites, apps or social media.

Small electrical items such as telephones can be taken to our household waste recycling centres to be recycled under Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment regulations.

Photographic chemicals

Small quantities (5 litres maximum) of photographic chemicals may be taken to any of our household waste recycling centres.

Plant pots

Give your plant pot to a friend or an allotment.

Some plastic banks accept plastic plant pots. Check with your local district or borough council.

Some garden centres may accept plastic plant pots for reuse or recycling.

Plant pots can be taken to our household waste recycling centres.


Up to 50kg of plasterboard from minor household maintenance work can be taken to our household waste recycling centres. We cannot accept whole sheets of plasterboard. Please tell a site attendant if your waste includes any plasterboard or gypsum-based material and you'll be directed to the correct skip.

For larger quantities of used and unwanted plasterboard please use a plasterboard recycler.


Buy bigger size products where possible - they last longer and often have refill options available.

Consider buying concentrates. Fabric conditioner, squash, liquid detergent and hand wash are all examples where concentrates may be available.

Buy fruit and vegetables loose to avoid plastic packaging.

Reuse plastic drinks bottles.

Tubs and containers are useful for storing items or for a packed lunch.

All councils now offer kerbside collections of plastic bottles, pots and tubs. Contact your local district or borough council for more information about kerbside collection schemes.

Plastic bottles, pots and tubs and rigid plastic can be recycled at our household waste recycling centres.

Twenty-five plastic drinks bottles can become a fleece jacket.

It takes a quarter of the energy to make a plastic bottle from recycled plastic as it does from new materials.

Concentrated products contain less water so can reduce packaging by over 50%.

Plastic vending cups

Use washable cups or mugs rather than plastic vending cups.

Save-a-Cup will collect a minimum of 3 sacks of cups however this may vary from region to region. For more information tel: 01543 505210.

Prams, pushchairs and cots

You can donate them to your local charity shop, offer them on your local Freecycle or Freegle network or give them to new parents who may need them.

Sell them on internet auction websites, apps or social media.