Advice on reducing and managing waste at home

For the next few weeks more people will be at home so many will use their time to tidy garages, sheds, lofts and gardens. Doing this will create additional waste, which needs to be managed at home. Please follow the Devon County Council advice on using the Recycling Centres during this time.

  • Charity shops and some waste facilities are no longer available
  • Only remove waste from your home that is definitely going to be disposed of lawfully – fly tipping is still a criminal offence
  • Check your stored waste regularly and react if there are smells, flies or rats – cover it if you can
  • Please be considerate to everyone else in your community – our collectors are already reporting disappointing increases in food being wasted.

Here are some tips which will help reduce waste quantities and prevent nuisance:


  • Only buy or defrost what you intend to eat within a few days
  • Choose food which generates minimal waste (e.g. off the bone meat)
  • Compost veg, fruit, egg shells, teabags but not waste from meat, fish, bread or processed foods
  • Cook simple meals from fresh
  • Don’t waste good food – keep an eye on “use by” dates

Household items, books, toys    

  • Store at home for now – make a waste space in your loft, shed or garage
  • Don’t replace: avoid, repair or re-use if you can
  • Break waste items down to use less space

Plastics, paper, cardboard

Our crews are having to deal with an increasing amount of cardboard material at this time. If you have a large amount of cardboard please spread the amount over a few collections if possible.

  • Avoid packaged food or other excess packaging
  • Wash and squash containers and boxes
  • Buy fewer larger containers and refill smaller ones
  • Store at home for now if you can

Garden waste   

  • Chop waste small and compost if you can
  • Store garden waste in a neat pile in the corner of your garden
  • Cut up your woody garden waste and store it somewhere to dry out for the next few months

Bulky waste       

  • Store inert waste neatly outside or in a shed
  • Delay replacing items if possible

Dog waste, cat litter       

  • Bag it properly and use your black bin
  • If you can, create a waste pit in your garden and layer up the waste with soil
  • Buy longer lasting cat litter – mineral based or compostable materials are best