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How to reduce what you put in your bins?

In North Ayrshire, we are exceeding Scottish Government targets set for recycling rates, but we are still generating a lot of rubbish.

Waste saving tips

We can all cut the amount of waste we produce and throw away by Reducing, Reusing and Recycling:


  • Repair it – don’t throw away items that could be repaired.
  • Purchase durable goods of quality rather than disposable items.
  • Shop sustainably to reduce packaging. Purchase loose items where available, such as tea, fruit, cereals etc. Try to avoid purchasing fruit or veg in plastic film.
  • Make a shopping list and only buy what you need.
  • Buy what’s in season and help reduce transportation of supplies. 
  • Check out how to reduce food waste. Visit the Love Food Hate Waste website for information and tips about reducing food waste.
  • Buy large economy sized products instead of individually wrapped items. Avoid single-use cleaning products.
  • Consider purchasing more environmentally friendly washing up liquids, powders and soaps with less packaging. Select products in refillable containers or concentrated products.
  • Stop unwanted mail. Over a third of all direct mail is thrown straight in the blue bin, unopened? Follow our 5 steps to stop unwanted mail.
  • Try alternative wrapping products which are environmentally friendly and will reduce packaging waste.


  • Always use reusable cups and bottles.
  • Use reusable bags.
  • Use a Circular Communities Scotland company for sustainable circular goods and services.
  • Cunninghame Furniture Recycling Company offers a free uplift service for quality reusable furniture. Please visit their website or call 0800 221 8083 for up to date information on the items they currently collect.
  • Donate clothes and bric-a-brac to your favourite high street charity shop.
  • Use Real Nappies instead of disposable ones.
  • Try Upcycling.
  • Consider home composting.
  • Exchange books with friends/family or donate books to North Ayrshire Cancer Care bookshops in Largs and West Kilbride
  • Drop off bikes at your local HWRC and these will later be collected and reused by Killie can Cycle. Alternatively, check in with the place the bike was purchased from as they may offer a takeback scheme
  • Donate furniture to a local Furniture Re-distribution Scheme or use online platforms to advertise and sell to those in the local community


  • Please visit our What goes in each bin page to find out what items can be recycled at the kerbside and ensure that the Right Stuff goes in the Right Bin.
  • Clothes and textiles, wood and scrap, furniture and electrical goods can be recycled at your nearest collection point
  • For hard to recycle items that can’t be collected at the kerbside TerraCycle offer various solutions. For example, you can recycle your old medicine blister packs at Superdrug, Aitken St, Largs. Please visit TerraCycle to find out what other items can be recycled at various drop off points throughout North Ayrshire.
  • Recycle your soft plastic wrap, carriers etc at participating supermarkets.
  • There are a number of drop off/return schemes available for coffee pods. Please contact your coffee pod provider for ways you may become involved.

For more inspiration please visit Zero Waste Scotland and Recycle Now for information and alternatives.

Stores in North Ayrshire currently offering this service are:

  • Asda, Irvine Store
  • Co-op Stores (soft plastic packaging in all mainland stores, plastic bags in mainland stores over 3000sq ft)
  • Morrisons Stores
  • Tesco, Superstores and Extra’s

The above list may change from time to time please check with your local supermarket for details.

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