Get to know your reuse and repair options in Leeds

Sewing machine

When we're thinking about wasting less, we often end up focusing first on recycling.

And whilst that's really important (and we've got lots more to say about that here) it's worth thinking first about whether there are alternatives to sending something off for recycling.

And that might include a few of the other Rs that form part of what is sometimes called the "waste hierarchy" – in particular reuse or repair.

For many of us – in particular older generations – reuse comes naturally. We all know someone – (or perhaps this is you!) who has a loft, shed or cellar full of things that “might come in handy again one day”.

We all know someone who has a loft, shed or cellar full of things that ‘might come in handy again one day’...

But even if we don't have the room to save things for when they might one day come in handy, there are plenty of options open to us that can be better than buying new.

There are so many reuse shops and charity shops in Leeds, where you can buy (and of course, donate) all sorts of good quality stuff – from clothes to books to household appliances.

We even have reuse shops at two of our Household Waste Sites – in Seacroft and Kirkstall. These Revive shops, run by local charities in partnership with the Council, make it as easy as can be to drop off stuff for reuse, at the same time that you're sorting things for recycling.

And even if your local tip doesn't have a Revive store, all of the Household Waste Sites have a container where you can leave good quality items, for collection by local charities that work with the Council.

Some Leeds reuse organisations will also collect bulky items, such as furniture, for reuse – you can find out more on the Council's website.

Another option that many of our Facebook followers have used in Leeds is Leeds Freegle – a site where you can offer (and request) items for free. This can be particularly useful for bulky items, or for things that charity shops may not take.

Alongside reuse, more of us are repairing things rather than throwing things away. Of course, lots of people have always looked to repair certain items, whether that's shoes or phone screens. TV programmes like The Repair Shop have also helped to raise the profile of repair.

'Image of toolbox at repair cafe'

And perhaps the most exciting development is the rise of the Repair Cafe - a place where people come together to repair their stuff. There's a monthly one in the centre of Leeds, alongside one in Otley, and another that's looking to set up in Garforth.

there's so much more we can do when we start to think creatively about ways to avoid buying new

They're just a few ideas – there's so much more we can do when we start to think creatively about ways to avoid buying new – and making the most of what we've already got. Why not follow us on Facebook – where you'll find lots of stories about Leeds people finding ways to waste less stuff in their daily lives.