Guidance on Re-use in Collections and Sorting

Increasing facilities, communications and behaviours encouraging the re-use of existing products for their original purpose can provide extensive environmental and economic benefits in comparison to creating brand new products. 

What is WRAP doing?

In 2009, WRAP published a report, Meeting the UK Climate Challenge: The Contribution of Resource Efficiency, that found increasing re-use could reduce UK greenhouse gas emissions by an average 4 million tonnes CO2 eq per year between 2009 - 2020.

Since then WRAP has worked with local authorities, MRFs, and third-sector organisations to develop a suite of materials showing the economic and environmental benefits of increasing re-use of every day products, from household textiles to corporate waste electricals.

What can my organisation do?

Using WRAP’s guidance your organisation can optimise processes for collecting materials for re-use, create partnerships with other organisations and communicate re-use advice, guidance and techniques to local residents and consumers.

Re-use “How To” guides collection

WRAP’s series of step-by-step guides are aimed at encouraging more partnerships between local authorities, waste management companies and third sector organisations to deliver more re-use.

The guides provide advice on the different types of schemes out there, how to set-up your scheme and the most effective ways to communicate these to local residents and consumers. Included in the guide are a number of video case studies from across the UK, showing how different local authorities are benefitting from an active re-use strategy.

Guide contents >>
Visit the guide >>
Jump to the case studies >>

Re-use for household waste and bulky items

WRAP’s Household Waste Prevention Hub contains a host of information about how to develop and implement a plan to recycle, re-use or re-purpose a number of everyday household items that often end up as waste. These include a number of items termed “bulky items” – often household white goods, mattresses or carpets – that can be repaired or refurbished for re-use.

Household Waste Prevention Hub >>
Re-use guides in the Household Waste Prevention Hub >>
Bulky items guidance >>

Re-use in Sustainable Electricals

From gadget trade-in schemes, to the recovery of second-hand, used or disposed of items, businesses working in the electrical and electronic products sector can use WRAP's research to fully exhaust all the available value and working life from their products, recover precious metals and encourage customers to donate or sell products they no longer want.

Re-use and recycling as part of esap >>
WEEE Good Practice Guide >>

Re-use in Sustainable Textiles

Organisations in the clothing industry can find new opportunities and develop fresh revenue streams by diverting some of the 30% of our textiles that end up landfill into markets for re-use and recycling.

WRAP’s work enables re-use organisations, reprocessors and local authorities to build effective partnerships, gain advice on good practice and implement schemes to increase collection rates.

Re-use and recycling as part of SCAP >>
Textiles collection guide >>

Economic and environmental benefits of re-use

Based on our 2009 report, Meeting the UK Climate Challenge: The Contribution of Resource Efficiency, WRAP have developed a tool for quantifying the current and potential future benefits of increasing re-use.

These are available for anyone to use in trying to understand the potential impact of re-use, including greenhouse gas emissions, jobs or financial impacts.

From the case studies developed using this tool, WRAP estimates that UK households save around £1 billion per year and avoid 1 million tonnes CO2 eq per year from current levels of re-use.

Calculate your benefits >>

Sign up to our e-newsletters

Our regular e-mail newsletters provide the latest information on re-use across a number of sectors, including the latest information, opportunities and examples of best practice from industries across the UK. 

Subscribe for updates >>

Where next?

Want to know more about re-use in collections and sorting? Take a look at our reports, guides, tools and case studies for further information:

Reports >>
Guides >>
Tools >>
Case studies >>