Resources available to us are limited. Each year we overshoot the ecological resources and services the Earth can regenerate in that year.

The best way to use these limited resources is to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle: buy what you need and don’t waste it; reuse or share what you don’t need, repurpose if possible or donate. What you cannot reuse should be recycled. If you do this you will help tackle climate change.


All waste costs money to dispose of and cost of domestic waste disposal is paid through your Council Tax. Generally the cheapest waste to dispose of is organic (food and garden waste), followed by other recyclable materials (glass bottles and containers, paper and card, plastic bottles, plastic pots tubs and trays, and steel and aluminium tins and cans). Waste that cannot be recycled will usually be sent for incineration in an Energy Recovery Facility where the heat from that process is captured to convert to electricity.

So reduce the waste you produce, reuse what you can, recycle what you can using the different bins and containers we provide. Minimise what goes in your residual (black) bin.

What is the council doing?

  • We have a comprehensive waste collection and disposal system in place for collection of mixed recycling (glass, plastic, metal, cartons, cardboard and paper), green and food waste and residual waste.
  • Herts WasteAware has teamed up with a number of nappy manufacturers and suppliers to bring you some of the best reusable nappies at a discounted rate.
  • We have installed hot/cold water filling stations in the Civic office. Our coffee vending machines can now dispense coffee in cups/travel mugs.
  • We are in the process of transitioning to use of glasses, water jugs and use of paper cups as a back-up option.
  • Our waste collection staff have their own labelled water bottle to refill, avoiding the purchase of bottled water.

What can residents do?

  • If your used items can be reused, consider reselling, donating to charity or giving away via Borehamwood and Elstree Freegle Pages or Potters Bar Freegle Page.
  • Support the society and the environment by buying/donating used items at charity shops, or from second hand shops/websites, friends, colleagues, neighbours.
  • Make yourself aware of what can and cannot go into your kerbside wheelie bins. This will help us improve our recycling rates.
  • Visit our A-Z of Recycling pages to become familiar with how common household items can be recycled. Use your local Recycling Centre if you can’t recycle it kerbside. 
  • Sign up to food sharing platforms like Olio and TooGoodtoGo to reduce food waste.
  • Remember your Reusables: the well-known changes you can easily make are using reusable bottles, reusable bags and reusable hot drinks cups. There are lots of other small changes you may not even know about e.g. plastic free sanitary productsreusable nappies, shampoo bars, and reusable food wraps. 
  • Find out more about making small changes to your existing lifestyle to move towards becoming plastic free, from choosing loose fruit and veg at the supermarket to reusable wet wipes instead of disposables.

What can businesses do?

  • Ensure all employees are training in recycling waste.
  • Based on the nature of your business, you may want to redesign your products/supply chain/business model to minimise wastage.
  • Minimise the use of plastics used by your business and your customers. Evaluate the feasibility of using alternative materials such as compostable plastics or paper, if possible.
  • Investigate your supply chain to source responsibly or update the terms of your contracts with suppliers to encourage them to adopt better sustainability practices.
  • Helping your customers in making sustainable choices such as not giving out cutlery, straws and paper napkins by default.
  • If your employees work in an office environment, consider incorporating practices such as those outlined in WRAP.
  • If you run a restaurant, consider incorporating sustainability practices and/or obtaining sustainability certifications. 
  • Sign up to food sharing platforms like Olio and TooGoodtoGo to reduce food waste.