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Reduce, reuse, repair, recycle

In the circular economy, instead of taking resources from the earth, using them once, and disposing of them in landfill, we keep them in use for as long as possible. We make sure that we gain the maximum benefit from them while reducing negative environmental impacts.

This involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products for as long as possible.

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How can you help?

  • We can individually and collectively help by changing some of our regular daily habits.
  • Small changes can make a big difference over time.
  • Limiting the amount we throw away, and reusing items as much as possible, are great ways to reduce our impact on the environment.


  • Write a shopping list before you go and only buy what you need and use what you buy.
  • Buy loose fruit and vegetables and avoid items that are heavily packaged.
  • Use up leftovers for meals the next day – see the Love Food Hate Waste site for inspiration
  • Consider borrowing items that you won’t use very often such as suitcases for your holiday or DIY tools from friends and family.


  • Take your bags with you and remember to keep empty shopping bags in your car.
  • Carry a spare and reusable bag in your handbag.
  • Use refillable water bottles and coffee cups
  • Keep sandwiches in a reusable lunch box instead of wrapped in foil

More tips on how to reduce and reuse from Recycle Now


Before you throw something that’s broken away, consider whether it could be repaired.

The Dover and Deal Repair Cafes are run by volunteers and on hand to help you fix your things for free.

Whether it's a broken zip in your favourite jacket, or your child's cherished bike or teddy - take it along and see if they can help.


Dover Repair Café

Meets up monthly on the last Wednesday of each month. Forthcoming dates are: 31 January, 28 February, 27 March, 24 April, 29 May and 26 June.

6.30pm – 8.30pm

Biggin Hall, Dover CT16 1BD

Find out more about the Dover Repair Cafe


Deal Repair Café

Meets up monthly on the 2nd Saturday of each month. Future dates are:  10 February, 9 March, 13 April, 11 May and  8 June.

11am – 1pm

Landmark Community Centre, 129 High Street, Deal, Kent, CT14 6BB

For up-to-date information, follow your local repair café on Facebook.


  • Use your kerbside recycling scheme efficiently – most of the household waste you produce can be recycled.
  • Book a slot at your local household waste recycling site. Research what can be recycled before you go and organise your waste accordingly to save time when you’re there and to minimise how much goes to landfill.
  • Recycle any old clothes, shoes and bags that you have. You can:
    • Get together with friends and have an evening where you can swap clothes or sell them on second hand sites such as Vinted.
    • Search online for a local boot fair, book a stall, and sell your unwanted clothes, shoes and anything else!
    • Donate clothes that are no longer worn to your local charity shop
    • Recycle clothes in a charity clothing bank located in a local car park or supermarket.
    • Dover Swap Shop is held bi-monthly at Beacon Church Hall on Bartholomew Street in Dover. It is held for people to swap clothes, toys, books or other items. This is aimed at the 0-14 year age range and encourages reusing and recycling in the community. For more information, please request to join their Facebook page or email doverswapshop@gmail.com

Useful recycling tools

If you’re not sure what can and can’t be recycled, view our recycling page of what to put in and what to leave out of each type of container. There’s also a quick video to watch.

For other items, check on Recycle Now’s Recycling Locator for the answer.

Pledge2recycle also has a handy tool on how to recycle on their website.