The season for a spring clean is almost here! You may be planning on doing a little decorating, refurbishing, or just having a good sort out. Whatever you’re up to please think about how you could reduce, reuse and recycle this spring.

In East Sussex we currently recycle 43% of our waste. What we can’t recycle or compost is sent to the Newhaven Energy Recovery Facility where it is turned into green energy — enough to supply power to 25,000 homes!

We currently send just 2% of our waste to landfill. And we want to make it even less! Often, the things that are sent to landfill are large bulky items, such as furniture.

Refurbishing furniture, using online marketplaces or donating to charity are great ways to give items a second lease of life.

Plus, you’ll want to avoid visiting a household waste recycling site (‘tip’) if you can. Over Easter our sites become very busy, and this year will be even busier while we continue to have social distancing rules on site. This means a reduced number of people can have access at any one time.

There were queues of up to two hours last year at our household waste recycling sites! Unfortunately, we can’t change this while we remain in the pandemic. However, we can all do our bit to only visit a site if it’s essential.


The best thing for the environment is to reduce the amount that we buy and use in the first place.

Try to repair items before throwing them out. It sounds obvious, but we’ve been brought up with throwaway culture which encourages us to ditch old or broken items and buy new things. But often, items can easily be repaired and used again.

The takeaway: only look to replace items if they are broken beyond repair.

For smaller items, check out our tips to reduce single use plastic at home for some easy ways to get started and where your nearest zero waste store is.

You can also find out more about how to easily reduce your food waste.


You can refurb an old desk or counter top using vinyl stickers, you can save old wardrobes that look scruffy with some paint, and if you have a garden you can use old kitchen items such a kettles as plant pots!

If you really don’t want to keep items yourself, someone else may want them.


You can donate larger items such as furniture to charity. Many will even come and collect items from you for free if they are in a good condition. Things like furniture, books, and clothes can all be donated.

Local charities to look at include Furniture Now, as well as those that frequent our highstreets.

Although please note, many charity shops will not reopen until 12 April at the earliest. If you have items to donate please hold on to them for now. Do not leave them at the entrance to shops – this is flytipping and your items will be classed as waste. Boo!


There are now lots of ways to sell or give away items online. If you refurbish an item first you may be able to sell it and make a bit of cash. Or, if you just want to get rid you could think about giving items away for free and then the new owner can pay for refurbs or even repairs if they choose to.

Take a look at the trash nothing app which brings together freecycle and freegle groups from all around the world.

Please be sure to stay safe and follow social distancing guidelines if using this route. You may wish to wait until social restrictions have been eased further. However, items can often be collected from outside of your home with no contact needed.

Old clothes being reused.


If you can’t reduce or reuse, then please recycle.

Garden waste

Your local district or borough council can provide garden waste collections for an added cost. This can be a great way to reduce your number of trips to the tip as well as keeping your car clean!

Small electricals

You can now recycle your old and broken small electricals from home if you live in the Rother, Wealden or Hastings area.

Everything with a plug, battery or cable can now be recycled. Simply place your old items into a standard-size carrier bag, and place on top of either your waste or recycling bin on collection day. Please make sure to remove batteries where possible and place these in a separate bag.

Find out more about recycling your old electricals from home.

Kerbside recycling

Check out your ultimate guide to recycling for a definitive list of what can and can’t be recycled in East Sussex.

Want to know what happens to your recycling in East Sussex? Find out with our animation!


A compost heap is a great way to put food waste to good use. Some torn up cardboard packaging is great for your composting ‘mix’ too!

We provide great value garden compost bins.

A woman and daughter recycling.

Visit a household waste recycling site (‘tip’)

If you have explored all other options, then your local household waste recycling site is there to take your items.

Our sites are usually busy at this time of the year, and social restrictions will increase wait times to enter a site. Before you visit please:

  • Be ready to queue – we expect to be very busy!
  • Follow social distancing rules on site. Staff can’t help unload items at the moment.
  • Sort your waste before you leave home to make it easier to tip items into the right containers quickly.
  • Stay 2 metres apart on all walkways.
  • Vans are allowed on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday only (with ID).
  • Masks are not mandatory but do wear one if you feel more comfortable.
  • At busy times the main gates may be closed up to 45 minutes – 1 hour before the published closing time to clear vehicles already queuing on site.
  • Please use kerbside services for recycling where you can.

Thank you for being patient and respecting our staff.

You can see what restrictions we have in place and check site opening times on our website.