Category Archives: Waste and Recycling

Recycling education: are we in need of a new curriculum?

By Dr. Aidan Bell, director at EnviroBuild.*

In 2015, the ‘waste from households’ recycling rate for England dropped below 44% for the first time since 2011. The latest statistics from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) revealed that the amount of household waste being recycled by English homeowners dropped from 44.8% in 2014 to 43.9% in 2015.

More worrying still is the fact that the amount of household waste being rejected for recycling in England has increased by 84% over the previous four years, according to a BBC Freedom of Information request. Local councils were unable to recycle 338,000 tonnes of waste in 2014-15, a jump from 184,000 tonnes in 2011-12, due to so-called contaminated recycling bins, which are expensive to re-sort.

As a result, 270,000 tonnes of rejected waste was incinerated in 2014. These numbers suggest that while the UK public has increased the amount of waste that they intend to recycle, we are falling at the final hurdle because of incorrect sorting by homeowners: a direct result of a lack of recycling education.

Scotland and Wales both increased their household recycling rates by around 1% in the same time frame, so what’s going wrong in England?

Our map visualises the latest data from Defra and illustrates which English local authorities made an improvement in their household recycling rate between 2014/15 and 2015/16 and which didn’t. Why is there so much disparity between the local authorities?

Envirobuild Recycling Map En-form


Uncertainty and a lack of direction

While the responsibility for collecting and managing waste lies at council level, these decisions are influenced by government policy and funding, so let’s start at the top.

The current Environment Secretary, Andrea Leadsom, has spoken little on the topic of recycling and waste management since assuming her position in July 2016. This raises questions about the fate of recycling policy going forward. If the localism and the lighter regulatory approach established by the previous government are lacking in effectiveness, what will be done to resolve this?

There is yet to be an announcement on the direction of waste policy for the UK during and after Brexit. A recent report from The House of Commons’ Environmental Audit Committee found that the EU has helped to shape ‘over 80%’ of UK environmental legislation on issues including agriculture, air quality and waste; when the UK leaves Europe, will this legislation still apply, and to what extent?

This uncertainty surrounding Brexit was addressed by a cross-party group of MPs at the start of January with a push for a new Environmental Protection Act to be passed before Brexit is completed. This would maintain the UK’s environmental targets and ensure that existing EU environment law does not become ‘zombie legislation’ after the UK’s exit.

Waste management decisions made at local authority level are currently being influenced by government policy that lacks strong direction in its approach of localism, and funded by a centralised budget that is ever-reducing.


The result of this is an inconsistent approach to waste and recycling across England, as demonstrated by our map.

The government and local councils can put the infrastructure in place, however, ultimately, it’s down to the individual homeowner to complete the circle, to recycle the correct plastics and cardboards for their area. In other words, it seems that the British public understands the need to recycle, but that many people do not know how to do it correctly.


It’s no wonder that the homeowner is confused: recycling in the UK is coordinated by more than 300 different recycling schemes, which each have their own list of what can and can’t be recycled, and their own way of educating the public about this.

The result of this is, the so-called contaminated recycling bin that is rejected and redirected to landfill if the local council cannot afford to resort the bin. A lack of clear education for homeowners is preventing England from making recycling progress and contributing to continued damage to the environment.

The drop in the household recycling rate could also suggest that homeowners’ attitudes are changing due to the lack of education: without clear direction, the public will become disillusioned and disengaged with the recycling cause and either recycle the wrong materials or opt to not recycle at all for fear of getting it wrong.

Who’s getting it right?

Happily, this isn’t the case all over England, as our map illustrates. There are some English authorities that are bucking the trend and that have managed to increase the amount of household waste that they are recycling by a considerable amount. Indeed, residents in the ward of Colchester Borough Council increased the amount of household waste that they recycled from 23, 702 tonnes in 2014/15 to 29,661 tonnes in 2015/16.

How are these local authorities improving their residents’ recycling habits? Education.

A quick look at the Richmondshire District Council website demonstrates that recycling and waste management are clearly at the top of this council’s agenda: a scrolling banner informs residents of this local authority that recycling days are changing. It’s not surprising that residents in this ward increased its household recycling rate by 14.7 percentage points between 2014/15 and 2015/16, this was the greatest increase seen in England.

Next to Tameside MBC, which improved its recycling by 7.8 percentage points in the same time period. Again, ‘Refuse & Recycling’ takes pride of place as the first homepage menu tile.

It’s the same story on the Colchester Borough Council website where a ‘Greener Living Newsletter’ is advertised to residents on the first page of the website. Those councils that are making recycling important news in their local area are hitting the national headlines for the improvements that they achieve.

It’s clear to see that those who are educating are winning! These councils, and a number of others, have made information on recycling clearly accessible to their residents, who are in turn recycling more of their household waste.

At EnviroBuild, one of our central aims in supplying a recycled, sustainable product is to boost the demand for recycling. However, increased recycling will only happen if the homeowner receives enough education on how to recycle correctly.

A solution?

An increase in education needs to be at the top of the recycling agenda at both government and local authority level. Recycling needs to be made news, or at least make it into our newsfeeds. Luckily, it would appear that communication with the general public has never been easier thanks to social media.

This communication would be most effective if nationwide recycling guidelines were introduced, with a single scheme in place for the whole country. It would be much easier to publicise a nationwide scheme, and to promote changes and updates, and there would never be area-by- area confusion as to what can and can’t be recycled.

However, a nationwide approach is much easier said than done. Existing infrastructure isn’t identical across England and so proposed unification would call for conversations with the businesses responsible for recycling the waste to decide on an optimal process and to ensure the convergence of a system. With the government determined to continually reduce the budget for environmental issues, it is unlikely that the resources would ever be invested into a unified recycling system. There would also likely be pushback from councils who may feel suspicious of central control and implications on their budgets.

These obstacles mean that for the foreseeable future local authorities need to take it upon themselves to improve their communication with their residents using social media, information on the council’s website and even recycling events.

This increase in activity will require increased budget and this is where the government needs to step up. If localism in recycling and waste management activity is here to stay, then the government needs to provide more budget to enable much needed educational activity to be successful.

*Please note that the views are that of the author, not necessarily that of en-form.









7 Steps to Stop your ‘Junk’ Mail 

Many of us receive unwanted junk mail these days. Astonishingly it is thought to make up to 4% of household waste.  However, it is very easy to reduce this waste with minimum effort and at no cost by following these 7 simple steps.

1.  Register at the mailing preference society. This will remove your name from up to 95% of mailing lists used by companies who send out direct mail. The easiest way is to register online at sure you register everyone individually who wants to be removed in your houehold. Also dont forget to register anyone who is deceased or no longer living at your address to stop this unwanted mail as well. Mailing Preference Society, Freepost 22, London W1E 7EZ. Tel 0207 766 4410. Fax 0207 976 1886.

2.  Return junk mail unopened (write please remove from mailing list on the envelope and post back. You do not need to use a stamp for gone aways) or use the freepost envelopes inside the mailings with the request to remove you from the mailing list. Enclose original documents to enable the organisation to trace your details.

3. Return items as gone away or deceased when you receive mail for previous occupants or if the recipient has died or you will continue to receive mail.

4. When you apply for, or buy any service such as a bank account, if you do not want to recieve mailings from the organisation, make sure you tick the mailing opt out box normally located on the bottom of the form. Or if you have ordered items on the internet make sure you opt out of paper mailings.

5.  Stop unaddresed mail and leaflets delivered by the Royal Mail by opting out at this website However, if you opt out you may not receive government or local authority leaflets distributed by the Royal Mail either. 

6.  To stop mailings from any company with whom you have – or have had – a customer relationship such as your bank, credit card company, insurance company, phone supplier, for example, you will need to request them not to send you anymore marketing mailings. Do this either by returning their mailings marked “No more marketing mailings please” or by emailing them. 

7.  Putting a ‘No Junk Mail’ sticker on your letterbox can cut down on flyers, leaflets and newspapers coming through your door.

To order a free “No Junk Mail” sticker, email or call 0345 603 7625.

25 Top Tips for a Green Christmas

Image by rawpixel CC0

Image by rawpixel CC0

Every year, Christmas places a heavy burden on the earths resources and our environment. However, it is the major festival in Britain, offering lots of fun to millions. We don’t want to be killjoys but we would like to reduce its environmental impact.

Luckily, with a little thought and a bit of information we can significantly reduce its impact, save money and actually have more fun.

On this page you can find out how to reduce the waste you produce over the festive season and recycle what you do produce, as well as how to save energy (from the increased use of all those new electrical appliances) and money and have a very merry green Christmas!

Here’s our top tips for a green Christmas:

Christmas Cards

1.5 billion Christmas cards are thrown away by UK residents each year according to Imperial College researchers.

1.  Why not send an e-card instead of a paper card this year. This is becoming increasingly popular, with senders sometimes donating the money they have saved on cards and postage to a favourite charity.

2.  When Christmas is over don’t just throw your old Christmas Cards away – recycle them. Probably the easiest way is through your kerbside paper collection. If you are feeling particularly crafty you can make them into gift tags for next year. Try to go easy on glitter, cards and paper with glitter on them are difficult to recycle and glitter is a microplastic that has harmful effects on the environment.


Christmas Trees

3.  If you buy a real Christmas Tree make sure you buy it from a sustainable source. For suppliers of UK-grown sustainable Christmas trees check out and try to buy it from a local producer.

4. Don’t let your tree be part of the 90% that end up in landfill. When Christmas is over recycle your real tree by cutting it up and putting it in with your green waste kerbside collection. Alternatively, if you are visiting the zoo see if they want it to use in the animal enclosures. Otherwise, you can recycle it at your local Household Recycling Centre.

5.  Artificial trees -If you have one already, use it for as many years as possible to make the most of it. If you don’t have one, try FreegleFreecycleEbay or Gumtree for a pre-loved one.

Christmas Dinner and all that food and drink

6.  Buy local, seasonal, winter vegetables (these include sprouts, carrots, cabbage, leeks, onions, parsnips, swede, potatoes and nuts such as walnuts and chestnuts). Visit your local Farmers’ Market or Farm shop and pick up some quality local produce to give yourself a treat at Christmas. Find your local market or producer at

7. For those foods where you can’t buy local choose Fairtrade, organic fruit, nuts and chocolate. Visit Fairtrade for a list of Fairtrade products in shops.

8.  Buy bottles of wine and champagne with real corks not screw caps or plastic ones. Not a single tree is cut down in their production – just a small part of the bark is removed leaving the tree alive. In fact insisting on real cork helps maintain one of the most environmentally friendly industries possible. It provides essential employment for the people who work in the cork forests of the Mediterranean and helps to maintain vital habitats for the endangered wildlife of these forests such as the Iberian lynx (the last remaing habitat), Spanish Imperial eagle and the Barbary deer, The stoppers also make excellent fire lighters.

9. And now you have got all those corks recycle them through Recorked! We collect corks here at en-form!

10. Buy and cook only what you need. If you do have food left over make sure you compost your vegetable waste such as potato and sprout peelings and dispose of any cooked and meat waste through your food waste kerbside collection.

11.  Buy your Brussels sprouts from a farm shop or Farmers Market still on the stalk. They will keep for up to two weeks in a shed or on the patio, saving vital fridge space and cutting down on packaging. Compost your stalk and sprout peelings.

12.  Don’t forget our garden birds. Use excess cooking fat from the goose or turkey and muesli to make your own fat balls. While the fat is still warm, spoon into muffin cases; add a hanging string or make sure they fit your bird feeder.

Buying Presents

13.  Don’t buy useless presents that the recipients don’t want. What about taking them out for a meal, the cinema or buying a season ticket for the local football team or local zoo for a present to remember. Better than another pair of socks.

14.  Try and buy environmentally friendly and useful gifts. What about a bike instead of some electronic game that is discarded on boxing day. Or something very useful but unusual for your elderly relatives like cavity wall insulation that makes a real difference to their quality of life.

15.  We are all a little time poor these days so why not give a little time instead of money. Use your imagination but what about offering a foot or head massage, makeovers, dinner or the washing up. Why spend if you don’t have to? Free Christmas Gift Cheques are a lovely way of making your time the thing that counts.

16. Follow the four gift rule. This is a trend which has become more popular on social media in recent years. Parents pledge to give their children just four presents: Something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read. 


Unwanted Presents

17.  Give all your unwanted presents along with old clothes, toys etc that may have been replaced to local charity shops or on Freegle  freecycle or sell them on ebay or Gumtree

18. Re-gifting’ is OK. There’s much discussion these days about the etiquette behind the trend to ‘re-gift’, that is, to pass on a gift you received but do not need. What’s to discuss? Re-gifting makes perfect sense. If you receive something you really don’t need, look for ways you can reuse this gift by passing it on to someone who can use it. Of course, re-gifting needs to be done with care so as not to offend the original giver, but keeping a gift you don’t need is wasteful.

Recycle all your Christmas waste

19. At Christmas thousands of extra drink cans and bottles are produced. Don’t just throw them away. Make sure you recycle all your glass bottles, cans, aluminium foil, paper and cardboard through your kerbside collection scheme or recycling banks. If you use the recycling banks please remember they are normally overflowing during the festive period so it would be helpful if you could spread your visit to the banks over a longer period.


20.  Save your old Stamps – It won’t be long before Christmas cards start arriving through the post. This year tear off the old stamp and give it to charity. Many charities, schools, churches and clubs save old stamps which they sell for money. You can hand them in at many of the towns charity shops.

Save Energy at Christmas

Christmas is a time of particularly high energy consumption. The whole house is heated as extra family members return for the holidays. Lights, televisions and stereos are left on and cooking appliances are used more heavily. Not to mention the energy needed to power all those electric gadgets bought as presents. Being careful with your energy usage at this time of year can save your household a considerable amount of money.  Visit the Energy section to find out how to save energy at home.

21.  Many gadgets bought for Christmas require batteries, which cost money and need to be disposed of. Try to buy things that don’t need batteries but can be run from the mains or are rechargeable. If you have to buy batteries make sure they are rechargeable ones, preferably Nimh – they .last a lot longer and save you money into the bargain.

22. And when you have had to use batteries make sure you recycle them when they no longer work. Most shops and supermarkets have recycling points these days.

23.  You could also purchase gifts that use renewable energy, for example solar powered (or wind up) radio’s and torches and mobile phone chargers.

24.  Use LED lights for house and Christmas tree lighting – LED (Light Emitting Diode) christmas lights use up to 95% less energy than larger, traditional holiday bulbs and last up to 100,000 hours when used indoors. LED christmas lights use .04 watts per bulb, 10 times less than mini bulbs and 100 times less than traditional holiday bulbs. Not only will this save you money but as an added bonus, if one of the LED lights burns out the rest of the strand will stay lit.

25.  Instead of energy-intensive computer games, have fun with board games or old-fashioned parlour games like Macavity’s Cat, charades or Moriarty – our family favourite which consists of blindfolded adversaries trying to whack each other with rolled up newspapers. Search for games on

A Brief Guide To “Going Green”

Check out these 18 easy to understand ways that you could make your life that bit greener – by Geoff.

  1. Encourage/support local “green” activities, clubs, societies, trades, buy food from local growers.
  2. Be informed about energy use,  eg can you read your meters and understand your bill?
    Know how much energy each appliance uses and costs, Turn off unnecessary lights and appliances especially heaters.
  3. Insulate, also make sure your thermostats are correctly set. Boiler serviced?
  4. Know a little about energy (see Ladybird books!) eg do you understand that for every unit of electricity generated power stations burn at least 2.5 units of fuel. On Shore wind generators are the cheapest source of electricity, Off Shore are the dearest – not counting the long term liability of nuclear waste.
  5. Have solar panels both Photo-voltaic & Water heating. (I’ve had solar water heating for 30years – it works).
  6. Know about ground source and air source heating systems and where they are/are not a good idea.
  7. DIY – all sorts, keep your eyes open and learn new skills as a matter of common sense.
    Plant Trees, Grow Veg …Potatoes, Carrots, Onions, Beans Broad/Runner/French, Lettuce,  Radishes, Tomatoes.
  8. Compost garden and household waste, think about having a greenhouse. Conserve water, Install water buts, what about Grey Water?
  9. Use up leftovers, Don’t throw food away.
  10. Keep chickens – last year my 3 hens laid 991 lovely eggs.  – app. £250 at shop prices.  Those birds cost £7 each and their feed totalled less than £40 p.a.
  11. Ride Bikes also Walk – for health, enjoyment, saving car use.  Excepting in bad weather, cycling can and should always be easy, comfortable and enjoyable if it isn’t get help.  (Research has shown that cycling can put off body ageing by many years)
  12. Driving sensibly reduces wear and improves mpg – Some cars have an mpg meter. They ought to be standard in every car.
  13. Think about disposing of anything – there is no such thing as throw away, somewhere someone has to do something with it!
  14. Recycle where possible,  put “it” on Ebay, Freegle, or offer to charity shops.
  15. Print (computer paper) on both sides when suitable.
  16. Complain about things that are wrong  eg  whenever food growing land is taken for any sort of development. Bad design eg new houses where living rooms don’t see the sun, attics don’t allow for use as storage, roofs unsuitable for solar panels, not well insulated, gas boiler fumes output below head height, garages with no person door no room for bicycles freezer or garden tools …. the list goes on and on
  17. Save Xmas card blank page eg for use as lists etc.
  18. Holiday less abroad and more in UK.

These are just a start.  You can probably think of many more opportunities. 

Upcycling Inspiration

Moon Lake Musk Teacup Candle by Marcie CC BY 2.0

Moon Lake Musk Teacup Candle by Marcie CC BY 2.0

Another way to recycle something is to re-use it as something else, also known as up-cycling. Here are some ideas to get you going:

  1. Turn old clothes in to wash cloths and dusters
  2. Use pallet wood for kindling
  3. Use jars and pots for storing screws, buttons, paperclips etc.
  4. Turn wine crates into bookshelves
  5. Make a table out of scaffold boards
  6. Use old saucers and plates as plant pot bases
  7. Turn unwanted bowls and cups into planters
  8. Make pallet wood furniture
  9. Use old glass bottles for vases
  10. Use old tyres to make a potato planter
  11. Make a solar furnace out of old tin cans

Want to see some great upcycling projects in action? Simply follow, PopSugar Smart LivingCheck out our faves…

Reader Recommendations!

Get in touch with your own upcycling ideas to add to our inspirational reader recommendation list  – if you have a tip, simply leave a comment below!

  1. In the sixties I used to use tooth paste tube tops for small knobs just screw through to what ever you want a small knob for.

Recycling Top Tips


Recycle These Cups by Eric CC BY 2.0

Recycle These Cups by Eric CC BY 2.0

If you cannot re-use any items of waste then the next stage is to recycle them. The following materials can all be very easily recycled:

  • Metal
  • Glass
  • Paper
  • Textiles
  • Oil
  • Garden Waste
  • Food Waste

How To Recycle

It is very easy to recycle our waste with minimum effort:

  1. Use kerbside collection services:

The easiest and most efficient way to recycle up to 60% of the rubbish you produce is to use your local kerbside collection scheme. In Colchester you can recycle the following items in this way:

  • Food and drink cans
  • Glass jars and bottles
  • Paper and cardboard
  • Textiles
  • Garden waste
  • Food waste
  • Plastic bottles (HDPE and PET(E) only)
  1. Use recycling centres such as Bottle banks etc.

If you do not have a separate collection or you wish to get rid of your waste more frequently, then the borough has several recycling centres throughout the town, at local villages, superstores and at 2 Household Waste and Recycling Centres. Recycling centres typically consist of banks for:

  • Food and drink cans
  • Glass jars and bottles
  • Paper
  • Textiles (including clothing) and shoes
  • Plastic bottles (HDPE and PET(E) only)
  • Books
  • Beverage cartons (tetrapaks)
  • Garden waste
  • Electrical goods
  • Engine oil

TIP: Don’t make a special journey to a recycling centre, as the use of transport could negate the good your doing. Instead, try to fit it in with your normal visit to the shops, or when you are passing anyway.

  1. Use Scrap metal merchants

If you have other forms of metal you can normally recycle these at scrap metal merchants.

Don’t forget to recycle metal waste from DIY projects such as copper pipes, old sinks etc at scrap metal merchants. You will normally get paid, but bear in mind that the scrap metal market is volatile and prices fluctuate from day to day.

  1. Give an item a new purpose… Upcycle it! 

Another way to recycle something is to re-use it as something else, also known as up-cycling. Check out our great upcycling tips blog full of inspirational ideas!

Top Tips For Reusing Unwanted Items

Clotharrows by Lauren Jong CC BY-ND 2.0

Clotharrows by Lauren Jong CC BY-ND 2.0

If you have something you no longer want, ask yourself if it can be used by someone else or for something else before sending it off to landfill! You might even be able to make a bit of money at the same time…

The following things can generally be re-used:

  • Clothing and textiles.
  • Bric-a-brac, jewellery and crockery.
  • Toys, books, records, cassettes and CDs.
  • Household and electrical goods.

You may also want to consider if something can have a new purpose, you’ll find upcycling tips on our Recycling Top Tips blog!

Ways to find these things a new home:

  1. Sell on eBay
  2. Post on Freegle or Freecycle
  3. Give to a charity shop or Community Group
  4. Donate to a jumble sale
  5. Wait for a charity bag to be posted through your door
  6. Go to a clothes bank
  7. List on Give or Take
  8. Put an ad in a newspaper
  9. Put an advert in your local shop
  10. Tell people you have stuff to give away
  11. Have a garage sale
  12. Leave outside with a sign that says “free, please take”
  13. Donate to a community group
  14. Offer to a hospital
  15. Announce on twitter
  16. Post on Facebook
  17. Post on Gumtree 
  18. Post on Pre-Loved
  19. Sell at a car boot sale

Still have items you cannot reuse? Then check out how to recycle them!

Easy Ways To Reduce Waste

MAG - No Junk Mail by Melody Ayres-Griffiths CC BY 2.0

MAG – No Junk Mail by Melody Ayres-Griffiths CC BY 2.0

Reducing waste is easy, and the smartest choice you can make as an eco-minded individual! Get started with any of these smart choices:

  1. Put a “no junk mail” sign on your letterbox
  2. Opt for goods that have less packaging
  3. Choose recycled goods where possible
  4. Don’t buy new if pre-loved will do
  5. Don’t buy it if you don’t need it
  6. Take your own bag(s) to the supermarket
  7. Compost your unused foods
  8. Re-use gift bags and wrapping paper
  9. Buy goods that will last and that can be mended
  10. Avoid buying disposable items
  11. Choose flannels or muslin squares over face wipes
  12. Choose cloth nappies instead of disposable nappies
  13. If you choose disposable nappies, buy biodegradable nappies
  14. Buy refills where possible
  15. Buy eco packaged “compressed” goods where possible
  16. Don’t buy more fresh food than you need
  17. Don’t print out emails unless necessary
  18. Use draft print settings if you must print
  19. Keep unwanted printouts to use as notepaper
  20. Use waste paper for kindling
  21. Buy big packets/bottles
  22. RECYCLE! Take your plastics, paper, glass and card
  23. REUSE! Take unwanted items to a charity shop or post on freecycle 

Green Homes Wanted for 2015!

Green Homes Wanted – en-form Press Release 2nd June 2015

Have you had solar panels installed on your home, or perhaps a wood burning stove or a heat pump, in fact anything that makes your home greener and energy bills cheaper, then environment group en-form wants to hear from you.

Working with local environment groups and Councils, en-form will be holding Green Open Days on weekends throughout Essex, in September .
Andrew Wilkinson of en-form said ‘Green Open Days are like the familiar Heritage and Garden Open Days. Householders who have implemented green measures to their homes or lead a green lifestyle and would like to spread the word are invited to open their doors to the public to share their experiences.  After running a successful event last year we’re back again covering the whole of Essex! ’

Last year 20 homes opened around Colchester and we’re hoping to beat that this year. If you are interested in participating or know someone who is and your home is within Essex, please contact en-form on 01206 367776, or website

COMMUNITY FREE-PAINT! Celebrate 20 Years of Paint Re-use with our Great Giveaway

A project that collects and re-distributes leftover and surplus paint to help brighten the lives of others is offering community groups the chance to win FREE paint as part of a competition entitled ‘Getting Colour from Every Drop’.

Community RePaint Colchester is calling on community groups from across the area to send in ideas for painting projects that will improve the wellbeing of local people or the appearance of local places. The scheme is also offering people who pop in for paint between 15 and 21 July 2013 the chance to pick up fantastic freebies in honour of Community RePaint’s 20th anniversary – with the first 10 walking away with a superb decorating kit.

To be in with a chance of winning at least 20 litres (that’s the equivalent of four BIG tins) of paint for your project, community groups should submit an idea, along with a photograph of the proposed site, and a few details about how the paint will help. Application forms and terms and conditions are available from Community RePaint Colchester. Proposals can be artistic or practical; of benefit to old or young; pretty as a picture or for simply perking up premises!

“The aim of this initiative is to demonstrate how Community RePaint can make a real difference to the lives of local people,” said Andrew Wilkinson, Manager of Community RePaint Colchester. “Community RePaint offers a simple, local solution to the problem of paint going to waste. By re-using it in our communities we can bring a splash of colour to the lives of those who need it most, and help to protect the planet by preventing perfectly good paint from ending up in landfill.”

If your community group needs paint, no matter how much or how little, get in touch with Colchester RePaint on 01206 367776 or

‘Getting colour from every drop’

Dulux has supported Community RePaint for the last 20 years and is helping the Network to celebrate its 20th Anniversary by making two short films about paint re-use to promote the work of Community RePaint schemes. The first of the films ‘A Tale of Two Cans’ is available to view here:

“Dulux is proud to sponsor this fantastic network and is grateful for all the work each scheme does to promote the potential of paint re-use,” said Paul Murgett, Environmental Projects Co-ordinator, Akzo Nobel.

In 2012, householders, traders and paint manufacturers donated 387,495 litres of paint to Community RePaint schemes, which then distributed 218,364 litres to some 2,214 community groups and 17,296 individuals, providing 190 jobs and 1,274 volunteer and training opportunities.


For more information, please contact:

RePaint Colchester

01206 367776

Community RePaint Network

0845 180 0501

07725 760 082

Notes to Editors:

1. What is Community RePaint? Community RePaint schemes collect left over or surplus paint and re-distribute it to individuals, families and communities in need, improving the wellbeing of people and the appearance of places across the UK. In doing so Community RePaint provides social, environmental and economic benefits.

2. 20 years of paint re-use: Community RePaint will celebrate its 20th anniversary during the week 15 – 21 July 2013. Activities to mark this milestone are planned for throughout the year and include competitions and giveaways at participating schemes.

3. Who runs Community RePaint? Community RePaint is managed by Resource Futures, an employee-owned, non-profit-distributing environmental consultancy based in Bristol. The Network has been sponsored by Dulux since its inception in 1993 and forms part of Akzo Nobel’s ongoing sustainability programme.

4. How to contact Community RePaint: includes a postcode search, which can be used to locate the nearest point for finding or donating paint. Alternatively, phone: 0845 180 0501 or email: