Research from the Local Government Association (LGA) has shown that perfectly reuseable items worth over £400 million are sent to landfill each year.
As a result, the LGA is calling for a new reuse drive on items such as armchairs, kettles and televisions that are being needlessly thrown away.
The report of the LGA’s Reuse Commission shows:
- Almost 615,000 tonnes of material is currently disposed of in England, even though it has the potential to be reused each year
- This could almost equate to a £60 million saving to council tax payers worth £3 a household through diverting waste from landfill
- The sale of textiles that could be reused would be worth up to £143 million and resale of reuseable waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)
- In total, there could be up to £435 million of value through reuse available each year to local authorities and their reuse partners
- Reuse can also bring significant social value and can support local causes, charitable organisations, training and job creation.
The LGA would like to see manufacturers make it easier or cheaper for items to be repaired.
LGA environment and housing board chair Cllr Mike Jones said: “Every year, a mountain of televisions, kettles, furniture and other items are thrown away, even though they are not broken and could be reused.
“We’re calling for councils and consumers to join together to find new homes for these goods, which will not only save taxpayers money, but reduce the amount of waste unnecessarily send to landfill.
“We know lots of consumers already find new homes for their unwanted items, which saves taxpayers from paying for collection and treatment. But there are opportunities for far more reuse of a range of goods, and we want consumers to get involved and play a bigger part in this.
“Landfilling is expensive and the cost of disposing of unwanted but reuseable items is £90 million, money which could be saved from our council tax bills.”