89  Miscellaneous unwanted goods

We list below some outlets for a variety of unwanted goods not covered in sections 80-88.  We hope this will be of particular help to those who are planning to clear premises, or have a turnout, and prevent the temptation to dump items that could have a second life.  

Additional outlets may also be found in classified local and trade directories and through second-hand shops.


Fly-tipping is illegal, unsociable and unnecessary - don't even think about it.

There is a charge for every load of waste you take to landfill
BUT the organisations below may want to use your waste, 
or they could direct you to someone who does.

If you know someone who may be fly-tipping, PLEASE put them in touch 
with someone listed in
THE WASTEBOOK who can help them.


Two guides to cut packaging and re-use waste
WEN's Packaging Action Kit is a step-by-step guide for individuals and
groups on how to tackle waste from a shopping trip.  From the simplest action, such as leaving bags and excess packaging at the checkout (and telling the assistant why), to how to challenge supermarkets to reduce waste and meet their legal obligations, it includes tips on how supermarkets work, community campaigning, and ideas for low-waste shopping.

One person's rubbish is someone else's treasure! 
WEN's Guide to Running a Give or Take Day (Developed with the Forest Recycling Project) is designed for community groups, local authorities or businesses - sometimes groups of businesses get together to organise a Give or Take Day.  They are fun, easy to run and a great way to divert useful items away from landfill into the hands of people who can really use them. Think of a swap shop or jumble sale with no money changing hands.  People can bring along virtually any household items (in good condition) and take away others. At one event a lucky punter snapped up an entire kitchen!  

The Guide covers relevant legislation and pitfalls to avoid.  Maeve Murphy, WEN's Waste Prevention Officer, said: "In the UK we dump a shocking 414 million tonnes of waste in landfill every year - much of this is unnecessary packaging or perfectly good items that someone could use."  

Both guides can be downloaded free from www.wen.org.uk or send 1 each for a hard copy to WEN, PO Box 30626, London E1 1TZ.


Also see
Auction houses (110)

Alphabetical list of organisations

A & M Leisure Supplies

Tel 01582 724915 Fax 01582 737248
408 Hitchin Road, LUTON, Beds LU2 7ST

Dealer in new and used camping and caravan equipment and accessories.

Acclaim Catering Equipment

Tel 0208 556 5038 Fax 0208 558 9410
706 Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, LONDON E10

Purchases catering and refrigeration equipment. Refrigeration manufacturer and installer of cold rooms and air conditioning.

Babes Again

Tel 01582 508946
5B Riddy Lane, LUTON, Beds LU3 2AD

Dealer - new and used nursery equipment and baby clothing. Possible purchaser of used items in good condition.

Cash Converters

Tel 01920 485697 / 01920 485696
15-17 Gentlemen's Field, Westmill Road, WARE, Herts SG12 0EF

Franchised national network of secondhand dealers purchasing clean, unwanted goods in working order, particularly electronic, photographic, household and sports equipment. Contact above or refer to Yellow Pages for locations of nearest shops.

Cellular One

Tel 01462 441717
23 Bancroft, HITCHIN, Herts SG5 1JW

Dealer in new and used mobile phones.

Website www.communicycle.com  Email communicycle@communicycle.com 

New website to aid environmentally responsible re-use of items, launched May 2005.  Aims to connect people who want to pass on unwanted items with those who might find them useful, support communities, reduce waste of useable items going to landfill, encourage creative use of items. Bulletin boards.  Like Ebay, but everything is FREE.  Wanted ads welcome if something is offered in exchange.  Donations / sponsorship to Communicycle welcome.  Linked with Ethical Escape, for those who wish to travel lightly and encourage others to do so.  (Updated Aug 2005)

Community Re>Paint 

Tel 0113 243 8777 Fax 0113 234 4222
Email mail@swap-web.co.uk  mark@swap-web.co.uk  Website www.communityrepaint.org.uk  
SWAP, 74 Kirkgate, LEEDS, West Yorks LS2 7DJ
Contact  Mark Gregory, Community Re>Paint Co-ordinator, 0113 200 3951

Of 410 million litres of paint sold each year in the UK ( trade and domestic), 80 million litres (enough to fill 50 Olympic-sized swimming pools) are stored, hoarded in garages or wasted.  Paint can also come from traders, painters and decorators and retail.  When thrown "away", it has until recently been disposed of in landfill.  Community Re>Paint provides a practical solution to this waste stream that is environmentally and socially beneficial.  It is a national network of schemes which diverts one of the most common types of Hazardous Household Waste - unwanted paint - from the waste stream, sorts and redistributes it free for re-use by community groups, charities, and people on low incomes.  About 70 local paint schemes operate around the UK - case studies on website.   Householders can donate surplus paint at drop- off points (usually a walk-in skip) such as a DIY store, civic amenity site, facilities at council or parish offices, kerbside collection, or direct delivery to the scheme's base.  Community Re>Paint schemes are usually run by voluntary groups but with active support from local authorities, DIY retailers and waste management companies.  SWAP offers a 3000 capital grant, promotional material and advice and support on set up and operation.  Main needs are collection site, portakabin or shipping container, and staff, time and finances to keep the scheme going.  The initiative has provided technical advice, training, promotional assistance and some capital grant funding to start local collection schemes.  Website has details of local schemes.  Examples (WasteBook section 82) are ECT and Newbury Community Furniture Project.  Community Re>Paint won Best Minimisation Project at Biffaward Awards 2000.  Unacceptable materials: Paint thinners, brush cleaners, stripper, varnishes and wood stains, preservatives and treatments, car and industrial paint, aerosol and spray paint, paint not in its original container.  Usable paint: emulsion, gloss, eggshell, satin, silk, undercoat, primer, floor, masonry and exterior paint, plus end-of-line paint from retailers.  The national network was begun in 1992, and is co-ordinated by, Save Waste And Prosper, an organisation specialising in sustainable resource management, waste minimisation and recycling.   (Updated Aug 2005)

Crown Services
Tel 01926 887476 Fax 01926 886595
27A-29 Clarendon Avenue, ROYAL LEAMINGTON SPA, Warwicks CV32 4SG

Purchase commercial catering equipment including complete contents of redundant canteens, restaurants and hotels.


Tel 01582 492259 Fax 01582 492259
2 Hewlett Road, LUTON, Beds LU3 2RP

Dealer in new and used catering equipment.

Earth Centre (The Centre)
Tel 01438 716873 / 01438 716478  Fax 01438 717535
Email planetwise@aol.com  Website www.catsurvivaltrust.org 
Codicote Road, WELWYN, Herts AL6 9TU

Charitable business - profits support various environmental projects.   Accepts or collects unwanted office furniture, computers (Pentium 2 or newer for re-use) and photocopier equipment, carpeting etc.  Please ring in advance for a visit.  (Updated July 2005)

EMR (European Metal Recycling Ltd)
Tel 01925 715400  Fax 01925 713470 / 80
Email Ken.Norman@emrltd.com  Website www.emrltd.com  
Sirius House, Delta Crescent, Westbrook, WARRINGTON, Cheshire WA5 7NS 
Contact  Ken Norman 

UK's largest electrical goods recycler, handling over 300,000 tonnes of predominantly white goods, computers and cable annually.  Unparalleled logistics and investment, leader in shredding post-consumer durables, high-tech granulation and dense media separation of mixed materials for private and public sectors.  Recycles materials and/or components for white goods, other domestic appliances, brown goods (TV, audio), IT and office equipment.  Also handles railway carriages, shipping, engineering contracts, military hardware, cable granulation, factory contracts and environmental consultancy (Mayer Environmental Ltd).  Collection countrywide, no minimum load, charge negotiable.  Depots UK wide; SE includes Brentford, Canning Town, Croydon, East Tilbury, Great Yarmouth, Kettering, Kingsbury, Newmarket, Northampton, Norwich, Park Royal, Plymouth, Rochester, Shoreham, Southampton, Swindon, Thames Wharf, Tilbury Dock, Tottenham, Wandsworth, Willesden, Woburn.
(Updated Oct 2004)

Emmaus Village Carlton  
Tel 01234 720826   Fax 01234 721964   Email emmausvillage@aol.com
School Lane, CARLTON, Beds MK43 7LQ   
Contact  Maureen and Alan Barrett, Community Leaders, or John Creasey, Project Development Manager

Self-supporting, friendly community offering homeless and unemployed people their own room independent of state benefits, and work including recycling items then sold to the public.  Open to public 10-4 Wed to Sat.  Donations of resaleable items welcome, from dining suites, wardrobes, dressing tables and beds, to smaller items.  Furniture showroom has ever-changing 'quality' bargains that could furnish an empty home.  Shops, stalls and market sell donated books, clothes, jewellery, pictures, toys, trinkets, crockery, furniture, bic-a-brac at bargain prices.  Electrical items checked and provided with PAT certificate.  Visitors can ask if unseen items are in store or to be donated shortly.  Furniture repaired and renovated in workshop, run by experienced manager.  Hoping to make bespoke furniture to order.

House clearances undertaken. Large items collected.  Accepts nearly new clothes, preferably washed and ironed.  Soft furnishings must have non-flammable label.  Can't take children's safety equipment, cots, prams, anything using gas, nor flat pack furniture beyond repair.  Provides speakers, guided tours for groups, art and craft exhibitions, dances, events and visits including manor farmhouses.  Bedford College is setting up a computer training centre onsite.  Works with voluntary groups, Prince's Trust, and international projects.  Bistro provides good food at fair prices, and maps for miles of local country footpaths.  Companions (residents) stay as long as they wish, work full-time whatever their skills, often going on to help others.  People wanting to move on are helped to find accommodation and work.  Shops and bistro provide commercial settings to develop skills.  Volunteers welcomed in all areas.  Gardening undertaken.  Integrates with community and organisations, aiming to provide services and recreational sites for all.  (Updated May 2004)


Worldwide grassroots movement of over 2,300 (since only 2003) local groups of people giving and receiving things free in their own towns.  Provides individuals and non-profits an electronic forum to "recycle" unwanted items.  Free Membership.  Over 40 UK groups.  Website visitors sign up by finding their nearest community exchange group (click on the region on the right):  an automatic e-mail is generated which, when sent, signs you up for your local group and sends you a response with instructions on how it works.  Or go directly to your local group website by clicking on your community's link on the left.  When you want to find a new home for something - whether a chair, fax machine, piano, or old door - simply send an e-mail offering it to members of your group.  If you're looking to acquire something, respond to a member's offer.  After that, it's up to the giver to decide who receives the gift and set up a pickup time.  Non-profit organizations also benefit;  post the item or items you want to give away and local organizations can help you get it to someone in need.  If you can't find a group near you and may consider starting one, click on "Start a Group".  Open to all communities and individuals.  Groups are run by local volunteer moderators who facilitate – ‘grassroots’.  Website sections:  FAQ;  start a group;  instructional video (fun!);  sponsors;  and ‘Newswire’ with hundreds of articles and archives under many sub-headings on everything from national and local news (eg Miami Herald) to recycling tips and links  - like Herman the (composting) Worm!   Freecycle now has 2,343 communities and 926,155 members (Feb 2005).  Started May 2003 to promote waste reduction in downtown Tucson, Arizona, USA, and to save desert landscape from being taken over by landfills.  Only one main rule:  everything posted must be free, legal, and appropriate for all ages.   (Updated Feb 2005)

Homestore (Quaker Social Action)

Tel 0208 519 6264  Fax 0208 519 9453
Email Homestore@dial.pipex.com  Website www.quakersocialaction.com/homestore.html  
Unit 2, Maryland Ind Est, Maryland Road, Stratford, LONDON E15 1JW  
Contact  Jim Carling, Project Manager

Charity collecting unwanted furniture, domestic and electrical goods, for redistribution to people on low incomes referred by any suitable organisations within East London Boroughs, including social services and housing associations.  Open Mon-Fri 10-3 for clients to view, collect or arrange to receive free delivery of items - some form of identification required.  Office hours Mon-Fri 9-430 for all queries.  Those wishing to donate items can phone the office for free collection or to make arrangements to deliver.  Donations are regularly made by businesses, organisations and individuals.  Please see website for postcodes covered by HomeStore.   Also on site is Odd Jobs Training Centre,  for those homeless and vulnerably housed.   Networks with Forest Re-paint community scheme, for example restoring furniture.  Open to networking with other projects and activities.   (Updated Jan 2005) 

InKind Direct
Tel 0207 860 5927 / 0207 860 5930  Fax 0207 860 5920
Email info@inkinddirect.org  Website www.inkinddirect.org
19 Milk Street, London EC2V 8AN
Contact  Tasha Procter, Charities partnership administrator

Charity distributing surplus goods from industry to voluntary organisations throughout UK and abroad.  The mainly new goods are surplus because they are samples, seconds, ends of lines, slow moving items or have faulty packaging.  (However, used computers are refurbished, equipped with operating systems and resold ready to go with 30 day warranty.)  Goods are valuable and useful, but would otherwise go to waste because companies don't have the time or the contacts to make better use of them.   However, they are just the kinds of things needed by people served by charities, not-for-profit organisations or social businesses, including educational items, toys, toiletries, tools, trainers; household appliances and cleaning products; clothes, shoes, sportswear; bedding and linen.  Office supplies and equipment worth over 43 million have been donated by hundreds of companies, and thousands of charities have benefited.  To donate, download faxback form from website.  Voluntary organisations pay an annual registration fee, and receive a monthly catalogue of available goods.  So, instead of occupying storage space or worse, going to landfill, these items go to a huge range of deserving causes.  Range of fees based on charities' incomes - but thanks to funding from charitable trusts and foundations, many groups are subsidised either by geographical location or charity focus.  Open until 6.30 Thursdays.  Operating since 1997.  Retail Donation Initiative (RDI) is another way retailers can donate goods - each branch of a national retailer is matched with a local charity which arranges regular pick-ups of customer returns, ends-of-lines and items with slight defects. Allows stores to build a relationship with a charity from their community - contact robert@inkinddirect.org Tel 0207 860 5971.   (Updated May 2005)

Luton Disco Centre

Tel 01582 651222
76 Hightown Road, LUTON, Beds LU2 0DG

Dealer in new and used disco equipment.

Midwest Catering Equipment

Tel 01242 518941 Fax 01242 224013
Stella Way, Bishops Cleeve, CHELTENHAM, Glos GL52 4XN

Sale and purchase of secondhand catering equipment.

New Life Recycling

Tel 01543 425953 Fax 01543 426303
Unit 6, Brindley Business Park, CANNOCK, Staffs WS11 2GD

Receive 'seconds', end of lines etc from major retailers which would otherwise be destroyed and sell through a 'warehouse club'. Proceeds support the Birth Defects Foundation.

Oxfam Stamps & Coins Unit
Tel 01869 355114  
oxfam@oxfam.org.uk  Website www.oxfam.org.uk, www.oxfam.org.uk/coolplanet  
26 Murdock Road, Bicester OX26 4RF  
Contact  Peter Yik  

Specialist department of volunteers and some staff dealing with collectables, donated mainly through charity shops.  Handles British and overseas postage stamps attached to paper.  This is profitable, demand exceeding supply.  Most are sold in bulk as 'kiloware', but selected items are more thoroughly processed for sale through shops, and specialist stamp collections and bequests are sold through national philatelic auction houses.  Foreign and outdated British coins and banknotes taken.  Coins redeemed at 50 - 80% face value, sold as scrap or occasionally as rare and valuable collectors' items.  Cigarette coupons, trading stamps, air miles etc, individually have a minute face value, but redeemed in bulk provide substantial income.  Takes postcards (all types but particularly pre-war); medals; cap badges; cigarette and tea cards.  Stamps are best trimmed to leave a 3mm margin.  Oxfam will help you set up collection point in homes or offices - bags of stamps can be taken to local Oxfam shops or sent to the address above.  (Oxfam head office main entry, see Charity section 130.)

Oxfam's other activities for donation and low price resale:
600 public donation 'banks' for textiles and 1000 for books,  collected via local warehouses. 
Wastesaver sorting and reuse facility (Huddersfield, sends worldwide) for unsold clothes.
  Specialist bridal clothing and accessories departments in some Oxfam shops.  (See Textiles, section 81). 
Bookshops, and book departments, including rare and collectables, also via online marketplace www.abebooks.co.uk
(see Books and publications, section 33). 
Music shops and departments (see section 33, or Miscellaneous unwanted goods 89). 
Furniture (domestic /office) shops and departments (see Furniture and household goods, section 82). 
OXBOXX scheme for people moving home and removal companies, run by Oxfam with the British Association of Removers (BAR).  
Mobile Phone Recycling: Oxfam shops take donated phones.  If less than 10, you can also send to Oxfam 'Bring Bring' Scheme, Freepost LON16281, London WC1N 3BR; if more than 10, call 0870 752 0999 for free collection (see Computers, phones and electronic goods, section 87, and Electronic and electrical scrap, section 44).
Cartridge Recycling:  Toner cartridges: for a minimum of six, in original boxes, call LaserXchange Tel 01873 859901 for free collection.  Inkjet cartridges: LaserXchange will send a Freepost collection box or bag for posting, or Freepost labels for smaller amounts.  (See Oxfam and LaserXchange entries, Office technical wastes including toner cartridges, section 35)

Computer equipment: contact Michael Taylor, mitaylor@oxfam.org.uk, Tel 01865 313484 (see Computers, phones and electronic goods, section 87). 
Companies contact companies@oxfam.org.uk for information on projects, fundraising, partnerships

- offered by some shops, eg furniture - phone your local shop to ask.
Valuables - if you have something valuable to donate, please let Oxfam know. 
 (Updated Feb 2004)

P&O Closed Loop Logistics
Tel 01473 581305  Fax 01473 581333
Email  maria.hill@po-transeuropean.com    
Peninsular House, 11 Lower Brook Street, IPSWICH, Suffolk IP4 1AJ
Contact  Maria Hill

Collects and recycles IT equipment, white goods (eg washing machines, freezers), brown goods (TVs, audio), and all other electrical, electronic equipment.  Specialist in CRT recycling and precious metal refining.  Collection countrywide, no minimum load.  (Updated Oct 2004)

PR Matters

Tel 01494 764932 Fax 01494 764408
Brambling House, 7 Finch Lane, LITTLE CHALFONT, Bucks HP7 9NE

Public relations consultancy promoting recycling of PVC wellington boots for Dunlop. Promotions include providing 'welly banks' for local authority recycling sites; support for special events and competitions such as welly 'wanging' contests and recycling presentations to schools. Dunlop can also provide bulk collection arrangements for large users of industrial and safety boots.

Sells Caterers Market Ltd

Tel 01923 225000
488 St Albans Road, WATFORD, Herts WD2 5QU

Sale and purchase of secondhand catering equipment.


Tel 0208 524 2423
46 Gordon Road, Chingford, LONDON E4 6BU

Voluntary organisation providing a 'partnering' service to enable people who need only one shoe, or have different sized feet, to find appropriate footwear. On occasion, directly supplies odd-sized footwear or single shoes. Information on manufacturers and suppliers: SAE essential.

Spectra Sound and Lighting

Tel 01604 634100 Fax 01604 604554
162 Wellingborough Road, NORTHAMPTON NN1 4DU

Dealer in new and used disco equipment.

The Cave

Tel 01462 676433
1 The Wynd, Station Road, LETCHWORTH, Herts SG6 3EN

Buy, sell and part exchange computer games and videos, and sell films on laser discs.

Tony Wild Camping

Tel 01525 290477 Fax 01525 290477
Woburn Park, Woburn, MILTON KEYNES, Bucks MK43 0TP

Dealer in new and used tents, trailer tents and folding campers.

Vulcan Towing

Tel 01582 584088
338 Leagrave Road, LUTON, Beds LU3 1R

Purchaser of used caravan accessories.