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The picture on the right is Castlefields Community Cardboard Re-Cycling 2013.


The poem below is reprinted by kind permission of Matt Harvey, taken from his book "Where Earwigs Dare"



made entirely from offprints and recycled popular bits,
hand-stitched non-seamlessly together
to see a hot tub in a council skip
and heaven in a bald tyre
behold infinity in your local tip
and eternity in some frayed electrical wire

it seems one man's chimney pot's another man's top hat
one man's bauble is another man's jewel
one man's cheapskate's another man's skip-rat
one man's chip fat's another man's fuel
one man's cheek is another man's chutzpah
one man's puddle is another man's foot spa

broken umbrellas, malfunctioning kettles
empty containers of various metals
that never quite did what it said on their tins
these are a few of my favourite things

and one man's tip is another man's temple
one man's junk is another man's joy
one man's meat is another man's pen pal
one man's man is another girl's boy
one man's popgun's another man's uzi
one man's grit is another man's muesli

leftovers, hand-me-downs, chuckaways, offcuts
used, pre-loved, second-hand, rejects and cast-offs
all the fresh junk that this rampantly unsustainable consumer society brings
these are yet more of my favourite things

when the cold bites, when my skip leaks
when I've lost my zest
I simply dismember my favourite things
and then I don't feel so stressed


Have you always wanted to get involved a clothes swap but don't know where to start?

Are you concerned about the effect on the environment of fast fashion? Do you question the working conditions of those in the garment making industry in developing countries? Do you want to consume less and recycle more?

Jackie and Naomi have been organising neighbourhood clothes swaps for 10 years and they would love to share their simple, no frills formula to running a successful clothes swap in your street/ group.

email us at for free help and advice.

Freiburg, Germany

This South Western German city, of 220,000, has excellent and progressive policies on public transport, waste, lots of forms of sustainable energy, ecologically sound buildings, green spaces and lots more besides.

Green Options

Greenoptionszerowaste is a single use plastic free store. The idea is simple, bring your own container and refill. There is a large range of dried foodstuffs, spices, teas, oils, cleaning liquids and multi-use items. There is a till system that allows people to self-serve ( help will be available), and lots of tips and advice on how to cook or use any of the products. There's lots to see, try out and explore with new stock available upon popular demand. They offer a choice to alternative consumption, with a closer connection to what we buy and use. Open 6th April Tuesday-Saturday 9.30-5.00

SU11 Upper Level
Charles Darwin Centre

Plastic Water and Juice Bottles

Plastic Bottles - these, once-used, when discarded, litter the countryside, and do not biodegrade.
They must be recycled at kerbside collections, and some town centres.

TO AVOID once-used plastic water bottles -

- buy a glass or stainless-steel one

- get a good water filter (and recycle filters at Argos, Meole Brace)

- get rid of chlorine taste of water by refrigerating in a glass bottle with top left off and use within 2 days.  Most of the chlorine evaporates!

- when out, cafes will refill your water bottle if asked (eg Costa).  And there is often a jug of tap water, so help yourself.
A growing website, when you are out and about - can tell you the nearest water-filling location.
But it is a legal requirement to fill up on request.

Borough Market in London has now banned plastic water bottles, and instigated water fountains instead, to refill your bottle! 

  A good start is to get milk (and organic) delivered in reusable glass bottles.
  Glass milk bottles are reused a minimum of 20 times and after than can still be recycled!

Have  a look at the following for inspiration:

Much Wenlock or Fairbourne Water, are the nearest source of local bottled water, but check where it is distributed, and then re-use the bottle, but read this website for the dangers of over-using plastic bottles!  See

Rubbish Diet Challenge

 Whether it’s a space issue and you can’t get everything in your bin, your wheelie bin smells because of rotting food or you just can’t stand our throw away lifestyle, the Rubbish Diet challenge will help to solve your waste problems. It's like a slimming club for your bin, shrinking what you send to landfill, saving you money and once your bin is slim - you’ll never have to panic about missing bin day again!!

The Diet is really easy to do.  All you have to do is keep track of what you throw away and then find ways of making that waste disappear by recycling it, finding other uses for it or just avoiding it all together.  You’ll find solutions that work for you with the help of other Dieters in your group and from your local Bin Doctor, so check out the website.


Salop Computer Centre

recycle and sell refurbished laptops, tablets etc.

01743 233550

Try out a Bamboo toothbrush. Completely recyclable!

Shrewsbury Food Hub

The Shrewsbury Food Hub is an umbrella group for charities and projects in Shrewsbury/Shropshire that feed people as part of their daily work and who can benefit from donations of surplus food from local companies. We aim to cut down Shropshire's food waste and help conserve our planet's natural resources

Cwm Harry
Unit H, Vastre Industrial Estate
01686 626234

Shrewsbury Repair Cafe

Broken toaster, hoover, trousers with a broken zip cluttering up your house? Bring them to the repair cafe and our friendly volunteers will help you repair them.

01743 366771


The use of a one-off card/plastic cup, containing a hot beverage -  is not sustainble - as that container that cannot be recycled or reused and the plastic component will be around in landfill for possibly centuries!.  The only sensible option is to sit in a cafe for 10 mins, or take your own re-usable container,  There is a plethora of these in Shrewsbury shops - metal, plastic, bamboo - these latter can be composted after a few years, have silicone lids and can be purchased in pretty patterns all over Shrewsbury.  You can also ask for a price reduction for using your own container in a takeaway coffee shop, or station buffet.  Starbucks sell a reusable cup for £1, and offer a small reduction on price if people bring their own.

INSPIRATIONAL  --  CONCORD COLLEGE students use thermal mugs, as they have taken a stand against single-use paper/plastic coffee cups.  They have launched a thermal reusable mug which has proved very popular and is now used by staff and students through the college - they bought their own! They had been using around 3,500 paper cups per week, estimated at a weight of 1.4 tonnes of rubbish peryear!  And now - none! This is surely something that could be replicated at every workplace.

 Winchester University collected used chewing gum (made of plastic!), on campus, and upcycled these into coffee cups!

If the situation of using once-only is really unavoidable, at least in Pershore sell biodegradeable compostable one-use cutlery and containers, cups, bags etc, for the catering trade.



TerraCycle upcycles and recycles traditionally non-recycable waste packaging (including coffee packaging, biscuit wrappers, baby food pouches, baby wipes packaging, writing instruments and many more) into a large variety of consumer products. These products keep waste out of our landfills and contribute to a cleaner world.  See the Shrewsbury United Reformed Church (below) who will receive certain hard-to-recycle plastics.

0800 0470 984

The People's Design Lab

An opportunity to think about good product design, where waste is designed out.  Waste is a design flaw.  And to consider really wasteful products in daily use that could just be designed to be re-used, re-manufactured, etc.


A charity which recycles and remakes textiles into new clothes, sold in their London shops or online, to fund health and education projects abroad.
Also does education projects in the Uk on making new clothes from used.

020 8733 2580


 A new textile process - an ecostitching technology which allows garments to be selectively disassembled at end of life, the seams can be processed to fall apart, and then the garments can be re-used in various ways.


Zero Waste - part of Cwm Harry

This is what we should be striving for – many towns, cities and countries (including Bishops Castle in Shropshire and Presteigne, just over the border) have made this their ambition – why not Shrewsbury? This movement is growing, globally -  it is for local small-scale, community-led initiatives, based on questioning consumption, reducing waste, and reusing and  recycling everything - nature doesn't waste a thing!           

ZERO WASTE PRESTEIGNE and NORTON, just over the border - the 2012 Community Recycler of the Year award winners achieve nearly 80% of domestic waste, by slow recycling, with very community-based involvement.  See their inspiring website, at Cwm Harry, who have developed a closed-loop economy.