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Recycling when moving home

reallymoving.com provides home movers with a guide to home recycling in preparation for moving day

Recycling when moving home

Why recycle?

Removal companies will calculate the cost for your removal service by the volume of items that you have to transport to your new house, so moving home presents a great time to declutter the items that are broken or unneeded, and recycling is an excellent way to clear the things that you no longer want.

It is a good idea to do this in advance of your move, as all professional removal companies will want to do a pre-move survey of your belongings, to assess how much you will want to move.

There are many positives to recycling, as recycled materials are converted into new products using less energy than required for producing new products, so not only can recycling allow you to purge your possessions and reduce the cost of your removals, it can also help to protect the environment and conserve resources.

Recycle Now is a fantastic UK-based source of information to help you find out everything you could possibly need to know about recycling and where to recycle in your area.

Recyling will be especially useful if you are downsizing your home and moving to a smaller place.

What to Recycle

You may be surprised by the sheer amount of objects that can be recycled. Recycling goes way beyond the glass, plastic, paper and tins that the council collects from your house. Items that are commonly cleared for a house move include furniture, clothing, electrical goods and old toys. These can all be recycled.

In the run up to your house move, use up perishables such as shampoo, moisturiser and shower gels in plastic bottles to be able to recycle these before your moving date.

Electricals contain precious metallic elements like gold, silver, copper and aluminium that can be reused, thus saving valuable new resources, so if you have broken household appliances, please take them to your local recycling centre, so that the materials can be salvaged.

There may be items that you wish to get rid of which can't be recycled; here are four additional ways to reduce your belongings before your house move.

Petrol and oils should be disposed of before moving home, and many removal companies will not move your petrol lawnmower if it is not emptied of all petrol. 

Where to Recycle

For items such as engine oil and petrol, your nearest recycling centre should accept these, however, it is best to check before visiting, as if they do not they may be able to advise where to take the liquids. Your local household waste recycling centre should also accept unwanted white goods. You could check to see if the council offers a collection service.

Charity shops are a popular way for home movers to get rid of unwanted items, such as books, DVDs, toys and clothing. Some charity shops often have to temporarily stop taking donations when they run out of room, so it is best to ask the shops before taking bags of items along to them. Many charities, including the British Heart Foundation and Emmaus, will also collect unwanted white goods and furniture that is in working order.

Re-use organisations, local shelters, and children’s schools and nurseries are a good way to pass on your belongings, in addition to charity shops.

Be sure to check that your items are recyclable before dropping then off at a centre or putting them in your bins. Find out more information about local recycling centres near you, as this will usually be the most appropriate place to take the majority of the recyclable items you no longer want.


Although your items of furniture may not currently look in the best shape, there are many ways to give them a new lease of life. For the more creative types, upholstering is a great way to do this.

Upholstering is when you use materials to re-cover items of furniture to provide them with a new look. You could even use your unworn clothing, unwanted curtains and other fabrics you have to cover the furniture.

It also means you don’t have to struggle getting rid of items that you have an emotional attachment to, despite not being used that often.

Recycling Packing Boxes

Following your move, you’re sure to have many packing boxes in your new home that need to be removed.

Your removal boxes are most likely to be made from recyclable materials, so should be able to be added to your paper recycling bin. If you have a large number that will not fit, they can be taken to your nearest recycling centre.

Many removal companies offer to lend their customers packing boxes and will collect them after the move is complete. Ask you moving team if this is something that they provide, as it will save you having to recycle them once you have unpacked.

You can find out more about recycling your packing boxes in our article, How to get rid of your boxes after moving house.

Comments (1)

  • Mrs j,whatmore

    posted on 26 Jan 2017

    We are shortly moving to Aldwick from Felpham. Do we take our recycling bin with us or do we have to set up a new contract

    Reallymoving response

    If you are moving into a new home you will have to complete a new service form and arrange to set up a new recycling collection. You can find more information on recycling in Aldwick by visiting the Arun District Council Website.

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