THE recession is still at the forefront of most people’s minds, so, this year Recycle Week is focusing on how recycling can help your bank balance as well as the environment.

Anyone who has had a baby will probably remember the frequent trips to the shops to stock up on disposable nappies.

With the average baby going through 5,000 nappies until potty trained, parents could save £500 by using reusable nappies.

And it’s not just bring up children that sees us wasting hundreds of pounds on things we end up throwing out. Ninety per cent of everything we buy ends up as waste within six months. We all know we should recycle but it’s often easier said than done.

However, with the government in England making a commitment last week to work towards a “zero waste economy” and the Welsh Assembly Government’s target to recycle 70 percent of waste in Wales by 2025, recycling could become more of a habit.

When I think of recycling I tend to think of paper, plastic and tins, but it’s not just packaging that gets thrown away.

In Wales alone 410,000 tonnes of food is thrown away each year.

Wasting food costs the average family with children £680 a year.

Waste Awareness Wales is using the 3 R’s: reduce, recycle and re-use to inform people that finding alternatives to sending your rubbish to landfill sites.

Wrexham County Borough Council is trying to reduce the amount of food waste produced in the county. It is holding a food waste trial as part of Recycling Week in schools around the Caia Park area.

Sarah Barton, business development manager at Wrexham Council’s Environment Department said: “We’re going to separate food waste bins for the kitchen and have a separate collection unit. The council can then monitor the food waste coming out of schools.”

The idea is to educate not only canteen staff about the benefits of food waste reduction but also teachers and pupils.

“We hope the children will pass on what they’ve learnt to their parents.”

The trial will tie in with the a scheme starting this month which sees Wrexham Council give compostable bags to households for their food waste.

Flintshire County Council has also been looking into reducing food waste and has been running a pilot food collection service across 20,000 homes since April.

While we can’t re-use food, an initiative in Flintshire is hoping to get more wear out of clothes such as prom dresses and wedding dresses that tend to only get used once.

Handbags and Gladrags has been set up by Lynne Rowlands from Flintshire Local Voluntary Council (FLVC) and friend Sally Fitzhenry.

Lynne explained: “Prom outfits are very expensive and many families can’t afford them.

“Many people only wear their prom dresses once, but with this project two or three people can wear them.”

The project is still in its initial stages and the organisers are working with children from local schools to develop it.

Lynne added: “We are working with Mold Alun School and hoping they will help us to set up a website and Facebook group.

“Young people will be acting as volunteers for the project and we will be organising a large fashion show in November.”

Handbags and Gladrags have bought a pink gazebo changing room with mirrors and a rail so pupils can try on the dresses when Handbags and Gladrags visit local schools.

Over the border in Chester, a project to recycle furniture is proving a huge success.

The Blacon Furniture Project has had a store on the Blacon Parade for two years.

Dianne Piercy, a volunteer with the project explained how they operate: “People ring us and say they have furniture they want to get rid off. We then collect the furniture and take it back to the shop. We sell it for a small price, with the money going back into the shop for expenses.”

“The shop is very popular, we’re booked up for collecting furniture until July now.”

Dianne added: “You’d be surprised what people give away, we’ve been given nearly brand new three-piece suits that people have decided they don’t like.”

To support or donate to Handbags and Gladrags call Lynne Rowlands on 01352 731386 or Sally Fitzhenry on 01352 715656.

What's going on during Recycle Week:

June 21: Recycling information trailer at Broughton Retail Park; food waste promotion at Contact Wrexham
June 22: Recycling information trailer at Somerfield in Buckley; recycling stand at Sainsbury’s in Wrexham
June 23: Recycling information trailer Asda in Queensferry
June 24: Recycling information trailer Flint Retail Park; Bryn Lane Household Waste Recycling Centre ‘Let’s Sort It It Day’ – recycling officers advising householders where to throw away their waste
June 25: Recycling information trailer at Tesco in Mold; Wrexham schools food waste trial launch
June 26 – recycling information trailer at Flintshire County show; Caia Park Environmental Day food waste promotion

Cheshire West and Chester Council is promoting the re-use of small electrical household items during the week. For more information visit:

Useful contacts: – tells you what you can recycle and what you can’t and – helps find a home for reusable items. There are groups in Wrexham, Chester and Flintshire – includes tips for reducing food waste in the home – furniture reuse network. Local branch is the Cheshire Furniture Forum – 01244 379293
Flintshire County Council Recycling Team – 01352 703350
Wrexham County Borough Council Recycling Helpline – 01978 298989
Cheshire West and Chester Council Recycling Helpline – 0300 123 7026