June 2018 - You might not want it - but others will

Published in Charlbury Chronicle June 2018

Visiting Dix Pit at Stanton Harcourt lately I’ve been quite depressed seeing so many usable things being dumped – even if they are recycled, it would be far better to find someone to reuse them. I managed to rescue some things by talking to the owners who “didn’t want them any more and couldn’t think of what else to do with them”, I then took them to the Bring & Take and of course they were snapped up quickly! We are lucky in Charlbury having the Bring & Take twice a year, and also having such a successful advertising website on Charlbury.info; so our community is no doubt much better off than most for finding someone else to take stuff we don’t want. Freegle & Freecycle are great websites to advertise things within a wider but still local area and for finding really good things for free rather than buying new, and then there is ebay for advertising more specialist things to a wider audience.

If we give things to a charity to raise money then we want them to get as much as possible so it is better to take things to a charity shop direct than use a plastic bag through the letter box which usually involves the collecting agency getting a fee. Even better to register for Gift Aid with the charity shop so they get your paid tax refunded for the amount they sell the goods for.

Duvets and pillows are fine for the Bring & Take and the few left over went to Oxford’s Gatehouse centre for the homeless – they were gratefully received. Although we can put textiles out for collection by WODC (in a bag on top of blue-lid bin), this excludes duvets and pillows and Dix Pit don’t take them either even though the last time I went I saw duvets and pillows sticking out of the textile skip right next to the sign clearly saying NOT to put them in.

We can also put small broken electrical appliances (WEEE) in our black box for collection by WODC, but larger WEEE items need to be taken to Oxfordshire County Council’s Dix Pit. Also remember Bannor Electrical in Chippy do a great repair service and also take unwanted things, repairing if necessary, to sell on table outside to raise money for St Mary’s Church at Chippy.

Dix Pit also take other things for recycling that aren’t collected by WODC – use the rubble skip for stones and broken china, they also have skips for all sorts of wood, hard plastics, fluorescent tubes, and metals (we can only put domestic cans, tins and aluminium in our blue-lid bins). Interestingly, after the waste in our light grey bins has been incinerated at Ardley (opened Autumn 2014) any little bits of metal are extracted from the ash for recycling,

It is tempting to hang onto things in case you need them later, there must be thousands of glass jars and metal lids being saved in houses all over the country for that jam-making that often never happens – probably best to just keep a few best shaped ones and put the rest out for recycling.

After decorating, there’ll be bits left over you might want to use again and store them in your shed? But then maybe you don’t use them and they’re stored so long they’re ruined? This is where our DIYspares webpage can be useful to advertise what you’re hanging onto in your shed in case anyone else could use them – this is great for paint, offcuts of wood or insulation, screws, nails etc. Send a photo and it can be categorised on the webpage so that anyone can have a browse to see if we have something here in Charlbury before driving off to Witney to get something new. Currently there is a wide selection of paint available for the taking.

Olio is a new idea for us in Charlbury for giving away food you’re not going to use but which is perfectly edible. Go to olioex.com to register and start today – use it on the web or a phone app. There are lots of items already available in Charlbury for anyone and everyone to take free, but I am refusing people from further afield so that Charlbury people can take first pick.

Take used batteries to the Co-op, or leave in envelope on top of blue-lid bin, or take to Dix Pit, or drop off at the Bring & Take or our stall at the Farmers Market. To make things easier for you, we also collect light bulbs, charcoal water filters, bras, spectacles, and printer cartridges.

Charlbury Green Hub