Downton green group


How to get the most from your Garden even in the driest summers



Here are some tips on ways to make the most of Wiltshire’s recycling collections:

Glass bottles & jars should be rinsed. If the lids are metal, replace them - both materials will be recycled. Do not replace plastic lids, e.g. from coffee jars (see separate point on plastic lids below)

Foil food trays can be recycled along with clean used tin foil - but do not put in a plastic bag

It helps the recycling process if you can squash rinsed food & drink cans - and tuck any lids/ring pulls inside 

Clothes & textiles (and also belts, shoes & handbags) should be put into a plastic bag - these are kept separately at the MRF to be sent to Devizes Textiles where they are sorted for reuse/recycling.

Plastic bottles (no other plastic containers please) should be rinsed and squashed and the lids put back on. See notes below on recycling other plastics. 

As well as cardboard, lightweight card such as gift cards and wrapping paper can be put in this bin, but not if there’s glitter on them!

At present other plastics (eg yoghurt pots, margarine tubs, plastic food trays and other rigid plastics) should be taken to the Household Recycling Centre at Churchfields, Salisbury.  But look out for changes next year, when roadside collections will cover a wider range of plastics.

The ONLY items that should be put in a plastic bag are clothes, textiles etc. If you put other items in plastic bags it contaminates the waste stream and makes recycling more difficult.

Wilts County Council website has a full list of what you can & can’t put in your recycling containers - >recycling

Other products recycled locally

the Pharmacy and Co-op have boxes for used batteries, and both St Laurence and the Baptist Church collect certain items to raise funds for charity.

Ring Pulls from Aluminium Cans

Take to Baptist Church (labelled drawers in entrance hall in Church generally open Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs and Sunday mornings until 1pm) or the Country Market in the Memorial Hall, every Friday 9.30-11.00 am.

Ties and Leather Belts
As above. These items are collected for the Purple Community Fund ( ) who works with both women prisoners in the UK and poor families in the Philippines training them to fashion various accessories.

Clothes Swap at Downton Baptist Church,

3rd Friday each month - Next is Friday 17 March, 2-4pm.  Clean, good quality clothes, shoes and jewellery can be left at the Baptist Church (see above).  Any not sold are taken to the Trussell Trust.
Contact Jerry Budgen 07891 148542, Sue Avery 07787 574924 for further information.

Plastic Milk Bottle Tops

All colours. Take to St Laurence’s Church or the Baptist Church.
Collected for New Forest Mencap

Jigsaws, Books, DVDs and CDs

Take to the Country Market, where they can be borrowed for 50p, to raise money for the Sarah Kinsley Fund ( which helps children with special needs locally.
Books can also be taken to the Coop where they are sold for charity.

Unwanted spectacles
Can be taken to most large opticians, eg SpecSavers or Vision Express for the developing world

Collected by ‘Tools for Self Reliance’ to be refurbished  before sending overseas. Contact details can be found on

Empty Printer and Toner Cartridges
Take to Naomi House charity shop in the Maltings (under Sainsbury’s)

Dead Batteries
Take to the Coop or the Pharmacy

Used Postage Stamps
Take to St Laurence’s Church

Furniture (good condition)

Trussell Trust Shop, Churchfields

Many Different Items

Charity shops and Jumble sales
‘Downton Deals’ – closed Facebook page, contact Becky Cornell (
‘Freecycle’ (


 Following the 4 R's in your daily life will help protect our natural environment, PLUS

many of these tips will ease pressures on your budget, too!




  • Only buy the food you know you need, so you don't end up throwing things away.  Perhaps do smaller local shops rather than the weekly shop at the large supermarket. 
  • Use any leftovers to make further meals or freeze food you know will go off before you can use it.  Eg make tasty soups with tired veg and the chicken carcass or grate stale bread for breadcrumbs, then freeze 
  • Avoid over packaged goods; use your own bags rather than accepting plastic carrier bags 
  • Cut down on the junk mail you receive by signing up to the Mailing Preference Service (


  • Turn off lights, computers etc. when you're not using them, and avoid leaving things on standby overnight 
  • Put on an extra jumper and woolly socks before turning up the heating! 
  • Boil only the water you need in your kettle - and descale it regularly to make it more efficient 
  • Make sure your home is well insulated 
  • Wash your clothes at the energy saving temperature of 30 degrees - and if you can, hang washing outside on the line or indoors on a drying rack rather than using a power hungry tumble dryer   
  • If practical install solar panels on your roof                                  

Water use:

  • Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth 
  • Use a bowl when washing up and when preparing fruit & veg rather than running the tap 
  • If you haven't got a low flush toilet, use a 'save-a-flush': free from Wessex Water, along with other water saving devices (>water saving) 
  • Take a shower rather than a bath (but if it's a power shower, make it a short one!) 
  • In the garden, use a hosepipe with a trigger rather than a sprinkler, and install a water butt to collect rainwater - Wessex Water have special offers ( >water saving)


  • Walk or cycle where you can rather than taking the car - good for fitness, too! 
  • Share transport with others, whether public (see for public transport information) or by car sharing (see 
  • When driving, gain maximum fuel efficiency by driving smoothly, reducing speed, shifting to a higher gear as soon as you can, and switching off the engine if stationary for more than a couple of minutes 
  • Save food miles by buying local produce when you can - and if possible, grow some fruit & veg yourself with zero food miles!


  • Cutting your fuel use will also help to limit emissions of harmful gases - both carbon dioxide (the major contributor to climate change) and nitrogen dioxide, a serious hazard to human health 
  • Avoid use of pesticides and weed killers in the garden - they can harm wildlife (including the natural pollinators) and pollute rivers and groundwater 
  • Dispose of awkward things like household chemicals, cooking fats etc. with care- they can do serious environmental damage otherwise. For advice see


  • Find use around the home for jars, cardboard cartons, plastic wrappers and other packaging where possible 
  • Avoid buying single use or readily disposable items - go for things that last! 
  • Make a compost heap or invest in a compost bin so that you can use kitchen/garden waste as a resource for the garden - discounted bins are available through Wiltshire County Council ( >rubbish & recycling >home composting) 
  • Use cast offs or fabric remnants in craft activities or to make items for the home, e.g draught excluders, bunting, dolls clothes 
  • Give a new life to things you no longer want or need - donate to local jumble sales/charity shops, M&S's "Shwop Drop' box; use Freecycle or eBay 
  • Look out for, or set up, local 'swap shop' events - or maybe just swap with friends!


  • Mend faulty household items or toys rather than throwing them out - find a local person or firm to do it if you can't do so yourself 
  • Revive those sewing skills to mend clothing - and why not jazz up some old outfits? 
  • Refurbish tired furniture 
  • Keep possessions like bicycles in good order through regular maintenance



  • Separate your waste carefully for regular collection. For items not collected, use facilities available at many supermarkets and at the household recycling centre - find out what can be recycled at 
  • Aim to buy products manufactured from recycled materials - recycled paper, glass, wood, plastics etc. are widely available 
  • When out for a picnic or having a snack away from home, look out for recycling bins or take recyclables home with you 
  • Use recycled materials such as old bits of wood in your garden to provide homes for wildlife.