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We’re solving the waste crisis one category/material at a time. Always consider giving items a second life before recycling.

Below is our guidance for zero waste living including tips for recycling and giving consumer goods a second life. Send us your tips! This is a continuously evolving process and a top priority for Sustainable Westport.

#1 Separate food waste from household waste and compost at home, hire a curbside pick up service or bring it to the Town transfer station. You will lighten your waste trucked to the incinerator by 25 percent or more and help return a valuable material to the Earth to help restore soil and ecosystem health. Learn all about Sustainable Westport’s Zero Food Waste Challenge here.

#2 Leaves are not waste and it’s best for everyone if you leave them in your yard, preferably where they fall. Nature has big plans for them as our imperiled pollinators hibernate for the winter in the fallen leaves or in the ground they help insulate. This part of the pollinator lifecycle is vital to restoring pollinator populations next spring. Please join Sustainable Westport’s #WeLeavetheLeaves initiative to help support and restore pollinator and ecosystem health.

#3 Used textiles constitute about 7% of household waste and all but wet and dirty textiles can be recycled in the collection bins at the Town transfer station. Items you are welcome to put in the bin include clothing, footwear, accessories, towels, bed linens, curtains, and 4×6 rugs in any condition but wet and dirty.

#4 There are many options for donating home goods, furniture, decorative objects, books, games, appliances and more in working/usable condition.

  • Post on Facebook Marketplace for free
  • Post on Facebook “Buy Nothing Westport” as “give”
  • Post on Facebook Westport Front Porch
  • Donate to Goodwill, Savers and the Salvation Army
  • Donate to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore
  • Call Big Brothers Big Sisters/Hartsprings (Picks up clothing, small items at your house)
  • Post on Freecycle

#5 Used furniture: IKEA recently introduced a sell-back program for certain items, but the program is not yet available in the US. The Junkluggers and sister company Remix Market are on a zero waste mission, but there is a fee for home/business pick up.

  • Donate to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore
  • Contact The Junkluggers about lugging your used furniture to their nonprofit partners or Remix Market
    • Remix rescues perfectly good, reusable items from being thrown away by reselling them in their Stamford warehouse. 

#6 Old appliances, cabinets, sinks and more that you remove for updates and renovations will likely be landfilled. Although you may not think they have a second life, chances are very good someone else wants them. Before you dump….

  • Post on Facebook Marketplace for free
  • Post on Facebook “Buy Nothing Westport” as “offer”
  • Post on Facebook Westport Front Porch
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