Published date: 13 February 2023

Free DIY materials offered to north London residents

North London Waste Authority (NLWA) has launched a new trial service at two of its reuse and recycling centres to offer a place for residents to deposit unwanted DIY materials. Items like handfuls of bricks, left over slabs, odd tiles or that extra bit of timber from home improvement projects are now available for other local residents to take for free to help them finish their projects.

North London residents can now drop off left over DIY supplies to South Access Road Reuse and Recycling Centre in Waltham Forest and Summers Lane Reuse and Recycling Centre in Barnet so that they can be offered to someone else who wants them, for free. If the scheme proves successful, NLWA will look to roll it out at its other reuse and recycling centres. 

The scheme could save tonnes of DIY material each year from going to waste, as well as helping residents save money, particularly important during the current cost of living crisis. 

This new offer will complement the existing Community Repaint scheme also available at the majority of north London reuse and recycling centres, which enables residents to drop off and collect leftover paint. NLWA also puts aside other reusable items brought to its recycling centres, such as furniture, toys and homewares to sell at its ReUse Shop in Chingford. 

NLWA Chair Cllr Clyde Loakes said: “The availability of free, usable DIY materials will keep items in use for as long as possible before they reach the end of their life. This is the circular economy in action and just one more way that we’re helping residents to reduce their waste and save money. 

“The Climate Emergency is a daily, growing concern and in order to combat it we need to rethink the way we use, reuse and repurpose all sorts of materials, with disposal being the absolute last resort. We hope that making DIY materials available for free will make sure these items are put to good use but also teach people that things should only be thrown away when they’re used up or served their purpose and not a moment before.”