Waste: our activities

Swap Shops

Our best known activity is the Swap Shops which have their own page in the Get Involved section (see our events box on the home page for the date of the next one).

Recyling points in shops

We were instrumental in encouraging shops to provide recycling points for items that cannot be recycled elsewhere. You can recycle printer cartridges at Higgs stationers in Castle Street, spectacles at Robert Stanley and batteries at any shop that sells them in significant quantities (this is now a legal requirement, but our collecting point in Champions got there first).

Drink cartons

Tetrapaks and similar cartons are hard to recycle as they contain a mixture of materials. As there were no local facilities for recycling them, we began collecting them at our Swap Shops in July 2005. Our efforts to find a good home for them bore fruit in March 2008, by which time we had enough for Tetra Pak to send a large lorry to collect them for recycling.

Under SODC’s current waste collection arrangements, introduced in 2010, these cartons are now collected every fortnight in your green recycling bin (or sacks), and they can also be taken to the usual recycling bank locations.

Washable Nappy Trial

From an early stage we offered free trials of washable nappies, and in 2004, our members Sally Eccleston and Sarah Webb won the 2004 National Real Nappy Awards (small scheme category) at the annual Women’s Environment Network conference (the prize money was used to supply the maternity ward in Wallingford hospital with washable nappies). The trials scheme continues to this day, now run by Sally as an independent project.

Wallingford Bunkfest

On several occasions we have helped the Wallingford Bunkfest with recycling — in one year we achieved the recycling of 77% by volume of the waste from the public bins on the Kinecroft. More recently the Bunkfest have managed their own waste, but it is noticeable that the food stalls on the Kinecroft now tend to use recycleable containers rather than polystyrene.


We have contributed to projects run by other bodies — for example we were represented on the Town Council’s working party which resulted in the production of cloth shopping bags to reduce plastic bag usage in Wallingford, and we helped recruit businesses to the Wallingford Business Recycling Project, run by Oxford Brookes University with support from the government-funded Waste Resources and Action Programme.