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Ideas for waste projects (Part One)

Zero Waste Scotland supports the work of community groups through our Resource Efficient Circular Economy Accelerator Programme funded by Scottish Government and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to support projects involving waste and circular economy activities, or installation of energy efficient measures in community-owned buildings.

Zero Waste Scotland recognises that behaviour change on issues around waste can often be most effectively achieved through community engagement at a local level.

We provide financial support (through the Climate Challenge Fund and our own funding streams) and have a range of materials, training and support available to help you take action on waste in your community.

You might already know exactly what projects you want to work on, but sometimes it’s good to get ideas from what’s already being done out there.  So we’ve put together this page with some ideas of waste-related projects you might want to consider.

A library of things

Stop people buying things they rarely use such as power tools, and get them to borrow them instead.  A great example is Edinburgh Tool Library.


Teaching people skills so they can upcycle, make and repair can save a lot of waste in the long term.  The Edinburgh Remakery. runs a wide range of workshop to teach a wide range of things such as sewing, IT repair, upcycling and bookbinding.

Create a re-use and repair guide

 A lot of people don’t buy second hand, donate items or repair items because they don’t know where to go for these things.  Why not publish a guide to help them.  Greener Kirkcaldy and Changeworks have both created excellent guides.  Changeworks have a Charity shop and re-use guide and also their Too Good to Waste guide

Cookery Lessons

Teaching cooking skills is a great way to show people how to reduce food waste by using up leftovers, getting more meals out of things like a chicken, and a chance to pass on tips about other food waste prevention things like proper storage, planning etc.  Orkney Zero Waste and CFINE both run regular classes and have great engagement in the community.

Composting and Food Waste Recycling

As well as teaching people how to reduce food waste, it’s good to educate them as to how to deal with the unavoidable food waste such as egg shells, tea bags, banana skins etc. 

Working with your local council to encourage participation in food waste recycling schemes is very beneficial, or for those who have somewhere to compost, teaching them the skills – and even how to build a compost bin from waste wood is ideal.  South Seeds do this effectively and even have a video and instructions to teach you how to build a compost bin. 

Bike Re-use and Repair

Encouraging re-use and repair of bikes is very popular and worthwhile.  Bike for Good (previously Glasgow Bike Station) take and sell 2nd hand bikes and provide workshop space for people to come and fix bikes as well as teaching skills. 

Repair Cafes

Repair Cafes are a great way of encouraging people to repair items.  People bring along items to repair, and volunteers show them how to do the repairs, so passing on skills to help people repair their own items in future. 

Transition Stirling run regular repair cafes. 

Restart is similar to Repair Cafes, but just focuses on electronic items.  

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