the challenge

We all produce rubbish - on average half a tonne (500 kg) per person per year - which adds up to enough to fill the Albert Hall once every hour.  In Essex this amounts to 700,000 tonnes per year. The main way of disposing of waste in the UK is to bury it in big holes in the ground. Unfortunately, we are running out of holes and there are better ways of tackling our waste problem.


Obviously the best way of reducing our waste is not to produce it in the first place. For some simple tips on how to reduce your waste check out our tips.


The second best option is to reuse items as much as possible. Reuse is taking idle goods and materials and using them in their original form, with possibly just a small amount of repair, either for the same purpose or something different. Other words that may be associated with re-use would be refurbishment, restoration, renovation, and regeneration. This site has been designed to make it easier for you to re-use items. If you have an item that you no longer want but can still be reused why not give it away to someone who can use it, Check out our Directory, Freecycle or Give or Take. Check out other sites here. For some other ideas for reusing items more than once, check out our tips.


Recycling is where a waste material is re-processed. For example tin cans are melted down to make anything from new tin cans to your car. Many materials can now be recycled not just tin cans, glass and paper . Check out what can be recycled in your local area.


If waste cannot be re-used or recycled then it can be incinerated to produce energy. This process will still leave about 30% of waste that will need to be landfilled.

Currently none of the waste collected by councils from Essex County Council residents is incinerated.


Unfortunately there will always be some waste that cannot be recycled and will have to be landfilled.

the solution

We represent Charitable and Community Groups in Essex with the objective of encouraging the reduction of waste through re-use by making it easier for the general public to give their items away,  particularly to charitable projects.

The benefits of Reuse include:

  • Saves landfill space.
  • Doesn't use up energy or raw materials as new products are not being made.
  • Reduces waste handling and disposal costs.
  • Generates an income for charities and other social groups.
  • Helps those that need re-used items, such as schools, community organisations and members of the public, both in the UK and the developing countries.
  • Creates opportunities for jobs and training.

our work

ECORRN and the community      


The Essex Community Reuse and Recycling Network was originally set up to help Community projects in Essex who operate Furniture Reuse, Electrical Appliance Reuse and other Recycling Projects in Essex.


Currently in Essex there are over 29 community organisations who derive all or part of their income and activity from diverting waste for reuse and or recycling. There are:

  • Over 13 active furniture reuse/redistribution projects
  • Others provide either employment and training opportunities linked to waste diversion such as computer reuse or bicycle refurbishment projects.

There are also over 200 charity shops, run by over 40 different charities. Individually, and overall, these organisations deliver huge social (as well as environmental) benefits to the region. These include:

  • Training and employment for people who find it difficult getting mainstream jobs.
  • Redistributing furniture and goods to people in need.
  • Raising funds for wider charitable purposes.

Without ECORRN these organisations would be operating often in isolation, without working together enough, having no developmental support  or links to support agencies, and without benefiting from the full knowledge of funding opportunities available to projects with both social and environmental objectives.

What exactly do Community Organisations do?

The organisations listed in the directory are community-based, co-operative organisations that work to provide community support by means of donated funds, donated items, training for disadvantaged people in society or other charitable objectives.

The community sector in Essex offers many services to the general public including:

  • Repairing and sending tools and bicycles to third world countries
  • Repairing and sending second hand furniture and electrical equipment including computers, washing machines, TV's, tables, chairs, cabinets etc at a very cheap price to those in the local community and in some cases free donations to those on benefits or in difficult situations.
  • Selling textiles, footwear, books, toys, CDs etc in local charity shops and at jumble and car boot sales to raise money for various causes.
  • Re-using leftover pots of paint.
  • Redistributing arts and crafts materials to schools, youth groups, etc.
  • Many of these organisations also provide training to those who are disadvantaged and would usually find it difficult to find employment.

Do you have any of the above items?
Do you have any other item you believe could be re-used?
Do you need any of the above items?

Have a look on our directory to find out if there is a local organisation that would appreciate either a donation or a purchase. They may also be able to help you if you are unable to afford the items.

who we help

By providing the facilities on this website to re-use items we can help the following individuals and organisations

Individuals - by allowing people (particularly those at a financial disadvantage) to benefit by obtaining cheap or in some cases free items that they can  use . It also enables people to dispose of items in an environmentally friendly way and perhaps save on waste disposal costs.

Businesses - by allowing businesses to obtain or dispose of resources in an easy, efficient, environmentally friendly and cost effective way.

Local Authorities - by reducing the amount of waste produced and ultimately sent to landfill and thereby helping local authorities to achieve their waste recycling targets.

Charities/Community Groups - by promoting the services these groups provide.


We work with and support a number of Organisations who have an interest in reducing waste through reuse in the UK. From our Group members who tend to be Community Groups and Charities, to other network Reuse and Recycling organisations and our  Affiliate members who include Local Authorities and interested Companies who have an interest in our objectives.

This website was funded with a grant from Essex County Council.


Group Members

Age Concern England
Barnardo's Charity Shop
BB Recycling Ltd
Bright Ideas Scrap Scheme
Colchester Development Partnership
Colchester Shake Trust
ECCO Limited
Emmaus Colchester
Essex Tools With A Mission
Farleigh Hospice Charity Shop
Hamelin Trust
Hand In Hand
Helen Rollason Heal Cancer Charity
Lighthouse Furniture Project Limited
Maldon (Essex) Mind
MillRace IT
Rainbow Services
Re-Cycle East
RePaint Colchester
The Salvation Army Hadleigh Training Centre
SE Essex Organic Gardeners
Second Generation
Southend Association for Voluntary Services (SAVS) Furniture Recycling
St Clare Hospice Trading Co
The Tendring Furniture Scheme
Tendring Reuse Employment Enterprise (TREE)
Tools with a Mission (Halstead)
Victoria ReCycled (Victoria In Partnership)

Affiliate Members

Anglia Ruskin University
Anglian Ruskin University Estate Development Department
Association of Charity Shops
Basildon District Council
Braintree District Council
Brentwood Borough Council
British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV)
Business Link For Essex
Castle Point Borough Council
Cambridgeshire Community Reuse and Recycling Network (CCORRN)
Chelmsford Borough Council
The Community Composting Network (CCN)
The Community Recycling Network - Eastern Region (CRN)
Colchester Borough Council
Devon Community Recycling Network

Epping Forest District Council
Essex County Council
Essex Friends of the Earth
Harlow District Council
Ipswich Furniture Project
Maldon District Council
Oakwood Enterprises Plough Corner

ReMaDe Essex
Rochford District Council
Roundwood Garden + Visitors Centre
Saffron Walden & District FoE
Small Business Services
Splinters (St Elizabeths)
Suffolk County Council
Suffolk Social Care
Uttlesford District Council


Regional Reuse and Recycling Networks

Cambridge Community Reuse and Recycling Network (CCORRN)

Essex Community Reuse and Recycling Network (ECORRN)

London Community Resource Network (LCRN)

Suffolk Community Reuse and Recycling Network (SCRRN)


National Reuse and Recycling Networks

Association of Charity Shops
The National Association of Charity Shops.

Community Composting Network
Community Composting Network (CCN): Providing advice and support to existing and would-be community composting projects across the UK.

Community Recycling Network (CRN)
The Community Recycling Network is an umbrella membership organisation promoting community-based sustainable waste management as a practical and effective way of tackling the UK's growing waste problem. 

Community RePaint
Community RePaint is a network of paint reuse schemes across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The purpose of the scheme is to collect leftover reusable paint from householders, and redistribute it to those who need paint but cannot afford it. There is also the opportunity for groups to become part of the Community RePaint National Network, by setting up you own paint reuse scheme.

Furniture Reuse Network
The Furniture Reuse (formerly Recycling) Network is the national co-ordinating body for 300 furniture and appliance re-use and recycling organisations, which exist across the UK. It is one of the largest co-ordinating bodies in the social sector.

National Community Wood Recycling Project (NCWRP)
The National Community Wood Recycling Project is the national co-ordinating body for Wood Recycling Projects 

Scrapstores UK is a charity supporting over 100 Scrapstores across the UK. Scrapstores reuse all sorts of off-cuts, scraps of cardboard, textiles, plastic, redundant stationery and promotional items as creative and educational resources for children. They are keen to hear from national and local businesses who have clean waste they wish to donate.



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