Merseyside charity on a mission to rescue, reuse and recycle unwanted items

A Sefton charity has spent the last year recruiting an army of volunteers to deliver workshops in clothes, furniture and plastics reuse to help stop materials from going to waste.

Fix Up, Look Sharp is the creation of Crosby-based Mencap Liverpool & Sefton, which last year was awarded £7990 by the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority & Veolia Community Fund 2022/23 for the reuse and repair project.

Since July last year, the charity has been holding regular upcycling workshops, ‘fix-up fairs’ and arts and craft sessions to help local people breathe new life into old furniture, unwanted textiles and discarded plastics. All of the workshops have been delivered at the Mencap Liverpool & Sefton Cottage on Mariners Road, Crosby.

Mencap Liverpool & Sefton is a local, independent charity that promotes equality for people with a learning disability, helping them to discover new opportunities, make new friends, and feel valued and safe in their community.

Nadine Jones, Progression Co-ordinator at Mencap Liverpool & Sefton, said: “Our Fix Up, Look Sharp project has been using regular workshops to give people the skills and opportunities to reimagine and repurpose clothes, plastics and furniture. We want to equip all our participants with the knowledge and inspiration to rescue, repair and repurpose items that could otherwise have been thrown away. I hope that we have helped people to understand the consequences of unnecessary waste so that everyone engaged with the project is motivated to consume more responsibly.”

According to a recent analysis* around 5% of household bins locally contained textiles such as clothes and shoes, a lot of which could still be used. The same report showed that plastic items made up 11.9% of Merseyside and Halton’s kerbside residual (i.e. black bin bag) waste.

Lesley Worswick, Chief Executive of Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority, said: “Our Community Fund projects are always full of inspirational ideas. Local organisations such as Mencap Liverpool & Sefton can deliver zero waste and sustainability messages and ideas in a way that people can relate to in their own lives, which is a benefit to the local environment.”

In total, Mencap Liverpool & Sefton are hoping that by the end of the project they will have delivered 10 litter picks in conjunction with local litter picking groups like Crosby Wombles and Friends of Crosby Beach, 10 ‘Fix Up Fairs’ (where participants can find new homes for items that they don’t want to keep), and numerous textiles, furniture and plastics workshops including workshops that upcycled old pallets into garden furniture and herb gardens.

From 21st to 23rd May there is a three-day revamp of all of their coffee shop furniture. Here, Mencap members together with a team of artists and volunteers from the local community will be joining celebrity upcycler Gemma Longworth (‘Find It, Fix It, Flog It’) to revamp the coffee shop. At all the events, participants have been learning how to make simple fixes and alterations so that items can be saved, reused and improved.

By the end of Fix Up, Look Sharp, it is estimated that almost two tonnes of material will be reused which would otherwise have gone to waste.

Nadine Jones continued: “Not only has this project brought together the community it has also given adults with learning disabilities the opportunity to build their confidence, connections, skill sets and discover hidden talents and interests! All while giving many items new life and legacies.”

For those who want to get involved with Mencap Liverpool & Sefton, they can email, or text FIXUP to 07554 410 555.


Essential groundwork repairs are taking place at Clatterbridge Recycling Centre from Thursday 18th – Friday19th May.

Please follow the traffic signs, we aim to keep disruption to a minimum but during the works there may
be queuing at busier times.

To avoid possible disruption please use Bidston or West Kirby Recycling Centre or consider visiting during off
peak times before 10:00am and after 6:00pm.


Essential groundwork repairs are taking place at Clatterbridge Recycling Centre

Essential groundwork repairs are taking place at Clatterbridge Recycling Centre from Tuesday 9th – Friday 12th May.

Please follow the traffic signs, we aim to keep disruption to a minimum but during the works there may be queuing at busier times.

To avoid possible disruption please use Bidston or West Kirby Recycling Centre or consider visiting during off peak times before 10:00am and after 6:00pm.


Longer hours for Recycling Centres

Merseyside and Halton residents will soon have the opportunity to recycle more as Household Waste Recycling Centres open for longer over the spring and summer months.

From Saturday 1st April the region’s Centres will be open from 8.00am until 8.00pm*.

There are 16 Household Waste Recycling Centres in the region. They are operated by resource management company Veolia on behalf of Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA).

Lesley Worswick, Chief Executive of MRWA, said: “The Recycling Centres accept a range of household materials for recycling, from batteries, cans and cardboard, through to garden clippings, glass bottles, wood, and white goods. They also accept lesser-known items such as food and drink cartons, clothes, hard plastics and electrical items. The lighter spring and summer nights mean we can stay open for longer.”

Householders can check for details of what can be accepted at their local site.

The Centres provide a popular service for residents and can become extremely busy at peak times so visits should be planned carefully.

There is a system in place for those who wish to visit in a van or with a large trailer. Bookings can be made at For the two Halton facilities (Johnsons Lane and Picow Farm) householders should contact Halton Council at



From 1st April 2023 until 30th September 2023 Merseyside and Halton’s Household Waste Recycling Centres will be open from 8.00am until 8.00pm*. The Centres are located at:

Halton –

Runcorn- Picow Farm Road – WA7 4UB

Widnes – Johnsons Lane – WA8 0SJ

Knowsley –

Huyton – Wilson Road – L36 6AD
Kirkby – Depot Road, Knowsley Industrial Park – L33 3AR

Liverpool –

Old Swan – Cheadle Avenue – L13 3AFOtterspool – Jericho Lane, Aigburth – L17 5AR

Sefton –

Formby – Altcar Road, Formby – L37 8EG
Sefton Meadows – Sefton Lane, Maghull – L31 8BX
Southport – Foul Lane, Scarisbrick New Road – PR9 7RG
South Sefton – Irlam Road, Bootle – L20 4AE

St Helens –

Newton-le-Willows – Junction Lane – WA12 8DN
*Rainhill – Tasker Terrace, Rainhill – L35 4NX (*NB: Rainhill: Open 9.00am–6.00pm on Saturdays; 9.00am–3.00pm on Sundays)
Ravenhead – Burtonhead Road, St. Helens – WA9 5EA

Wirral –

Bidston – Wallasey Bridge Road, Birkenhead – CH41 1EB
Clatterbridge – Mount Road, Clatterbridge – CH63 4JZ

West Kirby – Greenbank Road – CH48 5HR


Liverpool Half Marathon -Sunday 26th March

Liverpool Half Marathon on SUNDAY 26th MARCH 2023 – Restrictions to access at Otterspool Recycling Centre, Jericho Lane, Liverpool 

There will be restrictions to the access at the Otterspool Recycling Centre during the Liverpool Half Marathon on Sunday 26th March 2023.

Access to and from Jericho Lane / Aigburth Road will be restricted between 9.00 am – 12.00 noon approx. as runners pass from Sefton Park to Otterspool Park via the underpass and then across the top of Jericho Lane. The junction will be open as soon as the last runner  passes into Otterspool Park.

To avoid disruption:

  • Use Old Swan Recycling Centre, Cheadle Avenue, Old Swan, L13 3AF.
  • Access via the Riverside Drive approach, by proceeding along Aigburth Road, Park Road left into Parliament Street, left into Sefton Street.

The road closure at the junction of Aigburth Road and Jericho Lane will be reopened when the last runner passes or at approximately 12.00pm.

For more detailed information on the half marathon and road closures please go to:

For your nearest Recycling Centre click here.


Mersey cookery classes serving up skills for Food Waste Action Week 2023

Eight community projects in the Liverpool City Region are helping people to cut food waste, eat healthier and save money after a funding boost.

The projects have been given a share of £110,000 through the Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority Community Fund 2022/23, which supports community reuse, recycling and waste prevention initiatives across the region.

This week (6th to 12th March) marks Food Waste Action Week 2023, the UK’s biggest annual food waste reduction campaign, organised by the Love Food Hate Waste programme. The eight local projects are using the week to highlight how much food could be stopped from going to waste by shopping smarter, meal planning and improving cookery skills and use of ingredients. The organisations are delivering a variety of initiatives across Merseyside such as cookery classes, compost sessions and grow-your-own workshops to help reduce household food waste.

One of the groups to receive funding is Liverpool-based Bay Tree Cookery Academy CIC. Michelle O’Dwyer of Bay Tree, said: “Bay Tree Cookery Academy CIC has been running projects that work with vulnerable groups to teach food preparation, cooking and budgeting and food handling and storage skills over several years. Our latest project is targeting groups who benefit from learning skills that help reduce food waste, such as those living on fixed incomes and low incomes, people with disabilities, mental health challenges, unemployed people and veterans.

“The unique aspect of this project is that we’re teaching skills to minimise food waste rather than just cookery skills. We’re focussed on shopping on a budget, food handing and hygiene, using leftovers, and evaluating portion sizes. It’s a serious matter, but we’re making sure everyone is having fun while they learn!”

The eight projects are:

  • Bay Tree Cookery Academy CIC – Cook And Save (see pictures above).
  • British Dietetic Association – Waste Warriors.
  • Centre 63 – Remake Yourself Hub.
  • Compost Works – Share Food And Compost The Rest.
  • Farm Urban – Future Food Heroes 2.0.
  • Knowsley Foodbank – Chloe Cooks.
  • Porchfield Community Association
  • Wargrave House College – Not Too Shabby

An estimated 106,064 tonnes* of avoidable household food is wasted in the Liverpool City Region each year. A lot of this could still be used and would save the average family £720** a year in groceries. It is this behaviour the projects are looking to change.

Councillor Tony Concepcion, Chairperson of Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority said: “We are delighted to support all of these projects. The facts show that on average we throw away over one hundred thousand tonnes of avoidable food every year on Merseyside – almost a third of the average general household waste bin. That includes millions of loaves of bread, whole chickens, litres of milk.

“Food waste is a big issue with significant environmental effects. Projects like these can get people to recognise that the food they buy exists within a circular economy – from farm to fork – while having a real impact in reducing household food waste and saving households money on grocery bills.”

The organisations have until the end of March 2023 to deliver their projects.


Notes to editors:

The attached images show Bay Tree Cookery Academy CIC, 2023.

*MRWA LCR Waste Composition Analysis 2021/22


The MRWA Community Fund food-saving projects:

Bay Tree Cookery Academy CIC – Cook And Save will try to cut food waste with 18×2-day cookery/training courses.

British Dietetic Association – Waste Warriors. The BDA has recruited 15 people from ten community cooking clubs to deliver 75 food waste cookery classes.

Centre 63 – Remake Yourself Hub. The Kirkby-based project is hosting food waste sessions. 

Compost Works – Share Food And Compost The Rest is delivering 12 training sessions and 40 weekly support sessions for composting.

Farm Urban – Future Food Heroes 2.0. The next stage of the Future Food Heroes project is delivering seven community events and 72 training sessions with six primary schools, as well as six celebration events and a regional finale at Farm Urban.

Knowsley Foodbank – Chloe Cooks. Knowsley Foodbank is holding 40 food/cookery training sessions to five groups over eight weeks. 

Porchfield Community Association – Porchfield Community Association is a clothes and food waste project which is offering 3×5-week cookery courses.

Wargrave House College – Not Too Shabby @ The Lyme@ Wood Learning Hub. This multi-material project is hosting workshops on food as well as furniture, textiles, wood and metals.


£165,000 fund launched to help community groups reduce, reuse and recycle

A share of £165,000 is up for grabs to help community groups make the Liverpool City region a cleaner and greener place.

The funding – made available via the Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority and Veolia Community Fund 2023/24 – is for community and voluntary groups, schools and not-for-profit organisations, who can reduce household waste, encourage recycling and resource reuse and prevent carbon emissions.

There is up to £30,000 for projects which cover a minimum of three City Region districts, and between £1000 and £8,000 available for projects which work solely at one local authority level.

Chairperson of Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority (MRWA), Councillor Tony Concepcion, said: “Giving groups the opportunity to get involved in looking after their environment brings benefits to all and can help us appreciate items as valuable resources rather than something which otherwise might be just thrown away.

“We’ve seen that previous projects have continued to deliver benefits beyond the first year, through their legacy and ongoing impact on behavioural change, and in many cases through new or continuing activities.”

Bids must tackle one or more of the four priority household waste materials which have been identified by MRWA as key, namely WEEE (Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment), Food, Textiles and Furniture. An analysis* of waste in the region highlighted that a greater amount of these materials could be re-used or recycled. Projects can also include other household waste materials, for example paper, plastic or metals.

Previous Community Fund projects have included local recycling guidebooks, cookery clubs to support healthy eating and reduce food waste, fruit and veg gleaning, restoring old furniture to sell for charity and refurbishing unwanted rugs for resale. In January one project held a climate change conference with secondary schoolchildren from across Liverpool City Region to help highlight wasted clothes and textiles.

Another organisation to have previously received funding was the British Dietetic Association, who have been running the Waste Warriors food waste reduction and cookery skills programme, thanks to £20,000 from the MRWA Community Fund.

Suzanne Mitchell, Let’s Get Cooking lead, said: “The opportunity to support a local community with our funding was a really powerful idea. We hope we’ve inspired households to think about new ways to save money by reducing the amount of food they throw away and growing their own produce using a community garden.”

Interested groups can apply via the MRWA website

The deadline for submissions is 11.59pm on Sunday 26th March 2023. If groups aren’t sure whether their project is appropriate for consideration then they can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) via email to MRWA before 5th March.

Successful projects should receive the funding by mid May 2023 and will have to deliver their schemes by March 2024.

Organisations interested in this year’s Community Fund can:


Sunday 26th March 2023, 11.59pm



Wirral Social Enterprise rescues almost 700,000 litres of paint from going to waste

Reciprocity Wirral, a Merseyside-based pioneer in paint waste, have diverted over 680,000 litres of paint from being wasted and redistributed it into community organisations and families across the region and beyond.

By partnering with Veolia and Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority, Recipro have collected hundreds of thousands of litres of householder’s unwanted paint, which is then taken to their Wirral site and processed for reuse.

Some of the paint is checked and sold as ‘rescued paint’ for the local community at prices from as little as £1.20 a litre. They have hundreds of customers who have decorated their whole properties for just a few pounds!

The majority of the paint collected is remanufactured. This innovative process, developed with Dulux and New Life Paints takes unwanted paint, filters and treats it before it is repackaged. The end product is a recycled, great quality and affordable paint!

Available nationwide via delivery or through stockists, the paint has gone from strength to strength, with over 350,000 litres being sold since its launch in 2017.

ReColour is used by householders, charities, schools and community organisations, such as Aigburth Counselling and Psychotherapy, who used ReColour to refresh their centre:

“It’s been an absolute pleasure dealing with Recipro. Everything from ordering to the delivery was done in such a helpful and friendly manner and to know that we are helping to reduce waste is fantastic!”

The paint is available in emulsion, masonry and chalky furniture paints, in a range of fashionable and traditional colours, with plans to expand the range to new products in 2023.

By recycling or reusing paint, not only is this huge amount of waste being kept from the waste stream, but also the energy and water used in the manufacture of new paint is being reduced.

Beckie Close, Director at Recipro, said: “When we launched Community RePaint Wirral in 2013, we had no idea it would grow to this scale! Our business is focussed on reducing waste, while benefiting our local, and wider community, and we couldn’t do it without the support of Veolia and MRWA. We are so excited to see how we continue to grow, add new products and expand our team!”

Jeff Sears, Director at Veolia in Merseyside and Halton said: “We’re delighted to be working with Recipro and very proud to divert paint for remanufacture and reuse. This is a great example of an innovative solution to help cut climate-changing carbon emissions.

“If you have leftover tins of paint taking up space in your shed or cupboard, bring them to one of our Recycling Centres with a drop off point so the paint can be given a new lease of life. ”

Lesley Worswick, Chief Executive of Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority, said: “It’s great to see this scheme doing so well. Often what people think of as ‘waste’ is actually a resource which someone, somewhere will be able to use. This is a perfect example of reuse in action.”

Residents can drop off their unwanted paint at the following locations:

  • Bidston Household Waste Recycling Centre, Wallasey Bridge Rd, CH41 1EB
  • Huyton Household Waste Recycling Centre, Wilson Rd, L36 6AD
  • Johnsons Lane Household Waste Recycling Centre, Widnes, Widnes WA8 0SJ
  • Old Swan Household Waste Recycling Centre, Cheadle Ave, L13 3AF
  • Ravenhead Household Waste Recycling Centre, WA9 5EA
  • Sefton Meadows Household Waste Recycling Centre, Sefton Ln, L31 8BT

ReciproCity Wirral is open to the public and organisations, Monday to Friday 8.30-5 and Saturdays 10-4.


Photo: Jeff Sears (Veolia) and Beckie Close (Recipro) at Huyton Household Waste Recycling Centre.

ReciproCity Wirral are members of the national Community RePaint scheme, set up Dulux in 1993.

ReciproCity Wirral is a social enterprise that works with the construction and DIY sector to reduce waste through diversion of surplus materials from the waste stream. As well as paint they accept donations of surplus DIY and building materials from the trade and supply chain.

Press contact: Rebecca Close, Director

07894586550 |


Kids combating climate change with the Great Clothes Swap!

Schools from across the Liverpool City Region have come together in an effort to tackle climate change – by reducing the amount of clothes that people throw away.

The Great Clothes Swap is the creation of Toxteth-based Liverpool World Centre and environmental charity Faiths4Change, who have been awarded £16,900 by the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority & Veolia Community Fund 2022/23 to help deliver the project.

According to a recent analysis*, around 5% of household bins locally contained textiles such as clothes and shoes, a lot of which could still be used. It is this behaviour the project is hoping to change and itself will look to stop up to ten tonnes of clothing material from going to waste.

Jacquie Ayre, Global Learning Education Officer at Liverpool World Centre, said: “The aim of the project is to change perceptions and behaviour towards clothing repair and reuse in order to prevent clothes and textiles from going to waste. We’re building on our previous Fashion Fix project by engaging with teachers and giving children the knowledge and skills to get involved and have a say in improving industry practices.

“Through events, training and workshops across the City Region we’re hopeful of changing attitudes towards clothes reuse and hopefully helping instil a systemic change in the current wasteful situation that society finds itself in when it comes to clothes and fast fashion.”

The objectives of the project are to:

– engage pupils, parents and teachers to increase their knowledge, skills and understanding about the textile journey and its impact on climate change

– run four textiles-sustainability conferences for 160 pupils

– create 40 Textile Teams so pupils can promote textiles reuse in schools

– support 40 school clothes swap shop events

– work with 350 trainee teachers at two universities to help them deliver school projects on the environment and textiles as a resource.

On Thursday 26th January, seven schools and 40 students assembled at No. 1 Mann Island in Liverpool City Centre for a UN-style climate conference to debate the impact of climate emissions and the part that the textiles industry plays in polluting the planet. Students had to come up with ideas on how to put an end to a throwaway fashion culture and to identify any barriers to school uniform reuse and recycling.

Rachel Hardy of Faiths4change said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for students at the conference to develop their critical thinking skills around the climate emergency. It provided an opportunity for them to debate in the style of a UN conference, develop empathy and learn skills around negotiation and collaboration.”

Students at the conference were able to find out more by listening and questioning a panel of local sustainability experts. These speakers were able to suggest small ways that can have a big impact on patterns of behaviour around textile waste.

Rachel Hardy continued: “This event is one way that schools can empower their young students to have a voice and feel that they can make changes in their school community to make a difference around the issue of waste. ‘’

Councillor Tony Concepcion, Chairperson of MRWA, said: “This project isn’t just about waste, it’s highlighting the link between waste and the climate emergency, and how we can no longer just throw things away once we’ve finished with them, as materials will have a value and could potentially be used again.

Lesley Worswick, Chief Executive of MRWA, said: “Our research shows that there are significant quantities of textiles placed in recycling and household waste bins across kerbside collections in the Liverpool City Region. Textiles shouldn’t go into bins. Instead, Recycling Centres, charities, local bring banks all accept clothes and textiles where they will go on to be recycled or reused.”

Liverpool World Centre anticipates that around 3000 pupils, teachers and parents will be directly educated and engaged in the topic of textiles waste by the conclusion of the scheme come March 2023. All schools and universities involved will be supported to contribute towards a 10 tonnes reduction in wasted textiles, with certificates and awards at the end of the project.



Chief Executive appointment

MRWA has welcomed Lesley Worswick to the Authority as its new Chief Executive. Lesley previously spent over 24 years at the Environment Agency, her most recent post being Area Director for Greater Manchester, Merseyside & Cheshire.

Councillor Tony Concepcion, Chairperson of MRWA, said: “Lesley is joining us from the Environment Agency and brings with her a huge amount of experience in the environmental services industry. She’s a great addition to the MRWA family and I know she’ll bring exceptional leadership to an already well-organised workplace. Lesley hails from Preston but is very familiar with the City Region. We’re sure she’ll feel right at home! “

Lesley said: “I’m really excited to start this new chapter in my life. I’ve already heard many great things about MRWA so I’m keen to get stuck in. I graduated in environmental science and have been in the environmental sector all of my working life, but I’m sure there’s plenty still to learn and experience. I’m looking forward to working with Tony, the Authority Members, the staff and all of our partners and contractors, and can hopefully help make the region a cleaner and greener place for all.”