History

Waste Watch began in the community recycling movement of the 1980s. Back then, we aimed to get the UK to reduce, reuse and recycle its waste.

We’ve had many successes along the way – recycling, for example, is now a part of our everyday lives. Today, our work is about wasting less and living more through social change, sustainable lifestyles and rethinking how we produce, consume and dispose of things and what is important in life.

Our journey so far

1980s  
  • Founded in 1987 by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)
  • Ran the UK’s first Recycling Week during the European Year of the Environment
  • Published the first National Directory of Recycling Information   
Recyling week
1990s  

Launch of Wasteline

Cyler in schools

  • Waste Watch became a charity in 1991
  • Launched telephone information service Wasteline
  • Launched Recycler the rapping robot to deliver the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ message to British primary school children
  • Produced the first UK Recycled Products Guide
  • Lobbied government to introduce the first Waste Strategy for England and Wales
  • Developed the Manifesto for Market Development, which made the case for recycling as a viable commercial activity
2000s  
  • Launched information website wasteonline.org.uk
  • Ran the first national public awareness campaign Rethink Rubbish
  • Delivered recycling and waste prevention campaigns for over 150 local authorities 
Rethink rubbish 
2010s  
  • Launched new strategic direction Towards the next horizon
  • In September 2010 the Boards of Waste Watch and Keep Britain Tidy agreed to form a strategic alliance
  • On 1 August 2011, Waste Watch and Keep Britain Tidy merged
  • In 2012 Waste Watch will hold the first ever UK 'waste less, live more' week

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