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Give It Away Day

Give-It-Away Take-It-Away day

The most recent Give-It-Away Take-It-Away Day was on Sunday 19th September 2010. We thank all the volunteers who helped to make this a very successful day, including those from Litter-Busters. A large quantity of assorted items were successfully found new homes instead of going to landfill. We very much regret that SITA did not co-operate in disposing of the small quantity left at the end.

We decided not to repeat Give-It-Away Take-It-Away Day in 2011 partly because it is a lot of work, partly because SITA and some members of the public made it much more difficult than it needed to be, and partly because South Gloucestershire Council said they could provide a similar service at Sort-It sites. In the event, the SITA offering was of doubtful value.

What is it?

The purpose of Give-It-Away Take-It-Away Day is to reuse goods, rather than throwing them away and filling up landfill sites. The idea is for people to bring goods (such as household items and toys) that are still useful but no longer needed, so that others can help themselves.

Admission is free.

Most of us have heard of the three ‘R’s of waste – Reduce, Re-use, Recycle. But we tend to focus on recycling and not much about re-use.  Sustainable Thornbury invites everyone to put to good use all those things which are cluttering up their garages and lofts – things which they no longer have a use for, but which someone else might welcome.

The events are held in the main Rock St car park in the centre of Thornbury between 8am and 4pm. People can bring goods to a roped-off area of the car park and leave them there up to 2pm. Anything you take is at your own risk, and we do not guarantee that anything will work. Any goods left over will offered to charity shops, and the remainder recycled or sent to landfill.

Since many people want their goods to go to good homes rather than make a profit, we ask that traders stay away until near the end please. The purpose of the day is to re-use rather than recycle, so we ask that scrap merchants also stay away until the end please.

We run the Give-It-Away Take-It-Away Day each year on a Sunday in the summer. We would like to do it more often, but it takes a lot of effort. 

If you want to run a Give-It-Away Take-It-Away Day in another town (or indeed in Thornbury) please contact us for details of how we do it, including getting permissions, risk assessments and other documents.

What can we bring?

We do not accept animals or anything that is dangerous (such as garden or household chemicals). 

We do accept large items. We also accept most electrical goods as long as they are safe. You can take electrical goods entirely at your own risk, and we advise getting them checked before plugging them in. We will not accept analogue televisions, as everyone is replacing them with digital this year. So please take your old analogue TV to the electrical items part of your local Sort-It centre

For items too large or awkward to bring, there is a notice board, where cards with phone numbers can be displayed. Cards can be brought on the day and pinned up. Alternatively, you can put the information on the form on the MyThornbury website in the week before the event. If you want a large item, you take the card and phone to make arrangements to collect.

Please do not wrap items in plastic bags, as the bags just get separated from their contents and blow away and become litter. Small items such as books and videos are not really suitable, and are better taken to a charity shop if they are saleable. Crockery, glasses and ceramic tiles are not very popular, and mostly get left, so please put them in your dustbin. We ask that people put labels on less usual items. Items in several parts should be securely fastened together and items that could be damaged by the weather should be protected.  

Previous years

2009's Give-it-Away Take-it-Away day was on Sunday June 7th in Rock Street car park in Thornbury. 400 cars came with items to give away. The weather stayed dry until the afternoon when the heavens opened and we packed up. This is the second year we have held this event, and it has been a huge success, with so many people coming and tons of useful goods passed on instead of going in the rubbish. There was a strong community feeling and everyone said it was a brilliant idea.

At the end

The picture below shows how little was left at the end in 2008, and even some of that was taken before the waste people collected it. If no-one wants the items left over then we will try to recycle, compost or burn them. We often have books, furniture, computer equipment and televisions at the end, so anyone interested in these should for whatever purpose should come just before 4pm.  

Download last year's handbill (PDF, 21 kb).

Items left over in 2008

Item left at the end

More pictures of Give-It-Away Day 2008 (8.6Mb) ...

Give-It-Away day 2009

Give-It-Away day 2009

More pictures of Give-It-Away Day 2009 (35.6Mb) ...