rows of old books

What to do with books?

03 Apr 21

We all love a good book. But what to do with your well thumbed-prose when you’ve no more space on the shelves?

Book recycling can be tricky. Instead, there are many possibilities for reusing, donating or reselling them. Also, using your local library instead of buying new books is a great way to catch up on the latest bestsellers while keeping your environmental impact low.

Household recycling collection

Books can't usually be recycled along with other paper recycling because of the glue that's used to bind them. However, there are lots of other options for reusing, donating or reselling books.

not currently recycled

Household waste recycling centre (HWRC)

Most household waste recycling centres will accept books, check with your local centre.

Recycling facilities exist

What can you do?

  1. Most charity shops (and some libraries) will accept second hand books if they are in good condition.

  2. Sell or exchange them - try local second hand book dealers and car boot sales or use online sites like Amazon and Book Crossing.

  3. Pass them on to family, friends, colleagues or neighbours, or use online websites such as Freecycle and Freegle to give them away.

  4. Some charities offer a collection service for books, including the British Heart Foundation.

Recycling is constantly evolving and changing so check back for updates or try our recycling locator to find out what you can recycle at home and where you can recycle or pass on unwanted items in your local area.