Recycling, Reclaiming, Reusing and Composting

Most councils now have very good recycling schemes set up. We have large bins for tin, glass, paper and plastic bottles just a few minutes cycle away but of course the council do not pick up from the boats.

I keep most newspapers for fire lighting or for mulching on my allotment. Some of the cardboard boxes I use also end up as mulch on the allotment.


Some glass bottles have also been used as bed surrounds.


We get wood chips dropped off by local tree surgeons and they are spread over the mooring to stop it getting muddy and they can also be used as mulch.

Skips are great places for all sorts of wood, both for building things and for burning.

steps     frames      chair    

I have built my steps, compost loos, kitchen worktops and cupboards, oak photograph frames and many shelves all made from reclaimed wood,

mainly found in skips, as well as lining out my back cabin and have kept myself warm and cooked food on skipped wood as well.

Drawers from discarded furniture also make great shelves and I have a beautiful wooden armchair that was left outside someones house with a sign saying 'please take me'.

(Yes, i thiink i have gone a bit wood crazy!)

cupboard doors

Half my cabin has bamboo flooring left over from someones house renovation, though admittedly I gave in after two years of hoping to stumble across wooden floorboards lying around and bought cheap and nasty laminate for the kitchen floor.

  shelves    oak spice rack   

The insulation is mainly discarded polystyrene slabs, though you need to be aware that this is a potential fire risk.

I also have partly insulated the boat with reclaimed rockwool and that is fire retardant.

compost bin

I compost all veg and fruit food waste. Because of the possibility of attracting rodents, I don't compost cooked food or meat and dairy products.

The resulting compost is used in my plant containers on deck, beds on the mooring and on the allotment.

As mentioned earlier, I also compost my poo!