Recycle to Read 2022-23

Take part in Recycle to Read to get books for your school

Recycle to Read is a ground-breaking new Pod campaign that rewards schools for collecting items not typically collected from households for recycling and reuse, in exchange for books.

Did you know?

  • Plastic toys and textiles can be valuable for reuse and recycling but can have a negative impact on the environment if they are not disposed of correctly.
  • Over 318 million toys are sold in the UK every year, of which the majority are manufactured from plastic or contain plastic components1. However, there is currently limited infrastructure to collect and recycle plastic toys.
  • Currently a large amount of clothing and other textiles are often hoarded in homes even though they are no longer used. It is estimated that 80% of the textile waste in UK every year is incinerated or disposed of in landfill2!
  • A large amount of tech is either hoarded in homes or thrown out with household waste. It is estimated households across the UK throw away 155,000 tonnes of small electricals every year – this would be worth an estimated £17 billion if reused or recycled3
  • The collection rate in the UK for batteries is only 44-45% (it was 44.34% in 2019), meaning over 21,000 tonnes was not collected4

For the first time, schools and households can reuse and recycle items through Recycle to Read to get books for their school.

How does it work?

If you are invited to take part in a collection, you’ll receive a collection box for each of the items you have selected to collect (apart from textiles which can be brought into schools in bags and collected the same day). You will also receive a campaign pack containing everything you need to successfully take part.

What value can I get for items?

Items of value are sold for reuse or recycling to generate book vouchers that can be redeemed for books from the Harper Collins Recycle to Read Book Catalogue.

Textiles – including clothing, bed sheets and shoes, £400 per tonne.
Batteries – including small portable batteries £10 per box.
Tech - has a range of values depending on the items. Laptops and mobile phones attract the most value, which can reach £30-50 per phone or laptop (if manufactured after 2012 and unlocked with their chargers)
Toys - There is no book reward value for collecting broken plastic toys, as they are so difficult to process. But by recycling unwanted plastic toys through Recycle to Read, your school is helping get toys out of landfill or incineration, which is better for the environment.

There are a wide range of Recycle to Read education resources designed to inform and inspire children with the material science of plastic toy recycling, used to turn these toys into a range of products, from playground slides to coffee machines. There are also resources on textiles, battery and tech recycling.

If you aren’t able to run a collection this year, don’t forget that you can still take part in Recycle to Read by using the education resources, or running your own toy swap day.

For more information, see Recycle to Read in the Pod FAQs.



1 Statista
2 Circular

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