What is the difference between upcycling and recycling?

clearing your garage

Finding new ways to dispose of your belongings in a sustainable way can be difficult when they cannot be conventionally recycled with your local recycling team. Knowing how to upcycle or recycle your possessions is just as important as recycling your general plastics and cardboards. Do we need to throw anything away into landfill?

So, what’s the difference?

Upcycling and recycling are both very eco-friendly ways to dispose of or find a home for your belongings you no longer use. The similarity with upcycling and recycling is they are both working towards creating something ‘new’ that is originally made from a used item, but don’t be fooled into thinking these two ways of disposing sustainably are the same.


The definition of upcycling is to take waste and create something new from it in its current state. This term can be used for almost any waste item that needs a bit of TLC. This could mean rejuvenating a dining table to appeal to someone new, or it could be upcycling a phone or piece of technology that has been damaged or broken. A great opportunity, once refurbished, to sell to an interested buyer.


Occasionally, you will get an item that can’t be recycled including kitchenware and food waste but, for the most part, almost every item in your home can be recycled in some way or form. The definition of recycling is the process of converting waste into reusable items or material to then be sold and used. Believe it or not, your plastic bottles could end up being the surface of road. I bet you didn’t know you could have driven on some of your old plastic bottles!

 How can upcycling and recycling have a positive effect on clearing your home?

To clear your home, recycling and upcycling can have a colossal impact on reducing the size of your carbon footprint. Recycling is not only your general green bin kind of waste, but also donating wood to a carpenter or old bricks you have around your property to be broken down and remade for a construction site, or you could use the rubble as a base for that new shed. There are endless ways to run an eco-friendlier home and we at Manor House Clearance continually recycle and upcycle, so we are certainly full of ideas on how to reduce your impact on the environment.

Our team at Manor Clearance can help you with the process of upcycling and recycling your items when moving your home or clearing your garage/loft. Our team will organise your belongings to decipher what to recycle and upcycle and then distribute those items accordingly. We are connected to many people who practice the art of upcycling, from furniture to lamps to the more unusual of items.

As part of our house clearance services in and around London, Manor Clearance are continually advising our clients on how to become more sustainable with their waste.