Friday, 11 December 2009

Not a load of rubbish

I'm rather pleased with my bag of rubbish. It doesn't look very artistic, it doesn't look pretty, but it is my only bag of household rubbish that went in my grey wheelie bin destined for landfill, in two weeks. Yes this is the total sum of my rubbish that can't be recycled, and I'm proud if it.
In fact I tell a lie, there is two empty cartons of soya milk in there, squashed flat. If I want to recycle those I have to drive ten miles there and back to the council dump, not a good idea. Most of it is cat food pouches, bits of plastic wrapping that can't be used for anything else, and one or two labels off tins which I don't have to remove but do, after washing and squashing. Any smallish plastic bags get used for dog poo picking, things like bread bags, insides of cereal packets, and frozen peas bags. As I don't hand pick, I use a small plastic spade, any bag will do.

I recycle all my plastics where I can, you have to check on the number in the little triangle that is stamped on the bottom. Sometimes it is so small I have to look closely over the top of my specs. This gets put in the burgundy wheelie bin along with the cardboard. The biggest filler of this bin is the boxes that the cat food pouches come in. I think that is such a waste, why can't they just put 12 pouches in a small plastic bag, then I could use it for dog poo.

My plastic boxes for paper, and tins and glass recycling get collected once a fortnight alternating with the cardboard and plastic, but I only need to put these out once every six weeks. I might have a few cans and a couple of wine bottles, maybe an odd coffee jar or honey jar, but that's about it. My newspaper box has junk mail and the free newspapers, so not much there to collect.

So the biggest creator of everyday rubbish in my house is the cats, the other bag that goes into my grey bin is their dirty cat litter. I use the clumping type and try to keep it to a minimum by using the plastic spade to lift out the soiled material, then top up with fresh. Every week I run it down and give the boxes a good scrub out and start again. In this weather they tend to stay indoors more, but in the summer their use of cat litter dramatically reduces and the hedge bottoms get well fertilised.

I think my lack of rubbish is down to my frugal living, only buying what I need, and buying simply. Of course the packaging that goods come in is beyond my control, but a lot can be recycled these days, and if you don't buy junk food that cuts a lot of rubbish out. Can you get your rubbish down to one carrier bag for two weeks, like I can?


  1. Hmmm I will rise to this challange although with a family of four I don't see it happening but I will certainly measure what we put in the grey rubbish bin. I used to live in the UK's best recycling town, Eastleigh in Hants, now I think I live in one of the worse!! They don't collect glass here and I seem to be the only one that saves it up for the bottle bank, everybody else chucks it in their grey bin (non recycable). Not good at all.

  2. I don't think I am ready to take on this challenge, we are only just starting to take a real interst in recycling - we have always been sure to seperate the rubbish that can go into the recycling bin, but other than that we have been quite lazy. I'm a bit shy of admiting that in someones comments! We are putting a lot more effort into now, though.

    I think you have done amazingly well to have such a small amount over the last two weeks.

    As for most of the rubbish being boxes that the cat food pouches go into....*insert mad looking face here!*

    As we have started to look at all we waste, the amount of packaging that comes with products has really been an eyeopener. I really can't see why fresh fruit and veg is packed in plastic - greengrocers manage fine without all the plastic, so why can't the supermarkets?

  3. You're doing well! Thought of saving glass jars for people who make chutneys and jams, buying food for the cats at a real Butcher(no dangerous preservatives),using a Farmers' Market so there's no packaging and making mini-greenhouses out of your plastic bottles or using them for making Ginger-beer(better than glass they don't explode)? Cat litter can be dug into the garden or put in a compost heap. Bundles of newspapers make great weed controllers covered with mulch if you have a weedy spot or sometimes Fish&Chip shops take them or is that against regs these days?
    We've all got something we can do better and it's useful to share the tips!
    Glad to see you're growing old disgracefully, keep it up!

  4. WOW - I'm impressed!!! I used to fill (and then some!) my black bin... now I'm down to 1/2 full, so getting there :0) I have a young family to with 4 of us it's tough to get it any lower, however I'm making a huge effort... hopefully I'll get it down to 4 bags!


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