Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Talking Rubbish

Whilst out and about this summer, visiting other family members and staying in other parts of the country, the subject of household waste has reared it's ugly head on a number of occasions.  Mainly in part, due to the fact that one family we visited had recently had their collections and binsize halved and also our experience in Norfolk where we stayed for a week and where the wheelie bins were emptied every two weeks in respect of household and recycled waste.

In the latter instance, we got to experience what it is like to have your household waste and recycling limited, which isn't the case here in London, and with seven of us in the household for the week and the bins already being virtually full from the previous visitors, it was a little challenging to say the least.

Whilst not meaning to sound smug or like I'm gloating, as I realise this is a very contentious issue to those affected, it has had the effect of making me really appreciate the service we currently get from our local council, which is still weekly in the case of all waste.  In spite of this, I still would like to reduce our waste as much as is humanly possible and try to recycle more if possible.  It's an ongoing project of mine.

Having said this, I am very sad to report that this summer the council finally decided to stop providing the much valued free community skip service within the borough, that was incredibly well utilised to dispose of any excess or bulky items that were difficult to put in the normal waste.  The skips themselves were usually full within a couple of hours of being put in place and we've often saved ourselves a car journey to the tip by utilising them.  Instead, the council have opted to provide a seperate bulk item collection service only from now on.  A sad, but probably inevitable occurence I realise.

Whilst this doesn't affect us too badly, as we have a car and can take any excess waste, be it from diy, the garden, furniture or electricals, to the waste depot in a neighbouring borough, it might cause problems for others who don't.  I haven't heard of any marches or demonstrations in support of keeping it, so I guess the majority of people either didn't even know about it or weren't all that bothered.  It will be interesting to see if it has an effect on the amount of illegally dumped rubbish in the borough.

All this thinking about rubbish and waste has, since getting home, got me once again considering how we can cut down our own waste, from our current one bin bag of household waste per week, most weeks, and usual one to two bags of recycling per week, to even less, in an attempt to get as near to zero waste as possible.   Managing to reduce our waste to half a bag per week would feel very satisfying indeed.  I'm still working on it.  Any suggestions or ideas are very welcome at this point.

 NOTE:  Zero Waste Week from 1st September - 7th September

Having been reminded in a post yesterday by NYK at Frugaldom that it is in fact Zero Waste Week this week, I decided to publish this post immediately to coincide.  At the same time, I decided to Google Zero Waste for some ideas on how to reduce our waste.  In the process, I came across a new blog to follow called myzerowaste.com.  If you're interested in reducing your waste, you might want to take a look as there's lots of great ideas on this blog and regular challenges to join in with.

9 comments:

  1. We put out three recycling bags per week & one bib rubbish.
    It's the waste from the shop which is upsetting - what we have tried & tried to sell - then boot fair for it's last chance, goes to the tip which is awful.

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    1. It's a pity about the waste from the shop. Can any clothes not be recycled for rags? I tend to put any clothing I can't send to the charity shop or cut up for rags myself in the textile bank in the hope it might get used for something. Not sure if I'm supposed to.

      I imagine there's lots of bric a brac too, which isn't so easily recycled. At least you've done your absolute best to try to pass it on for reuse which is commendable.

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  2. I have great respect for our binmen - we too have a fortnightly programme - we have 3 bins - general, garden and bottles/cans/newspaper. We also have the tip again I have a great relationship with the workers there - they always help me and so I take a packet of biscuits every time. I also leave a tip at Christmas.

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    1. I agree. They do a very important job, which is why I try to make sure our waste is properly bagged for them, to make their jobs as easy as possible.

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  3. Over the past few years we have cut down on waste. I would really like to cut down even further.

    Thanks for the link to the blog, I will be checking that out.

    God bless.

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    1. I've just really started thinking about it seriously this year, although I've always been an avid recycler. I got interested after reading Bea Johnson's book Zero Waste Home. I hope you find the website useful, I had a good look around it last night and it was quite interesting.

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  4. The next borough along has just started a roving bulky waste collection in the hope it will reduce fly tipping. So much of it goes on as there are lots of b&bs, houses of multiple occupation and people on the move all the time sometimes it's easier to dump and go than deal with things properly.

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  5. Thank you for the link. It's a very interesting and informative site.
    xx

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    1. I thought so too. It seems to have lots of very practical advice.

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