Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Honey I Shrunk the Bin

For the last eight weeks I've been on a diet. A rubbish diet. No, not one of those faddy foodie things that makes huge claims for your waistline but that doesn't work. The rubbish diet, the 'slim-your-bin' campaign run by the Queen of everything Green, Karen Cannard.

And guess what? Unlike those funny, faddy calorie counting things that fail - it's worked. My 'green' bin (which isn't green at all except for the colour) - the one that goes to landfill - is now approximately half as full as it was when I started.

So what have I done? Well, it's not been rocket science. Thrown less stuff away, I suppose. Ok I've cheated a bit, putting mountains of trash into the neighbours' bins, but still... (Only joking Karen!)

Seriously, I've been amazed at how much difference just a little effort has made. We recycle carriers as bin bags; we're using fewer of them anyway not only because we're generating less waste but because we take our own shopping bags to the supermarket; and I'm composting peelings and the like which - rather surprisingly - otherwise have to go into our landfill bin. But then, Boston doesn't distinguish itself in the rubbish stakes by being bottom of the county recycling league. (I was blissfully unaware of the existence of a recycling league. What a great way to give going green a bit of mass appeal, eh? Presumably we'll soon have teams of fans cheering on the bin men and travelling to away tips for the local dustbin derby in the future.)

I feel I've 'done my bit' as they say (whoever 'they' might be). I've not achieved the zero waste target set for the final week of the challenge, but I've changed some of my rubbish habits and acquired a lovely warm glow of self-righteousness into the bargain. Today - two days before our fortnightly collection - there are just three lonely looking bags of rubbish and plenty of space.

I can actually see the bottom of my wheelie bin. Which is a good thing.

Even if it does mean I can see that it needs cleaning.


  1. I find that most weeks I can get away with one 30litre bag of rubbish. The rest goes in the paper/plastic (but not cans or polystyrene) bin and the glass bin, and onto the compost heap.

    That's okay when it's cool, but as the weather heats up I'm going to have to make an extra trip to the communal landfill bin or two with half empty bags.

  2. Ah, the communal bins. I remember them well. (My parents had a house in the Vendée.)

  3. We only have voluntary recycling in this city. There are five large bins behind the supermarket where I work. Each holds a different type of recyclable material; glass, plastic, paper, etc. I once stood on the loading dock and witnessed a single trash truck come along and empty each of the bins, one right after the other, into the same whole on its top.
    So much for separating your recyclables, eh?

  4. Woo, well done Mr Tim!! :)

    Nessa, some trucks can have different 'compartments' did you check? Or sometimes they sort later...
    Sometimes there can be iffy substances that may 'pollute' good loads of recycling...
    And sometimes the waste/recycling management companies don't know what to do with the recyclables - sad but true yikes!!

    That is why it's even more important to PREVENT waste in the 1st place!! Usually 'making less waste' when you get the hang of it also means making less recyclables (if you check Mrs A's & Mrs Green's blogs! :)) You just need to 'source' your stuff right! (eg from farmers/farmer's markets etc, without excessive packaging!!)

    Let's hope this blog will be another shining example of this! :)

  5. Ooo Well done! It really is a accomplishment being able to see the bottom of the bin...Something I know that my family would really struggle with!

    Now following from www.thelifeandtimesoftheworkingmum.com

    Laura xx

  6. Six months after moving home I'm still unpacking and decluttering. Before we moved I was lucky if our family of six filled the main rubbish bin once a month but the recycling bins were always overflowing. In the new house it's the other way round as the 'new' local council do things differently and I'm always putting the wrong thing in the wrong bin meaning they refuse to collect it :(

    I will work it out one day though!


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