Living Low Waste
Comment 1

Sorting out the rubbish

I haven’t been here for a while, but now that little M is asleep, I try and write up a quick post on how we are doing.

The amount of rubbish we produce has significantly decreased. So much that I decided to rearrange our bins under the sink.

Before we had three: one for recyclables, one refuse waste and one compost.

This has changed into a new layout like this below:


The small white container is for refuse waste. Unfortunately there are pieces of plastic, receipts and stickers that you cannot avoid, so they all go in this bin. I got into the habit to refuse a receipt at the till but it’s not always possible.

Then we have one container for paper and cardboard. At the moment I put some recyclable plastic in it too, but I expect these to reduce to a very minimum.

There’s one container for glass and another one for tetra-pack. We buy milk in tetra-pack, so that goes in there.

I did this arrangement to line up with our local recycling centre’s separating arrangements. I am training ourselves to separate the rubbish this way, so every so often (once a month or so) we go to the recycling centre and empty all the containers. It does not add extra journey, cos we usually go there anyway with glass, batteries or other items that needs special attention when disposing. And anyway it is a 5 minute car journey, so no far at all.

We have a small bucket on the countertop for organic waste that can go into the composter that we got second hand and started to use.

I put this system into place in the beginning of April and we have half filled that white container. Not bad, huh? All wet waste is eliminated: nappies, wipes (I still have half a package of disposables left, but I only use them when we are out. ), sanitary products, food waste etc…

The government announced a new pay by weight system to be introduced from July. In that system we will pay by weight for every bin. So far the green (recyclables) and brown (compost) were free.

In my plan we will not use the green and brown bins, so we will save money on the and the black bin will hopefully will only contain light and dry items, so it will not cost much.

In the long run I hope to get rid of our green and brown bin provided by the waste management company and just use the one bin, possibly a smaller one for the landfill waste.

In that case we will be able to use the space at the side of the house more efficiently,  maybe for a bike shed or a potting bench?

The only problem that I encountered with this system is that we are not supposed to put cooked food, meat or fish in the composter, not because it doesn’t break down it is more to do with attracting rats. I am still working on the solution. I’m thinking of a small bokashi bin for cooked food leftovers and bones etc… Until then, I will throw the cooked veg leftover in the compost and try not to buy meat that comes on the bone.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply