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Rubbish - what to do with it all!

Posted by ecosrights, 394 days ago

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Reading discussion "Rubbish - what to do with it all!" - Join this discussion / 3 comment(s)
I've recently been following the trials and tribulations of the Green family in their attempt to achieve a zero waste target in September this year. They've been working at it for just over a month now, and I have to say they're doing really well. It's got me thinking about a few things in terms of what we do with our rubbish and the rubbish we generate.

Rather than join them on their crusade (I don't think I'd have full enough commitment from the rest of the household) I thought I'd create this discussion to see wh at you think and make a few points of my own. Of course that's not to say that I've not reduced our waste, it's just I don't think I could go all of the way to 0!

What do you recycle now?
We're pretty lucky in that we have a fairly comprehensive council operated scheme. We have one bin for:

Plastic bottles
Plastic bags

And a box for glass bottles.

We also have a well used compost bin.

What would you like to recycle?

There are two main things for me... more plastic and Tetrapaks.

For Tetrapaks, check out their recycling site for local facilities. Some people are lucky enough to get their cartons recycled via the council kerb side collection - in our area there is nothing. I've contacted both the council and Tetrapak recycling and there are no current plans to improve this (I feel letters to local supermarkets are going to be necessary here!)

For plastics, I've come across a number of sites that explain the codes, e.g. here (rather wordy, but informative) or here (looks nicer....).

But what about....
A comment from my son the other day got me thinking...

We were out and he'd just had a bottle of juice. Instead of going and putting it in the bin, he gave it to me to "carry home". Well this annoyed me initially as there was a bin so near by, but then he said "so that it can go in the recycling bin" Ahah..... The got me thinking. How often do we bin things when were are out that could be recycled elsewhere? I know that no-one really wants to be taking loads of rubbish home with them when they go out, but surely it's worth it if you can recycle it.

Consequently I've noticed that a number of plastic cartons are the same code as plastic bottles.... in theory that means I should be able to put these in the recycling bin as well. I've emailed the council and will see if they send a list of what is OK and what isn't. It's going to have me peering at items in shops even more now! (I already check for chemicals, various things we avoid due to my son's allergies, organic, source.... and generally how much packaging there is as I'm sure not all of it is really necessary).

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  1. Re: Rubbish - what to do with it all! by ecosrights, 394 days ago

    Well, I am VERY impressed. Dartford Council have got back to me almost straight away with this message (extract):

    So, this will include most 1s, 2s and 3s (PET, HDPE and PVC) but not all of them as for example HDPE is used to make toys and plant pots and we can't take them. We can also take 4s (LDPE) which is mostly used for films ie carrier bags, but we don't wants 5s (PP) or 6s (PS) which for example are used for car parts and coat hangers.

    Reply to this comment

  2. Britain urged to buy less food.... by ecosrights, 391 days ago

    Yes, that's right, we're now being told to buy less food, and it's a very valid point.

    How much of your waste each week is food that has either gone off or just isn't wanted?

    When you're shopping, think about it... should you buy something in a larger quantity just because it's cheaper per unit, or should you spend less money on the amount you need at a higher rate per unit???? It may gnaw away at you, but it's better to go for the latter option as you'll often end up spending less and waste less.

    I know that a couple of weeks ago councils trying the bar coded bins and pay as you throw schemes said that they weren't working, but part of me does wonder if that is what it will take for people to really consider the waste they generate each day.....

    Buying the right amount rather than excesses takes no extra effort and will save in the long run. (if you do buy too much of something fresh, cook it and freeze it! Then you've a meal for nothing)

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  3. Rubbish kiwis by ecosrights, 372 days ago

    I read this on Zero waste today.... MADNESS.

    You would have thought that as long as he labeled them as "imperfect" the kiwis could still be sold or passed on. It's not as if they were going to make someone ill just because they were the wrong size. Out of date food from supermarkets I can understand a bit more because some of those items could make a person ill then the shop is liable for the illness (argh) but not fresh fruit that is just the wrong size / shape. Do they expect everything to look as if it's come off a manufacturing line? What about organics? They aren't as consistent....


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