Friday, 25 January 2013
So here we are in the New Year - I always start a diet in the New Year - well I try to at least..... but this year, how about a different sort of diet - the Rubbish Diet - slimming your bin is great fun, it saves you money, it makes your council tax go further and of course it means that less stuff goes to landfill,loads more stuff gets recycled - saving space in landfill, saving energy and making much better use of valuable resources. One more great thing is no more panic about missing bin day - cos there's hardly anything in your wheelie!! The Rubbish diet – Here are the 7 easy steps to slim your bin: 1. Imagine that after your next bin day there will be no more refuse collections – and you will have to deal with all your waste – anything that can’t be recycled you will have to bury in your own garden – your very own landfill right up close! 2. With that picture in your mind you need to baseline your rubbish – so on the night before your grey bin is collected have a look and make a note of how full your wheelie bin is – roughly how many bags. If you are really keen – weigh each bag so you know how much weight you are chucking out. A photo of inside your bin is a quick way of recording your starting point. 3. So the lovely bin men come and empty your bin – now you are ready to start the rubbish diet – the first challenge is get your recycling system sorted out so it doesn’t drive you mad…. We produce a lot of cardboard and paper so I have 2 stacking boxes next to the bin one for card and one for paper – on top I have a tray (one from an old fridge!) – I put all my plastic, cans, foil tetrapaks, batteries etc in here and empty into recycling boxes every couple of days. The other top tip is to have a bag hanging on a door or under your sink for all plastic wrappers, bread bags, toilet roll bags etc. 4. So challenge for the first week is to try and recycle everything you possibly can – check out this website to find out exactly what the council will collect from your kerbside and what can be taken to bring banks at supermarkets and the Household recycling centre: www.shropshirewaste.gov.uk Don’t forget that all that plastic wrap can be put into the plastic bag recycling bins at supermarkets. 5. After one week of taking out all your yoghurt pots, foil, cans, glass, card and paper and plastic wrapping – the next step is to look at what is still in the bin – make a note of the stuff and have a think about whether there is an alternative that doesn’t produce the waste. For example, foil lined crisp packets – everyone loves crisps but can you cope with buying Sainsburys basic tortilla chips in a clear plastic bag that can be put in bag recycling instead? Will your cat eat canned food instead of the food pouches? Can you buy big pots of yoghurt instead of the little individual ones so you only have one lid instead of 6? 6. Give yourself the challenge of not putting any food in the bin for a week. Investing in a compost bin for all your peelings from fruit and veg is a great way to reduce your waste – maybe a neighbour is a keen gardener and would be happy to have your compost. Can you avoid any wasted food? This is the bit that has been brilliant for us – by cooking once and eating twice we have saved money and avoided waste food in the bin. www.lovefoodhatewaste.org.uk is a great website with all sorts of tips to avoid food waste – the portion measure has really helped us. 7. The rubbish diet is about talking to other dieters so that we support each other – maybe someone has a solution to a waste problem – like using the orange plastic nets from oranges as a scourer. Maybe you have found a waste free alternative and can share that with other dieters So please tell us how you are getting on – follow the Shropshire dieters on Twitter @RDShropshire and check out the blog www.rubbishdietshropshire.blogspot.co.uk and send us your thoughts, questions, complaints and discoveries to Alison.firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks and good luck with slimming your bin!!