A ‘normal’ week’s worth of rubbish at Chez Green

Filed in Blog by on June 4, 2008 11 Comments
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Heeeeere she is. Our regular before-rubbish-diet dustbin, complete with saddlebags.

Chez Green\'s dustbin

Look at that cellulite, the distended stomach, how her knees have started to buckle under her own weight and how she has food stains on her bosom. Poor girl.

Never mind, this week we’re going to be extra kind and not stuff her so full of junk (we hope). We’ve found out about all the recycling available to us, which amounts to:

Kerbside: cans, glass, paper and green waste.
Local: tetrapaks and plastic bottles.
We have a compost bin in the garden.
Within 10 miles: cardboard and foil and a huge array of other hungry receptacles.

Wanna know how we found out?

Type your postcode into the Recycle Now site and find all sorts of things to get excited about in your area. We’re doing the happy dance here; which looks a bit like this A green bunny doing a happy dancebecause we have discovered the delights of local tetrapak recycling after many years of wondering what to do with them.

Technically that leaves us with the dreaded plastic packaging to dispose of. It will be interesting to see just how much it impacts our life and how much of the stuff we buy. I’m feeling optimistic and thinking we might get down to one carrier bags worth a week – what do you think?

We’ve sorted out a few disputes amongst us in a very mature and orderly fashion. Namely dirty cans and compost scraps.

Mr Green can’t do the dirty can thing. His job is to wash up, so I tend to open tins and leave them on the side thinking he’ll wash them as part of the washing up job (All those in favour, say Aye). Thing is, he’s binning them in secret and covering them with kitchen roll or similar. <gasp>

I don’t do the compost thing. Actually, my confessional is far worse. I can sympathise with the dirty can thing; I’ve been there myself and if it’s not done when the contents are freshly opened, it’s a pretty ghastly, not to mention hazardous job.

MY confession, dear readers is that I’m too darn lazy to hike the 70 feet or so down the garden to the compost area. Geesh, what a whinger. It goes back to a fearful combination of a few days rain and a clay bed. Think quagmire with overhanging trees (and bats) that get caught in your hair when you walk down there at dusk.

So after saying three Hail Mary’s and drinking from the holy fountain we resolved it. I wash the cans, (makes sense as I’m the one that opens them for food preparation) and he treks into the great outdoors with the compost. He’s an outdoor lad; it will suit him.

Wish us luck! Our burgeoning bin is being emptied by the rubbish men (well, not rubbish men; they’re fantabulous men who provide a great service) as I type. We’re now officially on our journey to the land(fill) of zero waste where children can roam safely in the fields and we shall all have bread and jam for tea.
And for that, dear readers, you are our witnesses.

Sign and date here please…………………………………….

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (11)

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  1. Alice says:

    Great blog, will be following your progress with interest, and will start to look a bit more at what we throw away!


  2. Mrs Green says:

    Hi Alice,

    Thanks for stopping by; I appreciate you taking time to comment. It’s lovely to think there are people out there following our challenge and we hope we can inspire some to make their own changes!

    Have a lovely evening,
    Mrs G x

  3. Queenie says:

    Hmmm, you’ve really got me thinking now Mrs Green how to reduce my rubbish. I think that packaging is the bin demon in our house …

  4. Mrs Green says:

    Hey Queenie,
    Lovely to see you too – welcome 🙂 Packaging sure is a dustbin demon! I’m hoping to share a lot of information here as I discover alternatives and I hope to offer suggestions to help everyone who is interested in reducing their rubbish.
    It’s all a very steep learning curve at the moment as you can imagine.
    Having said that, I’ve been blessed to meet some amazing people this week who have been very supportive of the whole thing, so things are looking up!

    mrs g x

  5. Queenie says:

    Its so infuriating isn’t it. I recycle everything I can possibly think of and STILL seem to fill a bin liner a week.
    I will be watching your progress for inspiration and guidance … xx

  6. Mr Green says:

    That highlights the problem Queenie and We have the same challenge ourselves. For us it’s the non-recyclable plastic that we have to put in the landfill, everything else we can re-use or recycle. We are now focusing on trying to buy products without plastic packaging that can’t be recycled. Even to the point of taking our own containers to buy loose items. We’re collecting some useful solutions about this which we’ll post up soon…

  7. Queenie says:

    I’ve just identified the other culprit, brought to my attention at breakfast. Food waste. Since my dog passed away i throw an awful lot of half eaten food away that my children ask for, eat half of, pick and prod at and then leave.
    I guess a bokashi is the way forward for that as i can’t put it in the normal compost bin.

  8. Mad Mum Of 5 says:

    Hi, Green family!
    Congratulations on doing something to inspire and get people moving…will be watching and joining you along the journey.
    I have a real battle with the council getting them to collect our recycling,and have to take it miles myself, which when tired and busy can seem like hard work, this site will help me keep on track.
    Well done!

  9. Mrs Green says:

    Ah, good call, Queenie. I think this is a biggie for a lot of people and it’s something we’ll be writing about (I really need a 14 day week at the moment LOL!).
    Having that awareness gives you the knowledge to make a positive choice though and a Bokashi could well be your answer. I’ve heard great things about them, although I don’t, at this stage, have any experience of one myself.
    Do let us know how you get on if you decide to try one 🙂

    Mrs G x

  10. Mrs Green says:

    Hi Mad Mum of 5 – brilliant name LOL! I understand that a long journey when you’re tired full of smelly cans isn’t the most enjoyable task. We all fall prey to convenience at times. That’s really why we set up the challenge in a more public way. When there are people watching your progress and when there are others to share things with, somehow it becomes easier.

    What kerbside collections do you have and how far is your nearest recycling centre? Have you checked the Recycle Now website – things are changing all the time so it’s worth checking back if you haven’t done so for the past 6 months – you might be in for a pleasant surprise 🙂

    Thanks for taking the time to post a comment and I hope you find some inspiration as we walk our journey.

    mrs G x

  11. Mrs Green says:

    well, not that YOU are full of smelly cans, you understand.

    That will teach me to write in a hurry 😀

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