Final day! How much waste can one family create in a day?

Filed in Blog by on March 8, 2009 5 Comments
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household rubbish day 7Well done friends; you’ve endured a week of rummaging through our bins with us. And tomorrow you’ll find out exactly why we are doing this. You’ve been very patient and well behaved πŸ˜‰

paper – 221g

daily newspaper, given to us by our neighbour

metal – 103g

baked beans tin
chicken in sauce tin
metal cap from wine bottle

glass – 729g

wine bottle
glass jar from cook in sauce

cardboard – 117g

cat biscuits box
fishfingers box
ryvita box
toilet roll inner
ice cream tub (hence the cat’s head in the photo!)
cinnamon packaging

tetrpaks – 81g

2 fruit juice cartons

Food – 850g

Fruit and vegetable peelings and egg shells

plastic and ‘other’ – 67g

1 tilda rice bag
1 plasticised paper inner from ryvita
1 foil backed paper from cinnamon
1 chocolate bar wrapper
plastic ice cream lid – unmarked
1 yogurt pot
2 non-rechargeable batteries
1 plastic straw


What happens to all the stuff?

  • Paper, metal and glass can be put out for kerbside collection. Find out what your council collect by contacting your local office
  • Cardboard and tetrapaks will be stored for taking to our local recycling centre next time we are passing by. Find out where your nearest recycling centre is with Recycle Now.
  • Food is all raw food scraps such as fruit and vegetable peelings and eggs shells. These will be composted.
  • I will reuse the ice cream pot; it’s ideal for home made ice cream or storing soup in the freezer. The yogurt pot will be kept for a local school or playgroup or sent to GHS for recycling. The batteries can be taken to our local civic amenity site for recycling.
  • The non recyclable items (chocolate bar wrapper, inner from ryvita and cinnamon and tilda rice bag) will end up in the landfill.

All in all it weighed 2.18kgs of which 21g (the chocolate bar wrapper, inner from ryvita and cinnamon and tilda rice bag) will end up in landfill waste.

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 (5)

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  1. Sandra Jones says:

    I like the fact that you always list your daily newspaper as being given to you by a neighbour. We also tend to share our newspapers and magazines with family and neighbours. Not only does it reduce waste and save natural resources, but it saves quite a bit of money as well. I am a firm believer in hand-me-downs!

  2. Well Done on all your efforts this week.

    It will be interesting to see just how much of what you have will actually end up where. and the % of the total split into the categories.:D

    This week I have used a old saucepan to put the bits which would normally go into the kitchen bin into, plastic wrap etc. there doesn’t seem to be much so we will see tomorrow at the weight in.

  3. Mrs Green says:

    Hi Sandra; I’d like to be able to pass it along to someone else too. This might be a mission for the coming week – find another neighbour who could benefit from it. Perhaps we could have the worlds most travelling newspaper in the village!

    Thanks Maisie; it was an interesting week; even recycling tends to put things out of the way and out of mind. I would like to reduce our recycling, especially with the current economic climate. That feels like the second stage of a zero waste lifestyle. Not sure how doable it is though πŸ˜‰

  4. Barbara Beck says:

    I think you are doing a great job. I live in Adelaide in South Australia, Australia. Our community has been recycling for a very long time – close to 20 years (how time flies). I visited England in 2003 and was very surprised to find that recylcing was not the norm. We are fortunate that our local council has realised how much money can be made by recycling. We have three bins, a small bin for garbage, a large recylce bin and a large green waste bin, all supplied by the collectors. The garbage is collected weekly and the recylce and green waste on alternate weeks. A number of residenta have suggested that the rubbish we collected fortnightly and recycle every week. I think we will have to wait for that to happen.
    The garbage bin has only just been replace with an even smaller rubbish bin. My family also freecycles our extra things that are no longer wanted. Evey bit helps the planet. Cheers from Adelaide.

  5. Mrs Green says:

    Hi Barbara; lovely to see you from south Australia. It’s great that your council have seen the positive side to recycling and it sounds like that side of business is doing well over there.
    We too would like the ‘norm’ to be fortnightly landfill collections and weekly recycling; I think that would be a great incentive to people and to reverse the idea of what ‘normal’ is.
    I hope you pop in again soon and share some more of your experiences of recycling; we love hearing how other countries and communities deal with the issue of waste.

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