Reducing your household landfill waste – day three

Filed in Blog by on March 4, 2009 12 Comments
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household rubbishToday is interesting because Mr Green and I felt motivated to clean out the car. It’s amazing what you can find in there! Thankfully most of it was coats and various toys belonging to Little miss Green, which have been put away, but there was a lot of paper in there too:
paper – 689g

2 envelopes
paper bread bag
greaseproof paper from fish and chips
various leaflets that have fallen out of newspaper / magazines
1 magazine
2 daily newspapers, given to us by our neighbour
car park ticket

glass – 559g

wine bottle

cardboard – 34g

outers from yogurt pots
toilet roll inner

Foil – 5g

used for sunday lunch
top from cream pot

tetrpaks – 72g

1 large and 1 small fruit juice cartons

Food – 200g

Fruit and vegetable peelings

plastic – 13g

top from cream pot
polythene wrapping from toilet rolls
1 cream pot

Misc – 4g

cork from wine bottle

Misc / mixed non recylable – 3g

2 crisp packets
4 yogurt pot lids


What happens to all the stuff?

  • envelopes and paper bread bag will be reused, greaseproof paper will be composted and the rest of the paper will be put into the kerbside collections box. Find out what your council collect by contacting your local office
  • Wine bottle can be put out for kerbside collection. Find out what your council collect by contacting your local office
  • Cardboard, foil 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. These will be composted.
  • The toilet roll wrapping can be put in with supermarket carrier bags in SOME stores. Phone your local store to check. Alternatively, it can be stored up and sent off to Polyprint for recycling.
  • Cream pot and lid will be stored and sent to GHS for recycling.
  • Cork from wine bottle will be cut up and added to the compost heap. If you leave it whole it takes ages to decompose!
  • The crisp packets and yogurt seals will end up in the landfill.

All in all it weighed 1.61kgs of which 3g (crisp packets and yogurt pot seals) 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 (12)

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  1. Katy says:

    I hope the wine bottle wasn’t out of the car 🙂

  2. well done with this again.

    I ventured to Tesco today, and found that the deli do still have large blocks of cheese to cut from.

    However they didn’t have any of the type I wanted left.

    But they do a “grab n go” section which had some ready cut wrapped in cling film. I bought one of these to keep us going.

    If I have to purchase these the cling weighs in at 2g less for wrapping the same size piece of cheese as the pre-packaged I bought the other day.

  3. Poppy says:


    That’s exactly what I thought!! 😉

  4. Layla says:

    3g is quite great!

    wish yogurt pot lids could be recycled too! /sigh/

    Just curious, how do you wash the tetrapaks? I keep trying to ban them from the house but the family has kept bringing them in! Do you just rinse – cold &/or hot water or…?
    (what about from milk or yoghurts?)
    Been trying to ignore and just do away with tetrapaks, but hmm!! (so I wish to know what would be the best way about it-? Apparently they are collected together with plastics here-? though no idea what happens to them afterwards.. and still not happiest with them..)

    As for clingfilm and cheese /sigh/ – I try to avoid it! Mum apparently can’t be fully trusted with cheese though either! she bought some in a plastic reusable container – previously clingwrapped!! ugh /poor dear/ ‘The chunk was previously clingwrapped!’ (my sneaky tactics: ‘Could it be just 1 cm wider?’ (They’re happy to sell you more!)
    Sorry to hear the good variety wasn’t available to buy as a piece, Maisie.. Just clingfilm is better than clingfilm PLUS tons of plastic-coated paper, but still… Less is ideal..

  5. Pat says:

    I have reduced our household waste considerably but I still send the kitty litter to the landfill. Is there another way to dispose of this?

  6. poppy says:

    @Pat: Depends on what type of litter you are using Pat. Clay based litters you probably do need to send to landfill. I’ve been trying wood/sawdust based litters for the last few weeks as once the solids are removed, I can put them either onto the garden (part I don’t use very often) or into the compost.

    This week we’re trying a paper based litter which can also be composted. I think it’s called Catolit, but I can’t find it on the net, so maybe not quite the right spelling. I’ll have a look tomorrow.

  7. adomesticprincess says:

    Hi, I’m Kathy in Portland Oregon USA, and I am new here. I just had to comment on the cat litter. I have been using shredded newspapers for years as my cat litter. I do not use the colored inserts or pages with lots of color on them. If there is a little color on them, those are the ones that I fold up and use in the bottom of the litter box with the color portions turned to the inside (about 4-5 sheets works for us). Our paper is printed with soy based inks. I then shred the plain sheets into small shreds or confetti in my paper shredders. A couple of handfuls in the litter box seems to work well. Change daily. Super easy clean up.

  8. Poppy says:

    @Pat:Here’s the stuff I was talking about. Seems pretty good so far and as the gumpf says, it doesn’t track through the house. I love the wood pellet ones, but I’m not so keen on the sawdust footprints all over the place.

    @adomesticprincess: That’s great that your mog accepts the newspaper. I did try adding shredded paper to one of our litter trays, but it ended up all over the place 🙁

  9. adomesticprincess says:

    @Poppy: The trick there is to use a larger litter box with a little higher sides (worked with some over-eager cats). But by far the best solution I have found is to put one of the large (approx 24x 36 inches) incontinence pads under the litter box to catch the stray shreds. The pads can then be shaken over the litter box for clean up. I only have to replace them a few times a year. I realize that they are lined in a plastic, but that thin film of plastic is all that would not be possible to recycle here. The rest could be composted if you had the space. We have had lots of cats over the years (9+ at a time) and every cat took to the shredded paper, but would snub all the other “natural” choices. I am so glad not to be using that awful, dusty, dangerous clay stuff and having to send it to the landfill. At least trees are renewable.

  10. Mrs Green says:

    @Katy: Hi Katy, wine bottles in cars 😀 I think I left that sort of thing back in my teenage years LOL!

    @maisie dalziel: Hi Maisie; funny you mention that. I saw some pre cut cheese in Budgens today that was wrapped in clingfilm. I figured that was much less packaging than the waxed plastic. Not sure about the safety issues though; the plasticisers. I guess how long it was wrapped for. Nothing is straightforward in the land of recycling is it!

    @Poppy: Poppy; you’re so bad … of course, it never crossed my mind that our friends would think so badly of us 🙁

    @Layla: Hi Layla, we are in a routine of washing out recyclables at the end of washing up. I keep rinsing tetrapaks with warm water; the same with yogurt pots, until most of the residue has gone. Then I air dry, compact and pop the lids back on ready for storage.

    Hi Pat and a domesticprincess. Welcome to the site and thanks for posting your questions / thoughts / experiences on the cat litter issue. It’s one that keeps coming up on the site and it’s an important area to erm, ‘bottom out’ 😀
    Poppy has a lot of experience of this too, so I hope you find a solution, Pat. Let us know what you decide and how you get on!

  11. Well I thought that as I’m going to grate it as soon as home and put into a tub then its not going to make that much difference, just reduces the amount going to landfill.

  12. Mrs Green says:

    @maisie dalziel: Good point, Maisie. I guess I’ll be unwrapping it to store straight away, so it shouldn’t make that much difference should it.

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