If you go down to the recycling centre today…

Filed in Blog by on April 13, 2011 11 Comments
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Spot Mrs Green amongst all the crisp packets

Spot Mrs Green amongst all the crisp packets

You’re sure of a big surprise
If you go down to the recycling centre today
You’d better go in disguise…

Because Mr and Mrs Green will be there dumping things in the landfill section <gasp!>I know, bad isn’t it? I can’t quite believe I’ve been forced into this position, but I have.

After 4 months of going zero waste and our goal of sending less than one carrier bag of waste to the landfill by the end of the year, today is the day when we load up the car with black bags and dump them – out of sight, out of mind…

Have we failed in our mission?

Well yes and no.

Tomorrow we’ll be meeting up with the lovely Claire from PCF who will be taking our final crisp packet collection over to the Philippines where our ‘rubbish’ will be woven into beautiful bags and purses. As you’ll be aware we’ve been collecting crisp packets and toothpaste tubes for the past year and we’re ready to hand over the final collection.

The trouble is, someone has seen fit to do a ‘It’s not my responsibility’ special on us.

When we were sorting out the last crisp bags we noticed some of the bags were surprisingly heavy. I know compacted crisp packets can weigh a lot, but these were VERY heavy.

We had a quick look inside and you’ve guessed it, some ahem, ‘thoughtful person’ has sent us their landfill rubbish. Whether it was a genuine mistake or a deliberate act of whatever term you choose to use I don’t know.

All I know is, we’ve been left with the problem.

Part of me wants to go through it, separate the recyclables and do my bit, but another part of me, which happens to be much bigger and stronger than the former part says ‘dump it’.

Not MY responsibility.


So there we are; this morning I have to get rid of some rubbish. I know I’m going to feel really bad about it and I know how hard it will be and I’m getting a curious sense of deja vu. However I need to keep my focus on all the wonderful people who have gone out of their way to collect and send in their crisp packets over the past year and the fact that collectively, we’ve managed to keep over 60 children out of poverty for a year and enabled them to get an education through the Philippine Community Fund, via the profits made from selling these recycled goods.

If you’ve got some crisp packets lying around at home, you have until 18th April to get them to the PCF. Send them to:

The Philippine Community Fund,

PO Box 294
Hedge End
SO30 2YD

After that date, you’ll still be able to send them, but you’ll have to foot the shipping bill…

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. LJayne says:

    I’ve just sent my last batch off to PCF 🙂 and 🙁 at the same time.

    How annoying about the landfill waste. Hopefully it was just somebody’s error and they also gave plenty of crisp packets too and just got mixed up.

  2. Sandy says:

    what a dilema, nev er mind I am sure you will do the right thing.

  3. CarSue says:

    At the Recycling Center where I work, residents requently drop garbage into the recycling bins, and they do it on purpose because they are thoughtless. How dreadful that you’ve got someone else’s responsibility on your head from their garbage! Quite honestly, I’m very surprised you won’t be sorting, but it’s quite understandable.

    I’d also like to applaud your involvement with the PCF.

  4. John Costigane says:

    Hi Mrs Green,

    Sad to see the unwanted waste outcome from your Philippine’s collection. I totally agree that this is not your household waste and therefore outside the family’s Zero Waste challenge. My own bugbear is windblown rubbish which collects every windy day, along with the careless litter from passers-by. Clearing this lot up, and taking it to the local waste centre every few months, is my contribution to the litter problem, while occasionally recycling useful items, like aluminium cans. Again, this falls outside my own 5 year challenge.

  5. joddle says:

    What a bizarre act to send landfill waste to you. I am sorry they did that to spoil your day. I agree that you did the right thing and that it isn’t your problem. You are doing more than enough about waste by dedicating your time to this website. Ignore these mean-spirited landfill dumpers!

  6. Antonio Pachowko says:

    Mrs G remember the route to a bin is easier than to sort things out. You have no reason to feel guilty as you have done nothing wrong but the next best thing is to highlight the issues which people face and you do that brillantly (you can stop blushing now).

  7. James says:

    Not much of a zero waste person are you?. You can recycle through kerbside recycling collection, bring sites and household waste and recycling centres.

  8. Teresa says:

    @James: There was no need for that rude comment.

  9. James says:

    Its not rude, it is just being realistic. This is why the UK will never recycle over 50% of rubbish is that the consumer does not take any responsibility to sort their rubbish out.

  10. Poppy says:

    Who were you responding to James?

  11. Mrs Green says:

    @LJayne: Glad you were able to support the PCF so much Lesley – thanks so much!
    @Sandy: @CarSue: Thanks Sandy – Sue that’s terrible about the situation at your recycling centre. Gladly I don’t see that happening as the guys there pretty much follow you around to check what you are doing!
    @John Costigane: We’ve just seen 5 carrier bags of waste on a short journey to a friend’s house – we’re considering going back to collect it for our Earth Day efforts…
    @joddle: @Antonio Pachowko: thank you kindly lovely people 🙂
    @James: Welcome to the site James. There is no judgement on this site, only a sharing of experiences and encouragement for all. I agree that we all need to take responsibility for sorting our rubbish and recycling as much as we can; which is why the site exists – hopefully to inspire, educate and learn.

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