Reducing my recycling output

Peering into my very own blue bin this morning, wondering if it should go out for collection, made me realise how far I’ve come in the past two years, since leaving my old life behind in London!

Back then, in the flats, we had just two huge recycling bins, that were very often full. I contributed to them a lot. I would have a Daily Mail Mon-Fri. The Saturday one, with a thick supplement. Then I’d try and get the free magazines from the station at the top of the market, the Metro and London Evening Standard. Together with the usual stuff, milk cartons, drinks cans and food sleeves and packaging, my trips out to the bins were too frequent. But if they were contaminated, and not collected, that meant I couldn’t dispose of what used to be a huge bag of stuff, and I’d end up driving to the nearby Sainsburys to use their recycling facilities. On top of all that, I’d have my fortnightly computer magazine, and often would pick up Writing, and maybe one or two general mags, like Yours. A colleague once said my home must have been a huge fire risk!!

When I moved here to Lowestoft it all changed. I no longer had a newsagent within walking distance, so no Daily Mail. I could no longer pick up a Metro, or Evening Standard. I had to rely on occasional trips into town if I wanted a paper, but that would mean a short drive. (But as my sister was hospitalised a week after I moved, shopping trips were out.)

So I turned to online reading. I remembered a London neighbour had started subscribing to the DM so I too joined. What a revelation! Access to my paper 7 days a week, and no physical waste inside the home. I also was getting daily links to the Metro, and could find the Standard online too if I had the time to read it. Not only that, but via my library subscription I can use Wordpress to read pretty much every magazine I want to, including my Computeractive, Writing and Yours. I just need to sign in each month to continue.

Our bins alternate fortnightly, and as I checked the contents of the blue one this morning I couldn’t remember when it last went out. Maybe 4-6 weeks ago as it was only 3/4s full. So I got hold of my compost bin aerator, and pushed down on the contents, taking it down to now half full. Yay! I Still have milk bottles, cans, and food packaging, and my weekly tv magazine, but haven’t a clue of the percentage I have reduced in the past 2 years. It must be good though, right? :smiley:

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Oh well done @Jazzi, that’s a huge improvement! I don’t get papers or magazines much, but I try and recycle as much as possible. It makes me laugh when I’m cleaning silly little fruit trays, but like you say - they don’t collect if they are contaminated. Milk cartons are another big thing. I have noticed though, my usual rubbish bags are far less bulky than before, so that’s good. A fortnightly collection isn’t much use though, especially up here. I think its a money saving scheme by the councils. :frowning:

@PixieKnuckles having a dog also means more waste, like her food tray sleeves or packaging, and I also use a lot of milk, and have fizzy drinks. But as for the paper wastage, that has gone down massively. I did ask for and get a bigger black bin, as the previous one was small, so now manage my waste quite well.

I do have several shops in walking distance from this house, my own property, when I can pick up my tv mag (which reminds me, I forgot it this morning), but I now prefer to access digital versions of everything else. As you can see, I am an avid reader. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Hi Jazzi :smiley: that all sounds very efficent,
Have you got a vegetable garden or an allotment at your new house .

I am lucky with kitchen waste, what doesn’t go in the compost goes in the goat Jody who lives over the road :smiley: .

Meg, I have a teeeny tiny area of garden with two small raised beds. I have tried dismally with some crops but in one bed I have three shrubs, one or two of which I would like removed eventually, freeing up some room for more growing in the future. I have stopped putting stuff in the compost bin for now, to give it time to break down. I have room in some parts where I could try pots or grow bags. Indeed, the potatoes are in three bags in the corner, under my washing line. They do get in the way.

Well done Jazzi…
We have lots of recycle bins on route wherever we go…

We have our local Dechetterie our name for Refuse Tip…where anything can be disposed of in separate skips and banks…A separate one for garden waste and builders waste…batteries to oil to furniture and electrical appliances so absolutely no reason to dump rubbish anywhere for any reasons…

We also have a huge Charity Warehouse, minutes away for decent goods of all sorts…all proceeds go to local Animal Rescue Centres…they run a cafe on site and a fish & chip mobile arrives each Thursdays…The have set Fete days also…they raise huge sums and work tirelessly purley for there love of Animals…

Some do get a raw deal here, sadly…like a duck within the chicken pen, just up the lane…no Pond not even a water tray…

Seem to have wandered…habits die hard…
Funny in a way, our Twin Son was an avid recycler, and we kept an eye on his property whilst he was away, once…He had black bags all up his stairs to his Maisonette…Once up, there it was not a living space…either,bags and bags of recycling stuff.

He is a Bus Driver and would regularly do up to 80 hours work each week, so guess that is the problem, heart was in it though…

Recycling depots in my new county now need booking a slot online. In olden days we could just rock up with our stuff, but had to queue to get in. The London one was easy, but now the council have taken away a back road access and users have to go on a longer diversion. Glad I don’t live there anymore!

However, the next county alongside us do not require pre booking, but it is much further to get to.

I was advised, elsewhere, to get my bin out this morning regardless, because nobody knows what the future may hold, regarding Covid and the ping alerts. I realised she was quite right so have taken the bin out into the alley for collection today. It WAS heavy, so let’s keep fingers crossed.

This week our blue recycling bin was full almost to the brim (normally it’s only about ½ full) because I threw out a couple of cut up, large, cardboard boxes (emptied this morning). It’s emptied fortnightly as is our waste bin (alternate weekly collections). Our waste bin usually contains 1 half empty 25 litre bag of non-recyclable stuff and general kitchen waste like banana skins, apple cores, tea bags and a few cigarette ends.

Up here, percy, some houses get to have an actual food waste bin…its not available to everyone, despite being under the same council, but that’s where they put all the waste food items. Its a small brown bin as I recall. I don’t have one. :069:

Typically, our weekly food waste is no more than 6 banana skins, 7 apple cores, about 40 teabags and not much else (other than fag ends). I throw out, for the birds, things like bacon rind, left over toast, jacket potato skins, etc because the crows and magpies love them.

We have a large green bin, into which all food and garden waste gets chucked.

Does become a bit whiffy at times!!

We’ve got 2 brown bins for garden waste (and they’re collected FoC on the same day as our recycling).

Ours are collected every fortnight. The green bin is supposed to be weekly during the summer months, but this naturally changed every two weeks during lockdown last year and the council has curiously not reinstated it to what it should be, nor have they adjusted the council tax to reflect this reduced service.

I am quite pleased with my waste and recycling output, my bins only get put out about once a month. The recycling bin only gets collected one a fortnight but I rarely even fill it half way in that time. Annoyingly soft plastics have to go to Woollies because they are not recycled by the council.

I could change my Red bin 120L for a smaller one 80L but the savings on my council rates doesn’t make it worth while. My green bin i put out about once or twice a year, I compost my food scraps rather than use the FOGO service.

Unfortunately my reduction in waste is not reflected in my rates, this year my council rates are over $1600. Bastards!