Green Lizard's Blog

The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.

What a load of rubbish!

a week’s rubbish

I was inspired to write this post by this project where photographer Greg Segal did a study of trash.

He photographed people lying surrounded by their own rubbish.

Apparently the average US citizen generates four pounds of rubbish per day. That’s 28 pounds in a week. That’s 12.7 kg!

So I wanted to talk about our rubbish.

Generally we don’t have much rubbish. I need to weigh it but I would estimate that we have around 1lb per week between two people.

That’s what goes in the main Rubbish collection bin. We often neglect to put it out for collection for several weeks at a time.

That’s not to say we don’t have other waste but here’s what that involved.

In our kitchen we have three steel bins. We used to have one bin for general waste and one for green or biodegrade able waste. In The Netherlands this is called GFT: groente, fruit tuinafval or vegetables, fruit and garden waste.

The second larger bin was for general waste. But three years ago our district introduced another separation system called plastic heroes so we changed our bins around and found a third bin. The largest bin now holds plastic waste and a smaller bin takes the less easy to deal with stuff.

Then there’s a bag hanging up where we store paper waste.

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This bag holds the plastic just before we deal with it. That involved a walk to the end of our street. Under the leafy canopy at the end we have a bottle bank, a paper bank and the plastic hero recycler.

We separate our bottles and jars too. The jars are stored for jam and honey. The bottles are divided too; some can be returned to the supermarket for a cash deposit refund of 10 cents a bottle.

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The paper carrier bag is storing this fuel. We do take some to be recycled but we also use some to make briquettes for the wood stove which I’ve blogged about before.

Meanwhile
There’s more!
The suitable scraps from the kitchen feed the hens, the less suitable scraps feed the worms. In turn their waste feeds the garden.

The egg shells are ground and added to the chicken feed so the next egg shells are strong.

Toilet roll tubes are saved for growing seedlings for the garden.

By developing these habits we have easily managed to produce less than that one day average per week in our house.

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Our wheelie bins have digital chips now but this is yet to be used to calculate our council bills for waste. I’m quite keen to see them start measuring our waste!

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18 comments on “What a load of rubbish!

  1. lindaswildlifegarden
    July 13, 2014

    Reblogged this on Linda's wildlife garden and commented:
    Lovely update thank you for sharing Liz

    Like

  2. Andrew Petcher
    July 13, 2014

    I like to think of it as ‘managing waste’ as well as recycling. Responsible disposal is the duty of the individual but sadly a lot of people believe it is the local council. Recycling is easy so a shame that a lot of people are too lazy!

    Like

  3. Fran
    July 13, 2014

    We try to recycle as much as we can, I wish our local council provided all those lovely recycling bins though x

    Like

  4. silverbells2012
    July 13, 2014

    Maybe I will weigh our waste – like you, not that there is much of it! Can you recycle all plastic in the Netherlands?

    Like

    • lizard100
      July 13, 2014

      Not all but most of it. It’s a fairly good system for plastics but stuff made of mixed materials is difficult!

      Like

      • silverbells2012
        July 13, 2014

        Guess it is the same as where I am. I would love to find a way of reducing my plastic waste even further but hard with a kiddies who doesn’t want to be laughed at for having a strange mother….

        Like

      • lizard100
        July 13, 2014

        That is hard and it’s time consuming to try and cut the consumer plastic packaging. Especially as people try to bag or cling wrap everything!

        Like

      • silverbells2012
        July 13, 2014

        On the other hand, every little effort helps. Eg making my own milk shakes where all but the milk is either unpackaged or in paper.

        Like

      • lizard100
        July 13, 2014

        Yes! Keep trying. That’s all we can do!

        Like

      • silverbells2012
        July 13, 2014

        😉

        Like

  5. Rambling Woods
    July 14, 2014

    It is an ongoing challenge in our house… We are trying

    Like

  6. mjh333
    July 14, 2014

    Good work! I just moved into a new flat share and and trying to get the recycling going. Unfortunately our recycling scheme is not great in this town.

    Like

    • lizard100
      July 14, 2014

      It’s all about habits. But the municipal stuff really helps.

      Like

  7. You have a container deposit scheme?! I am jealous! We are campaigning for one here, it would make such a difference to our litter problem.

    I like that you use cardboard for fuel too : )

    Like

    • lizard100
      July 14, 2014

      It’s really good. I have another post to write about the other waste: electrical etc

      Like

  8. Of Gardens
    July 16, 2014

    I saw those photographs of Segal’s….caused me a moment’s uncomfortableness as I thought about what a week of my trash would look like (never mind what I would look like covered in it)

    Like

    • lizard100
      July 16, 2014

      Exactly. There is no ‘away’. When we get rid of something it goes somewhere.

      Like

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This entry was posted on July 13, 2014 by in environment and tagged , , .

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