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Monday, 29 September 2008

Week Ending Sunday 28 September

Our rubbish again weighed 320g this week, and the recycling bin was only half full for the fortnight so something is working somewhere, as this means a decrease in the actual packaging brought into our home.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Non - Recyclable Packaging & Rubbish in General

I have decided to post the packaging I have from goods I buy from the supermarkets which is their own label back to their Head Offices for them to deal with.

I have hopefully persuaded a few of my online "greenies" to also join in with this.

So today will see me sorting through the packaging I had saved from the landfill bin as I thought it could either be posted to GHS or I would take some of it to the HRF.

It will be sorted into 3 different categories:

a) that which can be sent back to supermarkets Head Office with a covering letter asking them to change their packaging
b) things that can be taken to the HRF to be recycled by the council
c) things that I can still send to GHS to be recycled.

Although some of what I am sending back to the supermarkets could be taken to the HRF, I want to get the message to the supermarkets that non-recyclable/not easily recyclable packaging is not acceptible.

With having children I accept that some items such as crisps, chocolate and sweets are part of the rubbish we will get as a family, but with buying mostly own label I can return the majority of this back to the supermarket Head Office.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Zero Waste - Day 21

I have emptied the kitchen bin this morning and we are on 340g of waste to go into the landfill bin. 1 carrier bag again.

The majority of this again is plastic that can't be recycled.

I am really pleased that even though I untaped the bin the boys and Dave have not been putting things into it without thinking.

I do have a couple of ideas up my sleeve to try and reduce some of the plastic meat wrappers and will elaborate as and when they come into practice.

I have a good size box of plastics to take to the HRF or HWRC as the County Council like to call it; and will go armed with my email from the County Council, which states which plastics they accept.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Campaign to the Supermarkets

I wrote a long email yesterday to Tesco head office asking for recyclable and recycled packaging in all their own label/value products or at the very least information on the type of packaging so that as a consumer we can recycle it as we know what type of plastic etc it is.

I also asked that they provide recycling bins for all types of packaging and allowed customers to bring in their own containers for taking products home from the deli,butchery and fish counter, or provide readily recyclable ones as a choice.

I will wait with baited breath for a response but you never know.

Monday, 15 September 2008

The Landfill Bin and Recycled Waste

Following on from the last 2 weeks I have decided to not put out the Landfill Wheelie Bin for collection until it is full.

So I will be monitoring this now as an ongoing project to see just how long it takes us to fill it; based on the last 2 weeks I would hazard a guess at 3 months (12 weeks); but we will see.

Whilst taking DS2 to school this morning we were discussing how well we have done over the last 2 weeks and then discussed that the next step would be to reduce packaging coming into the house at source, so that even though we can recycle it; it is still waste/rubbish which has to be dealt with.

Alot of things which we use do not come in an alternative form so we will have to continue to put this packaging into the recyling bin.
A typical example of this is Dh's beer cans or my wine bottle, as well as the tins that certain products come in like baked beans.

Black Landfill Bin and Recycling Waste

Following on from the last 2 weeks I have decided to not put out the Landfill Wheelie Bin for collection until it is full.

So I will be monitoring this now as an ongoing project to see just how long it takes us to fill it; based on the last 2 weeks I would hazard a guess at 3 months (12 weeks); but we will see.

Whilst taking DS2 to school this morning we were discussing how well we have done over the last 2 weeks and then discussed that the next step would be to reduce packaging coming into the house at source, so that even though we can recycle it; it is still waste/rubbish which has to be dealt with.

Alot of things which we use do not come in an alternative form so we will have to continue to put this packaging into the recyling bin.
A typical example of this is Dh's beer cans or my wine bottle, as well as the tins that certain products come in like baked beans.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Zero Waste - Day 14

Rubbish collected for the week to go into the landfill bin, which can't be recycled:

8 crisp packets (twisted & knotted)

1 tobacco packet from DH
2 plastic tops from cream tubs
1 glass bottle lid with plastic inside
1 butter wrapper (supporting the local milkman)
1 multipak crisp wrapper (twisted & knotted)
8 chicken drumstick bones
2 plastic sleeves from meats that were used from freezer

Total weight of rubbish put into landfill this week.........................309 g

So whilst not a total zero waste fortnight, our rubbish has decreased from 2 black bin liners and sometimes 3 every 2 weeks to just under 650g in the 2 week period; basically everything in our landfill bin would fit into a carrier bag even after 2 weeks.

I am more than pleased with this result, but will continue to moniter and even reduce further over the coming weeks and months.

The Zero Waste Challenge

Things have gone very well doing this challenge, and I have kept a log over on www.rubbishlog.blogspot.com for anyone who cares to look.

We have reduced the amount of waste going into our landfill bin from a black bin liner down to a 325g carrier bag each week.

I have now set up a mini recycling centre with pigeon hole boxes to sort the different types of recyclong until there is sufficient to deal with it.

I will now be looking at other ideas which I will post in later.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Zero Waste - Day 13

Well we are here at our penultimate day of the challenge; I have been reading "The Book of Rubbish Ideas" by Tracy Smith both the blog and I purchased the book yesterday from Waterstones. It is a very intersting read.

On the recycling front I can't believe how much plastic we get that can now be recycled at the HRF. I have a small box full already and that is only after 2 weeks. I think the trip there will definitely be monthly rather than the bi-monthly which I thought originally; at least until we find some alternatives for some of the products we buy, which is the ultimate goal.

I have another box containing things which hopefully will be able to be sent to GHS and also to Kristal, who is an art and design student who is using bottle tops to make a dress (see http://www.myzerowaste.com/) for the info on that.

Waste from meals

Dinners from the last couple of nights have only produced recyclable/compostable waste.

Fishfingers, mashed potatoes, mushy peas

2 fishfinger boxes
potato peelings
2 tins from mushy peas


Jacket potatoes with cheese and baked beans

2 baked bean tins
the cheese was bulk purchased previously and grated then stored in portion size tubs in the freezer.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Zero Waste - Day 12

On my trip to Sainsburys yesterday I was also looking at the dishwasher products as will be needing some on the next trip, Sainsburys own "Clean Home" tablets come in a cardboard box (recyclable) and the tablets are wrapped in a disolvable film as you don't have to unwrap them when putting in the dishwasher.

I also bought some Fairtrade Organic Bananas which come in a package which clearly states on it that it can be put into the compost heap.

My friend has given me a load of cooking apples so these will be cooked down and frozen, or chopped and frozen for use over the coming months. There will also be some mincemeat made ready for the mince pies at Christmas.

I was a very kindly given a load of brand new jam jars by the boys Karate teacher who wasn't going to use them himself.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Zero Waste - Day 11

Today saw a new dilema, what to do with the chicken drumstick bones??

We had chicken drumsticks with salad and new potatoes for dinner, but of course now how to dispose of the bones.

During the winter when we have the coal/wood fire burning I would put them on there, and although the fire creates "clinker" the food waste is disposed of.
I have toyed with the idea of a green cone but at the moment costs are prohibitive.

So I think they are going to have to go into the landfill bin, I will wrap them carefully in newspaper and keep seperate until the last minute just incase I find any other ideas.

Whilst shopping today in Sainsburys I had to make a descision do I buy fairtrade sugar in a plastic non-recyclable pack or non fairtrade sugar in a recyclable paper bag.

I have always gone for fairtrade over organic when it has been staple goods, but now I have the packaging to consider as well.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Zero Waste - Day 10

Last night saw me making a big pot of Ratatouille mix to use up some veggies from the organic box which wouldn't have been used otherwise.
I prepared everything and then turned the slowcooker on as I went to bed, so that it was all cooked and ready to package into tubs for the freezer this morning.

So not only a waste saving exercise but also fuel saving.

Dinner tonight was hm shepherds pie using a portion of the ratatouille mix for extra veggies and mince, carrots, onions, oats and topped with mashed potato and cheese. I use the oats to bulk the mince oput which is cost saving.

Waste wise this created 1 freezer bag from the mince as I normally bulk purchase and freeze in meal size portions. All veggie peelings were put into the compost bin wrapped in newspaper
I will look at this again when I buy the next lot of mince as I may be able to still bulk purchase but freeze in tubs rather than bags.

Lunch today for both Dh and DS2 was egg buns, with bananas, hm cake, DS2 had a drinking yogurt and crisps, so the waste was:
banana skins - compost
drinking yog - totally recyclable
eggs shells - compost
hm cake - no waste
hm buns - no waste
crisps - landfill (twisted & knotted)

the buns were wrapped in a washable napkin and the cake in a small tub, DS2 drink was in the reused water bottle which will be totally recycled once he has used it for 2 weeks.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Zero Waste - Day 9

I went to Tesco this morning to buy the ingrdients for the school Cookery Club which I run; I noticed that they had reduced certain items of school uniform so in true forward planning mode I snapped up some shirts in bigger sizes for both boys and also some trousers for DS2 made from recycled plastic bottles.

There was a programme on ITV1 on Tonight (www.itv.com/tonight) which was highlighting the problems with mixed recycling and all recycling.

Having watched this back this morning I have written to my council asking what exactly happens to the "mixed" recycling which I diligently put into my wheelie bin each fortnight.

We will wait to see what the response is.

Lunches for both Dave and DS2 have been zero waste again both yesterday and today.

Both had ham(gammon joint cooked and very thinly sliced) salad sandwiches wrapped in a cloth napkin, banana, cake in a small tub, and cookies in the mini cereal packet, DS2 also had a drinking yogurt but it was in type 2 plastic bottle with a foil lid so both recyclable.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Zero Waste - Day 8

Today has been a quiet day, following on from last weeks adventure.

Although over on myzerowaste they have done a weeks challenge I signed up for a 2 week challenge, and will now be continuing with this during this week.

However I do know that The Greens will be continuing with their commitment to recycling.

My washing machine broke down a few weeks ago and it was not worth spending money we didn't have to repair it; however instead of buying a new one we have opted to rent as all repairs bills are covered with the rental, I can upgrade to a newer model once a year if I wanted to, and as the company I rent from ae a big electrical company they will have to conform to the WEEE code for dealing with any older/broken models etc.

So today I took delivery of my "new" washing machine. The delivery drivers took away all packagng with them, so I just have to worry!! about the old machine; we do however have a registered "scrappy" come round once every 3 months or so, so it will be placed outside until his next flyer comes through the door.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Zero Waste - Day 7

I have not particularly looked for items when shopping which could be recycled, my grocery shop this week has been a normal shop; it has been more when the time has come to deal with the waste.

Total rubbish collected in the landfill bin for the week Mon 1 Sept - Sun 7 Sept.

Crisp Packets - 12 (all twisted and knotted)

Plastic packaging which can't be recycled :-

2 deli wrappers (twisted and knotted)

1 butter wrapper foil backed pastic (folded so small though you coudn't see what it was)
1 chicken wrapper (twisted and knotted)
1 Dove Farm Yeast wrapper ( contacted Dove Farm - all they could tell me was it was foil backed) looks like foil backed plastic.

1 gammon joint wrapper
2 multipack crisp wrappers (twisted and knotted)
1 bag which I had frozen mince in from a bulk purchase (twisted and knotted)
2 carrier bags which had been reused so many times they were disintegrating (twisted and knotted)

Some things I could have left out until another time but that is not the point of this exercise, it is to see just how much is actually going into the landfill bin and how much we can reduce it by.

So.........the total waste going into our landfill bin for this week weighs in at....... 325g

Certain things now I will look at whilst shopping, to try and find an alternative with better recyclable packaging.

This is the bag of rubbish from Mon 1 Sept - Sun 7 Sept

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Zero Waste - Day 6

I can report that today despite having a big baking session all items used were in either recyclable or compostable packaging.

It did help that I put my dried fruit when I buy it into a big storage jar rather than leaving it in the bag, otherwise that would have been one bag which I'm not sure on the type of plastic (will investigate next time I go shopping).

The boys have today treated themselves to a new Wii game which I thought Oh no !!packaging but surprisingly, it came in a cardboard box with a cardboard inner and the bag which held the wheel was clearly labelled type 4, so all can be recycled.

Having found that I can take all my margarine tubs/yog pots/meat trays to the HRF has made a big difference to what has gone into our landfill bin; (see tomorrows report for the final outcome.

Another thing I have been forced to look at is teabags; they either seem to come in a recycled recyclable cardboard box with mini plasticised foil inners or a celophane wrapped cardboard box with no mini inners; either way one or the other part of it is non-recyclable.

I hope that with Sainsburys looking at all their own label products they might just do something about the celophane outer.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Zero Waste - Day 5

I telephoned Sainsburys yesterday and asked them when/if they were going to package their own label fair trade sugar in recyclable bags not the type 7 non recycable it is in now; the chap on the other end said it was "in process" and that also hopefully within the next 2 years or so all own label products will be in recyclable packaging if at all possible.

Anyway scroll forward to this morning, I had to nip into Sainsburys for something whilst at that end of town, and lo and behold their own label fair trade granulated sugar was now in paper bags; the other varieties of own label sugar were very scarce which often means a packaging revamp when it is a staple product.

So I will give a big thumbs up to Sainsburys today for doing the right thing!!

I don't always shop there but have been buying their teabags and sugar as it is fair trade even better now the packaging is also recyclable.

Whilst there I also noticed that they have a few more own label organic products than they had last time.

Breakfast today for both boys was cereal and juice (no waste)

Lunch for DH was a chippy lunch which he alsways has but the shop uses all papers which can be recycled; for DS2 it was ham salad wraps, hm choc cake, juice and a banana (no waste - banana skin into compost bin)

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Zero Waste - Day 4

Breakfast this morning was cereal and juice for DS2 and Banana and yourt for DS1.

No waste from DS2, DS1 Banana skin into compost bin, yogurt lid onto foil ball and pot into collection point for trip to HRF.

DH has agreed to create me a mini recycling centre similar to that of Mrs Green at
http://www.myzerowaste.com/ .

We have some old Safeway green boxes which will be ideal size for storing things in, and then once every month or 2 months I will take it all to the HRF, combining it with a trip to the Library and Farmers Market in the local town.

Lunch today for both DH and DS2 was ham salad wraps, the ham we bought on the deli, although I am looking at how cost effective it might be to buy a gammon joint and cook myself; the salad is again from the organic veg box; there were also apples, from the market (no packaging - but air miles), and hm Millies Cookies wrapped again in the mini cereal packets.
DH drinks tea using his own mug whilst at work and DS2 has a water bottle which is reused over a 2 week period and then totally recycled.
DS1 has a canteen lunch at school, but also takes a water bottle which is reused over a 2 week period and then totally recycled.

DS1 school runs quite a good waste initiative, if drinks are purchased then a premium of 10p is added to the cost but if the can/bottle is taken back to be recycled the student gets his "deposit" back.

Dinner tonight was hm meatballs served with spagetti and hm tomato sauce.
Waste wise this produced (mince) a polythene bag, (bread crumbs) no waste, (spagetti) no waste, ( tomato sauce) tin from chopped tomatoes, tin from tomato puree (recycled), onion skin (composted). I made a double batch of the meatballs so half have been frozen to use another day.

I also made some Blackberry Jam today using the fruit which DS2 and myself picked yesterday.
Produce made - 6 jars of lovely hm jam;
waste - 2 paper sugar bags

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Zero Waste - Day 3

We have a result!!!

I went this morning to the local Household Recyling Facility as I had a broken stereo to dispose of.

I decided whilst there to talk to the men who were dealing with the plastics etc; they told me that they had been told yes margarine tubs and yogurt pots could be taken there, but maybe a phonecall to Lincs County Council who manage the site might help to just confirm this.

On returning home I gave the Council a call and spoke to a very helpful chap who said yes any hard type plastic such as margarine and yogurt pots etc could be taken there.
The only type of plastic which couldn't was Polythene which is type 4 and I already post this to Polyprint Ltd.

Breakfast today was again cereal and juice as DS1 is now back at school, so no waste there.

Lunch for DH was hm bread sandwich with boiled egg and salad cream filling, wrapped in a cloth napkin, along with a banana and some hm shortbread wrapped in one of the mini cereal packets.

Lunch for myself and DS2 was grabbed whilst in Tesco, as we had to get DS1 some school trousers, he has shot up over the holidays and I hadn't realised quite how much by until this morning. We went to the deli and I had a piece of quiche (cardboard box) and DS2 had a Scotch egg (doesn't like pastry). I said to put both in the same box, no plastic bags etc. NO couldn't do that as had to have different barcode tickets.

Dinner tonight was Roast chicken, with salad and fried new potatoes. The chicken tray will be able to be saved and taken to the (HRF), the salad and new potatoes came in the organic veg box delivery this morning, I will just have to see about the plastic/polythene wrapper from the chicken.

DS2 also had a packet of crisps when we got home, so that has had to go into the landfill bin.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Zero Waste - Day 2

Today breakfast has been cereal and juice.

These were the little ind boxes which were bought in an attempt to get my boys to try different cereals, and the pack of 8 only cost £1.21 but each box has a coupon worth 25p on the back which Tesco will accept even if you do not buy the product.

The coupons were removed the boxes were placed in the recycling bin and the inner wrappers will be used as bags for cookies (hm of course) in the lunch boxes in the weeks to come. Until a time when I need to find a place to recycle them.

Lunch was hm bread, with tuna and salad, followed by jelly and hm shortbread.
There was unfortunately the plastic wrapper from the jelly to contend with, which having no recycling info on it had to go into the bin. The tin from the una went into the recycling collection bin.

Dinner was hm fish pie served with carrots and frozen green beans.
No waste there as yet.

So on day 2 we have 1 very small piece of plastic, which has been duly twisted and knotted before placement in the landfill bin.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Zero Waste - Day 1

Well today we have managed to put nothing into the landfill bin.

All veggies and fruit peelings from making my Sweet Ratatouille Chutney went into the compost bin wrapped in newspaper.

The tray and film the mince for the lasagne came in will be put into the collection box for parcelling off to GHS .

The empty glass milk bottles were left on the doorstep this morning.

The tins from both the chopped tomatoes and tomato puree were rinsed and added to the recycling bin.

DS2 wanted a drink whilst we were in town today shopping, he chose a bottle that had number 2 on the bottle and when he opened it the lid was also number 2. These were both put intothe recycling bin when we got home.

Dave took a zero waste packed lunch to work with him; sandwiches were wrapped in a t/towel and cake was put in a small plastic tub, the banana skin went into the compost bin.

Week Ending Sunday 31 August

Well today starts the "zero waste" challenge.

The bins were emptied for collection this morning and we had a total of 743g going to landfill which is half the weight of last weeks.

This is a very good start as I had been tweaking the rubbish for the landfill bin all week in readiness for the upcoming challenge.

Obviously we want the figure over the next 2 weeks to be as close to zero as possible, with collection boxes for all the different types of recycling; be it:

a) directly into the recyclable collection bin
b) directly into the compostable collection bin
c) frozen for Dave to take to work for lunch or for "leftovers" night
d) sent to work with Dave for the dogs if not re-usable by us
e) collected to be posted to either of the 2 companies who recycle plastics which my council do not
f) saved to be sold at the next car boot sale we do.
g) saved to be taken to the recycling centre run by my local council
h) saved for a school collection "bag 2 school" for old clothes and shoes
i) placed on freecycle
j) directly given to charity

If any thing we no longer wish to keep does not fit into any of the categories above then it will have to be placed in the landfill bin.

I will be keeping a daily log as I have in the past to record exactly what makes up our rubbish.