The recent bad weather seems to have exacerbated the annual rubbish-collection-whinging which seems to have become a traditional part of the festive aftermath!  People don’t like to see their rubbish mounting up – it’s unsightly and smelly.  It attracts vermin.  And it’s an unpleasant reminder that we civilised human beings still create a hell of a lot of waste.  But perhaps we should take it as a reminder of just how useful it is that someone else sorts out our rubbish for us.  Imagine if (shock horror) we had to find a way of disposing of it ourselves!

Maybe if we did have to deal with our own waste, we’d make less of it.  Certainly less would end up in a big hole in the ground somewhere far, far away. 

I know of a few businesses who’ve pledged zero to landfill in the near future, but I’m not sure if it’s really possible – nor if it’s possible in the home.  We (like most other homes I imagine) try to do our bit.  Our chickens will eat most waste food, and uncooked vegetable matter can go on our compost heap. Unwanted clothing and household goods can go to charity shops.  The council will collect paper, cardboard, cans/tins and glass. It also collects some plastic – mainly empty milk cartons and drinks bottles and such like.  We chuck in other plastic packaging but we’re not always really sure if we’re meant to, which leaves us wondering what to do with it.  I’ve consulted a few websites, and the general consensus appears to be that burning plastic is worse than chucking it in landfill. 

So presumably, if zero-to-landfill is our goal, our focus needs to be on bringing less plastic into the home in the first place – tricky when so much of what we buy these days comes in layers of protective packaging.  Or alternatively, finding other uses for the plastic we want to get rid of.  I’ve started cutting the tops and bottoms off old plastic bottles to collecting the middle sections to use as protection for young plants in the spring and summer.  But the best thing I’ve seen so far is a whole greenhouse made of plastic bottles (see link below) – the only problem being, you need about 1500 bottles….  It’ll take me years to get that many!!  😉

Advertisements