Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Could you bin your bin?

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned Betsy Reid who is rumoured to be the UK's greatest recycler. Then I got my copy of Clean Slate, the CAT magazine, which had an article on what you might call extreme recycling - giving up your residual waste bin altogether. The idea is simple, but extremely challenging - you buy nothing that you can't recycle.

I'm tempted to give it a go, but I can see immediate problems. While we mainly use real nappies for our little boy, we do use one 'eco-friendly' disposable overnight as they're more absorbent so he will sleep through the night OK. This is the single most important thing for our quality of life at present and I really don't want to risk disrupting it. Another problem is that we're omnivorous so meat scraps can be a problem - not ideal for the compost heap. So I'm wimping out.

Another new idea, which is used in the construction industry, is to become 'waste neutral' - in other words you make sure that the amount of stuff you do throw away is matched by the amount of recycled/reused material you purchase. I'm not entirely convinced this adds up as it might encourage you to buy more stuff just to cover your increasing waste which may in turn increase the amount of stuff you buy - not really going in the right direction.

BTW Clean Slate suggests you convert your old wheelie bin into a water butt using a special kit, but I rather think your local council (which owns the bin) may have something to say about that.

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At 4:19 PM, Blogger p phelps said...

You mite still be able to do the no waste thing,... apparently most parts of "disposable" nappy are recyclble- or compostable at least. And there are some great "earth friendly" options... (they all seem to come out of northern europe)..
But on the meat thing, there is this great compost option for meat., called the bio Bokashi bin, its quite small ( fits in kitchen easily) and uses microbes to decompose- everything. Even meat. I have heard many permaculturalists put meat in their normal compost- you just have to make it a hot compost, and/or high nitrogen... which mite mean peeing on it.. ( amongst other things).... go the bio Bokashi bucket!~!!


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