Waste Wednesday update

Yep, I’ve resorted to weighing my “trash”. I don’t actually call it trash, I call it rubbish, but it doesn’t have the same drawl… Anyhow.

Week 2 weigh in

Week 2 weigh in

Am I getting any better at getting to zero waste? Well how would I measure that? Which is why I have started weighing bags of the stuff, and so over time we can look at how often I’m sending things to landfill and also how much, in real terms, is being sent.

I have three ‘trash’ bins in my apartment- one in the bedroom, one in the bathroom and one in the kitchen. The kitchen gets emptied far more regularly, with the other two being on a ‘when full’ basis (seeing I don’t have anything decomposing and stinky, this doesn’t worry me, and it saves wasting the precious few plastic bags I have, by having a routine to emptying the bins). My weight totals aren’t likely to be consistent given they rely on reusing plastic bags that enter my home.

Here’s what I’ve tracked so far
610g on 29 March
232g on 4 April

Easter weekend trash bag

Easter weekend trash bag

What was in there? Let me break it down to serial offenders, and one time specials.

Serial offenders:

  • Tissues – will too many of these disturb the Bokashi bin’s balance?
  • Backing from 3M adhesive – I don’t ‘always’ have this, but often enough that it features regularly. There was a lot this week due to the lighting in the dining room coming with it.
  • Backing from contact adhesive (for under the sink protection)
  • Plastic bags from food – apricots, again! cheese – again! snacks – again! Rice noodles – something that’s not at the bulk store. Rocket – plastic tray AND bag (the green grocer was out that day, otherwise I did almost dodge this waste)
  • Meat trays – from the grab and go section, so things like prosciutto, prawns and the like. I really need a local deli to cut this one out.
  • Plastic wrappers from recyclable bottles – I think I’m just esoteric.  These are probably recyclable.  But seeing I separated the bottle from the bottle for another purpose, I just went and ‘binned’ the plastic sleeve.
  • Sponge – despite everyone’s thoughts that these are germ hoarders, I remain a sponge user. Every now and then, they get too old, smelly, fall-apart-y and they get trashed. I know I can be compostable ones from the US, but the mailing costs (even within the US) are exorbitant…
  • Wooden skewer – conflicted on these – they aren’t really compostable, but then they aren’t really trash… nor recycling. And when in doubt :s
  • Band aids – not sure I will ever be using a zero waste adaption
4th April trash (reusing the toilet roll bag)

4th April trash (reusing the toilet roll bag)

One time offenders:

  • Old silicon
  • Cracked mug – these aren’t permitted for recycling, and wouldn’t be worthy of a second hand shop.
  • Stamps – I skipped a lot of trashing with my recent DIY stamp map, BUT, I did discover stamps that were too damaged for collecting/swaping/using, so they went in the bin
  • Chocolate tray – to celebrate the end of Lent, my friends brought me some Lindt chocolate balls, which come with a pesky inner tray that isn’t recyclable 😦
  • Baggage tags – I refuse to boycott travel so I don’t have this type of waste – this was a friend’s baggage tag though.
  • Easter egg foil – at least it’s not regularly Easter. Wonder if this foil might actually be recyclable?
  • Sim card – mixed plastics with metals. At least it’s not a regular trash item

This post is inspired by the work done by Everyday Life on a Shoe String to Slim your Bin and as always Zero Waste Home.

Any helpful suggestions and comments on how I can reduce the regular trash items (or one time offenders)?


13 thoughts on “Waste Wednesday update

  1. That’s great going, it’s still *very* minimal waste. I love the weighing. We did that at a school I worked in in Sydney. Each Tuesday for a term the entire school bagged their waste and weighed it. It made such a huge difference in lunchbox habits.

    • That is so cool to do it on a WHOLE school basis! I bet it made an impact. It’ll certainly make me have a better idea of how I’m doing. Though i just bought a pie from the food truck – and that waste isn’t going to go home with me – it sort of goes ‘undetected’

  2. I think you’re doing great with your waste reduction 🙂 Most of mine is food scraps and packaging from meat – no friendly local butcher for me! Do you have a garden at your place that you use the bokashi bucket for?

  3. For me too I have the dilemma of Tissues – will too many of these disturb the Bokashi bin’s balance? Have you found an answer yet? They seem a lot when a week or two’s worth are bundled together, but I realize I do in fact use only one or two a day, and could try those in the Bokashi. The downside is that they would have to be transferred from the bathroom waste bin to the Bokashi collecting bowl in the kitchen. Really not much of a hassle now I come to think of it.

    For the time being I do have a spare patch of earth at the front of my block of flats where a tree was cut down and nothing grows. But I’m intrigued by the idea of freecycling Bokashi waste! Do you have many takers, and are they prepared to come & fetch it (I don’t drive so couldn’t take it to anyone)?

    [Found your blog via Economies of Kale. Delighted to find another single person household Bokashi user.]

    • Thanks for dropping by and commenting CG! Oh bokashi -today draining it, it overflowed. Yikes! Hate that. I’m not sure who to ask about the tissue balance – might drop by an eco store I know. I use a lot largely due to allergies. Maybe I should clean out the local op shop of hankies but until then the tissue avalanche prevails! I’ll email you if i find out more.

  4. Hi Sarah, yes you could put your Easter egg wrappers in the recycling. They are aluminium just like a can.

    You could also just bury your tissues in the garden. Funny how one doesn’t think of this until someone else asks. I will be doing this with mine in the future. You could actually put a bucker aside to soak them in water first to aid the breakdown cycle. I know that at least one of my readers also buries her shredded paper in the garden.

    • Thanks for stopping by Colleen – after all that time reading your blog, I’ve branched out and started my own. I might get a side ‘business’ going for tissues, soaking them, and taking them to my parents garden to bury them – better that than upset the bokashi’s balance.

      Thanks for the tip on the Easter egg foil – you just have to ask!

  5. Pingback: Waste Wednesday update | livetolist

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