When I lived in Pakistan and had any rubbish to get rid of, we went onto the roof and threw the bag of waste off the top. The ground around the houses was therefore littered with plastic bags and tin cans, which children played amongst. At the same time, the average household produced very little waste. In fact, most of the stuff in our family came from me….
Back in the UK, I now have in the house: a bokashi bin, a caddy for food waste and a bin for compostable material, a bin for recyclable material, a bin for landfill waste, a bin for tetrapaks and a bin for bathroom waste. Outside, there are two compost bins, a bin for landfill waste, a bin for garden remains and a bin for recyclable materials as well as countless milk cartons filled with rain water. Oh, and an old bin which would once have been used for municipal waste. And yet another bin for food waste. That adds up to a lot of space as well as a lot of stuff that needs to be disposed of one way or another, even if more hygienically than lobbing if from the top of a building.
To be honest, I feel mentally exhausted just thinking about it!
Something has got to be done…..
For a long time, I’ve been thinking about turning the old municipal waste bin into rainwater storage. So, all the accumulated rubbish in there will have to go. Besides, if I put water in there I won’t need to store innumerable empty milk cartons, will I?
As for the brown garden waste bin, now that I’ve learned from reading around the subject of permaculture and discovered hugel beds, I should have far less material to put in there. Basically, most of what couldn’t go in the compost heap can be reused directly in the garden in mounds of decaying material which I can plant in.
That just leaves the occasional weed. Really not worth having a huge bin for. Far better therefore to use the bin for storage, keep the weeds in a small bag and take them to the household waste disposal site en route to somewhere else (friends’, day out etc).
I’ve also reduced landfill waste to less than one small carrier bag per week, so having a humongous wheelie bin for that seems unwarranted. Okay, it is hidden behind the greenhouse at present, but one day I will have to create more space for the crab apple tree, which is squeezed up on the other side. But do I dare ask the council to take this bin away, and do the same with landfill waste as for weeds?