Bins, bins everywhere and not a bite to eat!

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?

water storage and two currently redundant bins

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).

bins for landfill waste and recyclable materials

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?


About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
This entry was posted in Gardening, Good for the environment, Make do and mend, Permaculture and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Bins, bins everywhere and not a bite to eat!

  1. Jackie says:

    Rain water barrels are wondrously therapeutic. We get so much rain I rarely have to water anything but now, when it rains, instead of complaining, I rejoice at the barrels filling up – I even go and watch them when it really pours. So go for it. Create some rain water collectors.

    • Helen says:

      Thank you, Jackie. It will to be much better I think to re-use the bin for water storage instead of having lots of bottles laying around 😉

    • Helen says:

      Great you can fulfil all your gardening needs with rainwater… I’ve actually been watering throughout the winter – pots not the garden – but it is generally dry here.

  2. I’m impressed! What a wonderful job you’ve done with all your waste. Interesting story about Pakistan as well. Did you live there as an adult?

    • Helen says:

      Yes, I lived there for a short while when I was on maternity leave so my daughter could meet her paternal grandparents and extended family there.

      Anyway, thanks for your comments on my waste situation. It is good that we have so many options for our waste but the number of bins, especially on a property my size, is too much. So, there’s a good incentive for me to think laterally about my waste management 😉

  3. Brian says:

    Good work! I too have noticed how redundant my large general waste bin is when so much stuff is recyclable.

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

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