Sunday, 7 April 2013

Slim Your Bin - the Grand Finale!

A couple of people have been prodding me to confess...

What was the weight of our week's rubbish at the end of the Slim Your Bin project?

At the beginning of the project our bin featured here, and our weekly waste (that is, everything destined for landfill) measured precisely 850g.

The last week of the project (3 weeks ago) was a Zero Waste week, aiming for as little waste as possible. It was also a week of much excitement. There was the screening of Trashed, the environmental documentary, with a panel of bloggers and environmentalists, honest) answering questions from the audience at the end. Knowing that I was going to be feeding these doyennes of recycling before we watched the film, added extra impetus to aiming for an empty rubbish bin...

Image result for Trashed the film

The outlook was really positive, after all the changes we've made to our waste habits, on top of the recycling that we were already doing. All that saving of packaging for reuse and discovering a host of things that we didn't know we could recycle such as rigid plastics, stretchy polythenes and biscuit wrappers. All that brewing our own cleaning fluids and grating soap for home-made washing powder.

Yes, I could pretend that implementing those measures did indeed lead to an empty bin...

But that wouldn't be honest. The bad news is that there appeared to be no change whatsoever in the weight of our waste. Yes really, none whatsoever!

The good news is that the lack of change can be attributed to a visiting baby depositing two full nappies* in the bin, highlighting the fact that 'waste happens'! That's waste that we wouldn't usually create as we haven't got anyone of nappy-wearing age living here, so if you take the nappies out of the equation, our final weigh-in was 450g! That's better. Not zero waste, but better than 850g. We have got better at avoiding non-recyclable food packaging but it still accounted for most of the 450g waste. 

If you haven't already read about the changes we made to reduce our waste, the blog post here is a pretty good round up of our experience of the project. Although the Slim Your Bin project is officially over for us, we haven't stopped waste watching by any means so there will be more recycling blog posts here in the future! And the Rubbish Diet, on which the Wiltshire project was based, is about to kick off in Suffolk, Shropshire and Powys. (You can find more info on the Rubbish Diet blog.)

(*Disposable and real nappies both have an environmental impact. Read these top tips from Which Magazine which provide suggestions on how to minimise the impact of either kind. And the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust has a guide to the benefits of using real nappies here.)


  1. That is awesome! We make so much more rubbish than that, and you have motivated me to do something about it. Thanks!

    1. We're lucky to be able to recycle so much stuff quite easily. I still think the trick is to create less stuff coming in in the first place though. That's not always easy when it comes to food packaging.

  2. Well done! So you pretty much halved it- fantastic!
    We had a really good fortnight's waste last week, but since then a pyrex jug exploded (literally- still finding bits of glass in corners of the kitchen); husband did the shopping so it's not as low on packaging as if I'd done it and some decluttering has happened :-) so it's going to be significantly higher next week. Oh well, we're getting there!

    1. We have good weeks and bad weeks too, waste wise. So glad your decluttering has begun!! (Mine's been a bit slow over the Easter hols but hoping to get back on the case and start pitchin' in the kitchen this week!)

  3. Yay for cutting your waste in half :) And 850g is pretty low to begin with, I'm sure lower than the weight of most families bins, so congratulations on lowering it :)

  4. An admirable effort with admirable results. We all learned from you experiences. The most important being don't have a baby visiting on final weigh-in day. :)

  5. I think you did great to cut your waste in half, it's a good starting point to work on from there if you want to continue to reduce your trash. I second live and learn, baby diapers sure make a difference in my trash when I have a young one visiting.