Tips on How to Live a Rubbish Free Life
Coming from a family of eco-warrior ‘cycling re-cyclists’, I had some big plans on moving into our first proper home just before Christmas and these revolved around making life simpler. One big decision we made was to try and live a bit more rubbish-free and to do our own recycling rather than get a bin […]
Coming from a family of eco-warrior ‘cycling re-cyclists’, I had some big plans on moving into our first proper home just before Christmas and these revolved around making life simpler. One big decision we made was to try and live a bit more rubbish-free and to do our own recycling rather than get a bin collection service, at least for the time being. So now we have a couple of recycling bins for paper and plastic in the kitchen, bags for glass and tins and a food recycling caddy beside the sink.
This food waste goes into the Green Cone, which is the single most important purchase we have made since buying the house. Everything involved with food waste can be put into it. It’s a plastic cone that is half-buried under the garden soil (to prevent rodents) and it takes cooked food waste, meat, bones, eggshells, vegetable peelings, bread etc., and breaks down the waste into compostable material and water which drains into the soil. More information on food digesters is available on http://stopfoodwaste.ie/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Digestion_detailed.pdf and from stockists online.
Considering that most households dump a huge amount of food waste per year, it’s an issue that costs money and costs the environment also (more information available on http://stopfoodwaste.ie/our-story/). We decided to give it a go, doing our own recycling and avoiding buying any non-recyclable items for the time being.
I’ve made a couple of recycling trips to the Fingal Estuary Recycling Centre since moving in. I had used it before in my family home and I was well-used to the layout. It’s very easy to use and they have online lists of what can be recycled there. There are clearly marked collection hoppers for paper, plastic packaging, cardboard etc., as well as glass and clothing recycling collection points. For details, see http://www.fingal.ie/environment/waste-and-recycling/recycling-centres/
Currently, the recycling centre accepts a lot more materials for recycling than the rubbish collection companies. Under the new regulations, you can no longer put plastic film packaging (such as the bags that you buy apples in) into the recycling bins provided by any of the waste collection companies. We decided that since we’d have to do a fair amount of sorting and separating anyway with the brown and green bin systems, we could go a bit further and bring the stuff to the recycling centre ourselves.
So far, this is working well. The small amount of rubbish we’ve generated that can’t be recycled or put in the Green Cone is being diverted to my very understanding in-laws’ black bin but we’re determined to cut this down further, if not out completely. It’s amazing (and slightly embarrassing, given the Christmas gluttony) seeing the end result of a few weeks of recycling building up and being transported in the back of the car to the recycling centre. Nevertheless, it’s a project for the new house and for the New Year and I’m looking forward to seeing how we manage with it.
by Aileen Coffey, Fingal County Libraries