Monday, 29 September 2008

Is Zero Waste coming to your area?

Today marks the beginning of Zero Waste Week in North Somerset, Bath & NE Somerset and South Gloucestershire and Bristol.

Just Gai, who is based in Bristol, has signed up for the challenge and is busy blogging about her experience over at She's doing brilliantly so do visit to see how she gets on this week.

However not everyone is celebrating such challenges, particularly the Conservatives who have allegedly criticised councils' plans. Indeed Eric Pickles, the shadow local government secretary, was quoted in the Telegraph as saying:

"We are entering a brave new world of fortnightly rubbish collections that we all know is going to fuel a surge in fly-tipping and backyard burning. This is not a responsible or practical way of encouraging recycling but merely a cleverly disguised form of propaganda attempting to peddle the benefits of fortnightly rubbish collections for town halls. This is bureaucratic convenience, without any public benefit."

I'm not into politics but I would have thought the Tories would have been happy to have less waste to deal with when they finally take over the reins of government, whenever that might be.

Personally I've been happy with fortnightly collections for nearly 5 years. I'd rather this option than have my council tax go up to cope with weekly collections. I'm also happy to have gained new knowledge of how I can reduce the rubbish we create. I really feel like I've broken out from the system and am now using my own free will and choice, regardless of what collection arrangements the local authority has in place.

Anyway, I don't think we should let anyone spoil the party, whatever their politics, especially as there are lots more Zero Waste events coming up. Over the next few months the idea of waste reduction is also being promoted in Cornwall, Norfolk, North London and Gloucestershire. So if an event is happening near you, then please join in. The key dates are:

4 - 12 Oct 2008: Watch Your Waste Week - North London
20-26 October 2008: Zero Waste Week - Cornwall County Council
27 Oct - 2 Nov 2008: No Waste Week - Norfolk County Council
26 Jan - 1 Feb 2009: Zero Waste Challenge Week - Gloucestershire county Council

And if anyone needs any extra convincing about the long lasting effects of participating in zero waste activities, pop by later this week when I will be chatting to a family that took part in Bath and North East Somerset's original challenge two years ago.



Anonymous said...

Hi Mrs A,

Fantastic news about the many Zero Waste Weeks towards the year end. Think of all the new bloggers who will join our trend.

Politicians fail to realise the changes Zero Waste will bring. When they do they will join in.

Have you any radio/TV shows lined up in these sreas? The first one you did tested the water and was a valuable lesson.

Anonymous said...


Just wanted to mention that the North London one is 4-12 October, not November. I'm just beginning week minus 1.

Anonymous said...

Oh this is very cool news - what a wonderful start to the week.

Thanks for going to the trouble to find out which areas are doing their challenges and when.

Is it ok to share the information on our site too?

I'm so excited for Just Gai and will be watching her progress this week.

You have a great week, Mrs A - it's a new moon today, so time for new beginnings and lots of creativity coming your way ;)


Mrs G x

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi John - it is great isn't it, and I really hope more people will blog as each event takes hold. It's a fabulous way to promote the idea. You're right about politician. I suppose they go with whatever will win votes, not all, but many. LOL at the media stuff. The answer is not at the moment but you never know where I'll end up ;-D

Hi Jane - thanks for the correction, I appreciate that. That's what I get from having a conversation with Mr A and trying to organise the post at the same time. How's everything going - well I hope. Good luck with next week and if you want to leave an update on the blog, feel free to do so. I'd be happy to feature your progress at the end of your week ;-D

Hi Mrs G - It's great to other events happening isn't it and I am sure that more will happen next year. Yes, please feel free to post the dates up on your blog. The more who know about the events the better. Great news about the moon too ;-D xxxx

just Gai said...

Thanks for the plug Mrs A.

One of the best things about this challenge has been the opportunity to discuss waste with a variety of people - friends, colleagues, shopkeepers, fellow shoppers and complete strangers on the internet. I believe that there is a genuine will to do more to reduce waste and that political parties of all persuasions would do well to respond by calling for measures to make the 3 Rs more accessible.

Like you, I welcomed the introduction of fortnightly landfill bin collection as it forced me to rethink my wasteful habits and set me on the path that has led to my Zero Waste Challenge Week.

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Just Gai - it's always a pleasure to plug what you're doing and it's been very interesting to see what's been on your mind at every stage of the challenge.

It is so true that once you've started a challenge like this, so many people become interested because everyone's got something to say about rubbish.

I hope that the politicians get it sorted, because it is a crucial matter that affects us all. Maybe we need a pact between consumers and councils. If we didn't create so much rubbish, there would be more room in the bin lorries, less landfill tax and fewer gate fees, which means councils could have more capacity to collect AND more money to invest in providing more frequent rubbish collections.

My brain hurts now...that's too much like chicken and egg thinking!
It makes me grateful I'm not a politician.

Anonymous said...

Zero Waste? Sounds good, nothing I ever heard of before. Mostly people (like myself) tend to get stuck thinking about the pollution from cars, traveling and renewable electricity but forgets about the waste that ends up in our trash can.

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Frederik - Great to see you here. It's always fab to welcome a new reader, so thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. Zero Waste was new to me too when I picked up the challenge in January. I was amazed to discover it's been spreading around Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Canada and even the Isle of Man before hitting over here. Even then, it was rolled out as an idea in Bath, two years ago. I am sure as soon as more people hear about it, it will become as high profile as saving energy and car-sharing. I really hope you enjoy the site and thanks again for your supportive comments. :-D

Andrew said...

They have it in Japan too. Here we call it 530 day. It took me a while to work out why though.

In Japanese it's pronounced "go-mi-0". gomi is the word for rubbish and 0 is self explanatory.

We have it once a week in the schools to try to encourage awareness amongst the children.

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