Every week, I like to find out more about the households that have taken on the Rubbish Diet Challenge and who have allowed me to have a physical or virtual rummage through their bins. And this week, we're back in my own county of Suffolk to catch up with a couple of bin slimmers, Kate who lives in one of Mid Suffolk's pretty villages and Jax who lives over on the coast.
Kate has been making great progress on slimming her bin over the last few weeks (just two and a half bags this fortnight), and I wanted to find out what were and still are her key challenges. She admits, like anyone trying to reduce their household waste, that it's in changing her habits.
Never having given great thought previously to what she threw where, her Rubbish Diet has prompted Kate to look at the new recycling facilities that are available locally. Having realised she can recycle a lot more than she'd thought, she is now focusing on trying to introduce new habits.
It is interesting what comes up during such discussions and Kate has revealed that parking issues at her usual recycling site have, in the past, made her lose patience to the point that she's previously bunged stuff in the landfill bin rather than face driving there. However, she's now keen to try out the Bury St Edmunds site, which is about the same distance away, as well as local supermarket recycling areas, which she knows are much more than just bottle banks these days.
Kate also recognises that since most of her household waste comes from ordinary domestic groceries, she's going to try to stop and think before she buys, to reduce packaging in absolute terms, and to ensure what she buys can be recycled. And thanks to the wide range of plastics recycling available in Suffolk, that means she will be able to recycle a heck of a lot.
More information about Kate's progress can be found on her blog www.businessplumber.co.uk and via Twitter where she tweets as BusinessPlumber and SaffronKate.
Suffolk Coastal district. For a household with three children, aged 12, 8, and 2, and another baby due in March, her rubbish (filling half a wheelie-bin every fortnight) isn't really excessive, but she knows there are other ways to reduce it down.
For Jax, the hitlist mainly includes recycling Tetra Paks, (for which she's currently hunting down her local recycling point), reducing packaging where possible, and replacing her daughter's night-time disposable nappy with washable alternatives.
With the news that most film packaging and hard plastics can be recycled at our county's Household Waste Recycling Centres, Jax's bin should be well on the way to slimming down over the coming weeks. She's also planning to test out the Bambino MioSolo nappy so hopefully that will make a difference too. And with a supply of other regular reusable nappies to hand, when the new baby arrives sometime around Mid March, this shouldn't have a major impact on the household bin.
It will be interesting to see whether the new arrival will decide to make an appearance during the challenge's Zero Waste Week in week 8. If so, we might all have to down tools and celebrate.
Follow Jax over on her blog at LiveOtherwise and she can also be reached at Twitter under the same name @LiveOtherwise.