Saturday, 18 February 2012

The Rubbish Diet, Wk 4: Saturday catchup. Bins, Blogs, Zambia & Cars

I'm afraid I've not been around much this week, but with very good reason.  It's been a very busy half-term holiday and we've been scuttling around keeping the children entertained, including visits to London and Cambridge.

Of course, always on the look out for rubbish inspiration as well as examples of urban grot, I had my camera at the ready to snap some photos, some of which were tweeted using the hashtag #RubbishHolidaySnaps.  Well, one has to maintain one's reputation, don't you think, especially when it's been previously noted in the national press.

But it's great to see that more towns and cities are now providing on-street recycling facilities for shoppers and visitors. Pictured left, is an example of the bins that have been upgraded in Cambridge City Centre, enabling passers-by to recycle cans, plastic bottles and glass.

Yes, I agree, most people would be more interested in taking photos of Kings College, which has much more of a spectacular presence, but any glass or aluminium recycled in these bins could be with us as a resource for just as long as the buildings pictured behind.  I just wish that council waste & street-scene departments would hook up with the local tourist information services, to proactively publicise the pride that they take in these facilities, to help raise awareness and to seek to improve capture rates.

In other news, a new website hit my attention this week,  Zero Waste Events.  Inspired by the Zero Waste Events Protocol for London 2012, Zero Waste Events has been created by Coca-Cola and WRAP, to develop a network of knowledge, ideas and case-studies for enabling events to be managed with the promise of zero waste to landfill.  It is aimed at becoming a long-lasting legacy of the games itself, learning lessons from the knowledge of running such a major event in the UK.  The network is free to join.  Just visit for more details.

Now one of the greatest surprises over the last few weeks, has been the enthusiasm amongst the Twitter community for getting on board with The Rubbish Diet Challenge. As well as the "Rubbish Diet 8" - ie, the households who have agreed for me to mentor and prompt them along with my smiles, soft reminders and other subtle techniques - other folk have volunteered themselves for the challenge too and some are also blogging about it.  If you haven't caught up with them already, do make sure you have a peak at their blogs or tweets:

@Wholeself aka Kate Grifftiths:  Blog -
@TurquoiseLemons aka Kate Stuart: Blog-
@RubbishGeek aka Joanna Boardman: Blog -
@MichelleBest: Blog -

Twitter has proved to be as useful as ever for sharing updates and connecting up with folk who are interested in reducing waste, and one of the most inspirational links this week has been finding out about tweeter & blogger, Catharine Witheney's experience in Zambia.

The blogpost that she wrote to describe recycling in the capital city of Lusaka is very humbling indeed. It highlighted the appreciation of maximising resources and the care in choosing some packaging materials over others, as well as finding resourceful ways of generating value out of something that is peceived to have no value at all.

Naturally, Catharine's experience in Zambia is such a contrast to life in the UK and similar developed countries and whenever I hear first hand accounts like this, it always make me re-evaluate the definition of "developed" and the disconnection with the value of resources that such progress has created.  Catharine's blogpost is truly inspirational and touches on a range of simple solutions that underpin what Zero Waste thinking is hoping to achieve in a wider sense.  So do pop along to have a peek:

And moving swiftly back to the industrialised western world, with which I am more familiar, I couldn't close this week, without sharing the news that car manufacturer Ford is switching to the use of recycled plastic bottles for the interior of its new electric car.  Recycled PET is proving to be a popular material for many products and this is the latest in a long line of applications such as clothing, umbrellas, accessories and packaging. 

The news announced on Edie this week reveals that Ford aims to divert two million plastic bottles from Landfill, and through this process it will help raise awareness of recycling in the U.S, where the capture rate is still only 29%.


Dumpster Dude said...

Posts and articles like this will be of great help to Educate others.

Catharine Withenay said...

Thanks for this lovely reference. I only wish I was better at reduce/reuse/recycle here in the UK. It was a delight to write the post, so thank you for prompting me to do so!

platinum hcg drops said...

Very educated article thanks for it.

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