Saturday, 10 March 2012

The Rubbish Diet, Wk 7: Saturday catchup. Composting, radio & packaging protest

"Gee, I never guessed it would be as big as that!" were the words utttered by Rubbish Dieter Ness, as she collected her compost bin this week and tried to squeeze it into the boot of her car.

I did my best to reassure her that when placed in situ, it really would look considerably smaller.

Ness has never composted before, but since the start of her Rubbish Diet, she's been keen to give it a go and on hearing this news, Suffolk County Council were delighted to support the project by providing one of the 'dalek' style bins, similar to the ones I've been using for years. Earlier this week, we went to collect it from my local council in Bury St Edmunds and pictured with Ness, is Mike Culver, our borough's recycling officer.

Although I was able to give Ness advice on what she can compost at home and point her in the direction of more information on the Internet, I knew that could never beat introducing her to one of our local experts.  So I arranged for Paul Turner, one of our county's master composters, to visit and share his knowledge directly.  Paul is a full time fire officer, but also a keen gardener and allotment owner, and volunteers his time to the Garden Organic's master composting scheme.

Paul was able to advise on where best to site the compost bin and suggested a sunny spot, where it could rest directly on soil so that it would attract sufficient worms to help break down its contents.  Also, it's fairly close to the kitchen, which means that it will be easily accessible. By the time I arrived, Ness had already started filling the bin with the 'green' kitchen waste that would otherwise have gone into the landfill bin, and Paul was explaining the need to mix in other 'brown' compostables from around the home, such as paper and card.  Other top tips included adding nettles or comfrey, which act as accelerators. thus speeding up the composting process. He also suggested picking up spent coffee grounds from some of the coffee houses around town.

With the Zero Waste challenge next week, which marks Week 8, the final week of The Rubbish Diet, having a composter in place will help tremendously and I reckon Ness will see some great results.

And it's not just Ness who's been thinking about composting this week.  Elsewhere, our New York bin slimmer Amy is getting ready to start using her new backyard composter and Jo, aka Rubbish Geek, who is also voluntarily embarking on the challenge, is in the process of filling her new bins, whilst trying to prevent them blowing over in the wind because there's not much in them yet.

In other news this week, whilst I've been out and about visiting local businesses to see how they reduce waste (more on that next week), Jax, one of the Rubbish Dieters from the Suffolk Coastal area, was interviewed on BBC Radio Suffolk and was a real inspiration in the way she spoke about her passion for reducing her family's waste footprint.  You can catch the interview on The Mark Murphy Show, which was broadcast on Thursday, only four days after the delivery of her new baby boy.  Find it here on Listen Again, where you'll need to fast forward to 2hrs 4mins. There is also more information on her blog at Live Otherwise.

Now, if that's not enough to get on with, then check this out.  Blogger and Tweeter 8CW is calling upon shoppers to be brave and leave any excess packaging at the shops today, declaring 10 March 2012 Tweeps against Packaging Day.  So if you're feeling a bit rebellious and want to join in, today's the day to strip off any excess unwanted material at the till. Packaging only of course.  After all, you wouldn't want to get yourself arrested.


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