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Post by Jaded Green 18th October 2015, 5:57 pm

I realised yesterday that the bag for life I had popped in my "handbag" - quite a large Cath Kidston satchel - wasn't enough. it contained the shopping ok, but was a bit heavy to carry everything in one bag.

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Post by Dandelion 3rd May 2022, 1:11 pm

We started talking about this topic ten years ago, and re-visited it in 2015. I'm still trying to find a solution! Re-reading the previous comments, I have realised that my attitude has changed quite a bit, as I'm trying to cut plastic out of my life in a way I would never have believed ten years ago. But still the problem exists - how do I dispose of kitchen rubbish without using a plastic bag! We now do have a wheelie bin, which we didn't originally, as the council have now decided that it's a workable system in our road, but as someone who is relatively short (and seems to have arms which are disproportionately short, judging by the fact that my cuffs are always wringing wet from washing my hands!!), I don't want to have to start washing my wheelie bin out to get rid of the bin juices. I have tried to find paper sacks to line my kitchen bin (the photo of my bin on the IKEA website shows a paper sack being put inside the bin) but they don't seem to be available in the UK. Or maybe they are the paper sacks people get their groceries in, in Sweden. I've found compostable bags which will fit, on Amazon - presumably these will break down in a landfill site even though it's not a proper compost heap. In the autumn of 2023 our council are going for a new refuse system - I think black bins will be emptied once every three weeks, and we will have a food waste bin. But to be honest, we don't have that much food waste, so it will be interesting to see how it works.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by freebird 3rd May 2022, 1:26 pm

Maybe drill some small drainage holes in the base of your wheelie bin, Dandelion, so it could be washed out with a hose and left open to dry.

I keep all the scrunched up brown paper that is frequently used in packaging now. Not big enough for a landfill bin, but I do use it to line my compost bins. If you could source large enough paper, you could probably fashion your own liners and staple them together.

I do use our food waste bin now. Never did in London as the landfill bin was big and emptied fortnightly. Here, the landfill bin is much smaller and emptied every three weeks, so I keep as much out of it as possible. Our food waste amounts to nothing more than fish and chicken skin and bones and discarded parrot seed, and an occasional casualty from the back of the fridge. Every thing else goes on the compost. Anything likely to smell is stored in the freezer until it is time to put the food waste out for collection.
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Post by Dandelion 4th May 2022, 5:32 pm

freebird wrote:Maybe drill some small drainage holes in the base of your wheelie bin, Dandelion, so it could be washed out with a hose and left open to dry.

Clever!!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by Chilli-head 4th May 2022, 9:00 pm

freebird wrote:Anything likely to smell is stored in the freezer until it is time to put the food waste out for collection.

Now, is the energy from the anaerobic digestion of food waste and the fertiliser value of the remains greater than the energy taken by the freezer in freezing it ? I don't have any idea. Not eating fish myself, the smelliest is reduced a fair bit.

I've never really understood the wheelie bin cleaning services that follow the bin men around. It's a bin. It will never stay clean. It is not meant to be clean. It is a futile activity.
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Post by Dandelion 7th May 2022, 2:54 pm

Chilli-head wrote:
I've never really understood the wheelie bin cleaning services that follow the bin men around. It's a bin. It will never stay clean. It is not meant to be clean. It is a futile activity.

Laughing Laughing Laughing

I wonder if, because wheelie bins are relatively recent, we don't know what they are 'supposed' to be like. My grandmother was a housemaid in various big houses in South London from when she 14 in 1909, until she got married (and had a fairly hard time of it, from what I understand). So there was always a 'right' way to do things when I was brought up, linked to what had gone on in the big houses, and expectations from that experience. It didn't matter whether it was changing sheets or washing floors, there was a right way to do it, and an understanding of how often it should be done (presumably to fit in with the way everyone else did things, so you weren't considered to be dirty). So maybe the wheelie bin cleaners feed off a sense of social insecurity (or maybe it's because everyone else has short arms like me Razz )

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by freebird 7th May 2022, 9:41 pm

What wheelie bin cleaning services? No one has ever cleaned my bin!

Or maybe (carrying on from Dandelion's theory) just a total over-emphasis on how clean something needs to be. It seems every cleaner available has to guarantee total obliteration of every known bacterium and virus - it becomes an expectation in the general population that their safety and cleanliness depends on these products and services. It was already prevalent pre-Covid, but seems to have increased massively since.
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Post by Dandelion 8th May 2022, 4:46 pm

I hadn't noticed that - I'll certainly be looking out for it now! And habits learned in the pandemic are bound to be kept up, to some degree, so there will be plenty of public interest in killing germs and viruses.

................................................................................................................................
The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Ploshkin 16th May 2022, 8:31 pm

I've never possessed a wheelie bin. Because we have a wood burning boiler I never put out any food waste for collection. If it can't be composted or eaten by the dogs it goes into the boiler together with any wrappings that have the potential to smell. After taking out the stuff for recycling we have very little waste, I often forget to put it out for collection so there's a month's worth which may only be a partially filled bag.
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Post by Dandelion 18th May 2022, 9:59 pm

That sounds very efficient, Ploshkin. We are supposed to be having a new refuse system in the autumn of next year which will involve (I think) four bins - paper and card recycling, recycling anything else, rubbish, and food waste. I think rubbish will be collected every three/four weeks alternated with the others. I can't actually see how the food waste collection will be any use to us, as we have very little wasted food, but very occasionally there will be some bacon rinds or chicken bones. I may see if bokashi would deal with the bacon, and bury the chicken bones if we ever have any - the food waste bin sounds as if it would have a few very smelly items in it. I can't help wondering if the more complicated a system is, the less useful it will be to the general public.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Ploshkin 18th May 2022, 10:17 pm

Have you come across the Green Cone. It is a composter that can be used for all food waste including bones. I think you have to dig a fair sized hole for the bottom piece. I don't know if This link will work from my Kindle Great Green Systems. If it doesn't the website is Great Green Systems
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Post by Chilli-head 18th May 2022, 11:32 pm

Your link works, Ploshkin.

Keeping food waste out of landfill is important to reduce methane emissions from it rotting in the anaerobic conditions. Here in Bedfordshire we have had food waste bins / collection for years. There is certainly a lot less if you already compost vegetable remains. Ours gets bones and cooked food remains, and anything that is past it before eating that isn't just vegetable - hopefully not very much.

I have bought a food waste caddy for work; it collects mostly coffee filters/grounds and fruit peel, which I bring home for composting. Now, I have been using the council supplied bags to line it; it is unclear if they are supposed to compost, but I don't risk it and bin the bags - which isn't ideal but they are very thin so little plastic, and it will go for EfW which I guess means they won't be in the ground forever at least.
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Post by Dandelion 28th May 2022, 8:42 pm

I've discovered that Aldi and Co-op carrier bags (which retail at 10p each) are compostable - I've been using them to line my compost caddy, but keep the bag in the caddy when I empty the contents, and keep it in place until it becomes really manky. One bag lasts for about a fortnight.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Dandelion 28th May 2022, 8:49 pm

Did anyone else take part in the Big Plastic Count? I religiously counted all the plastic which passed through our household but was a bit disappointed with the results. I was told that my local authority burns 40% of the plastic which is put into recycling bins and exports another 23% to be dealt with elsewhere. I was told that soft plastic is more difficult to recycle than rigid plastic, but at no point was I asked how I dealt with any of my waste (but was told that in my area we can't recycle soft plastic.) I would be the first to say that we all need to use much less plastic, and I have taken quite a few steps to do this, but some seems to be inevitable. My soft plastic is all cleaned and then recycled at a specific soft plastic recycling bin at the supermarket, but I was never asked about this. I felt in a way as if the results were rather skewed - I had counted every single bit of plastic but hadn't been able to give clearer information about my habits.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Ploshkin 28th May 2022, 10:12 pm

No. I knew it was happening but didn't see any specific information. I am finding that compostable bags aren't quickly compostable - I expect they vary but I am finding quite a few half composted bags out of my last year's compost and putting it back into the current bin
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Post by Chilli-head 29th May 2022, 1:56 pm

I think the compostable bags for veg we get from Waitrose must go somewhere, there are some recognisable remains in the heap but not that much.

Some compostable "plastics" won't compost in a cool home compost bin, tgey need industrial scale composting or biodigestors to get rid of them.
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Post by Dandelion 29th May 2022, 9:29 pm

I've found a few remains of compostable bags too - the coloured supplements in the Guardian come in a bag which is made from potato starch, and there have been threads of this in compost I've been sieving but not too much. I have just turned over one container of compost, made a year ago, and discovered that the packing peanuts I had thought were biodegradable weren't at all. So I'm having to fish them out, not made any easier by the fact that many of them have broken into smaller pieces Mad

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by freebird 29th May 2022, 9:51 pm

Rightly or wrongly, I put any compostable bags in with my food waste. I'm assuming that as the food waste is going through an industrial composting process, the bags will be fine in there. Have tried those potato starch liners in my home compost some years ago and wasn't impressed.
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Post by Dandelion 31st May 2022, 10:08 pm

At the moment it feels as if there are too many variables and not enough information about how best to dispose of recyclable packaging. I noticed one piece of food packaging last week, a sachet of instant custard, which Tesco was proclaiming was 'now fully recyclable', but it seemed to be plastic and paper fused together which didn't make sense. There was no information about how or where it should be recycled.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Chilli-head 3rd June 2022, 1:27 pm

If I may be controversial... I'm not sure it is worth it for some materials.

Foil and paper, bonded, could go to EFW, from where I assume metals are recovered, and the rest is just paper - we burn pelleted wood (possibly shipped from Canada !) for energy anyway.

Some plastics are possibly not worth the bother of separating, if it is a choice between EFW here in the UK, or export to goodness knows where for dubious "recycling" on the cheap.
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Post by freebird 4th June 2022, 3:19 pm

I agree CH. What always bothers me though, is why companies are still making/using non-recyclable packaging in the first place.
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Post by Ploshkin 4th June 2022, 4:18 pm

The Welsh Government are obsessed with having the highest recycling rate in the UK ( or the world?) but who knows where exactly their statistics come from. People who want to "do their bit' and religiously put their plastic into the appropriate bag or bin so a large amount is collected. I know that in our county any item that is mixed plastic gets thrown into the landfill pile, that includes plastic bottles with the lids on because the people sorting do not remove lids. If it seems that there is a proportion of wrong stuff in the bag then the whole bag gets tossed. A neighbouring county used to send all their cardboard to Poland on a ship. What happens to it is important not just how much is collected.
In the UK Nobody seems willing to tackle the root of the problem which is unnecessary excess packaging. Just about all of my refuse, recyclable and non recyclable, is packaging, a large percentage of which wasn't necessary in the first place.
In countries where people have to pay for their waste disposal according to quantity they removd all unnecessary packaging at the till and leave it behind in the shop.
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Post by Dandelion 5th June 2022, 7:28 pm

Ploshkin wrote:  I know that in our county any item that is mixed plastic gets thrown into the landfill pile, that includes plastic bottles with the lids on because the people sorting do not remove lids.  If it seems that there is a proportion of wrong stuff in the bag then the whole bag gets tossed.  

This is another issue - one county handles recycling in a different way to another, but supermarkets 'tell' you on the label how to recycle the particular object. Our county recycles glass jars without the lids (putting the lids in separately) but the label on the jar tells you to leave the lid on. We also don't squash down tetrapaks, but are told to on the actual tetrapak. We need joined-up thinking, one way of doing things, and less packaging (as you said, Ploshkin!)

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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