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Let’s Talk Trash

By Melissa Kane, Eco-friendly Mum

Suddenly everybody is talking trash, trash-talking our local councils, after the recent introduction of the new organic bin.

Perhaps we can have a conversation about what to do with your trash instead, can you try this?

  1. Make the new organic bin your friend, become savvy about every little thing you can put in there and use it to its potential. Any food grade cardboard is admissible, think pizza boxes and take away coffee cups (the lids are generally recyclable), tissues, any paper packaging spoiled by food. As well as the obvious, food scraps and leftovers, plus your vacuum contents and pet by-products. My rule of thumb is, if it smells, question if it can go in the organics bin?
  2. The majority of waste generated at my house is from food packaging. Familiarise yourself with every piece of packaging and check for the recycle symbol. For those of you already steadfast recyclers, make sure you squash all cardboard boxes down so it will fit into your recycle bin. The general rule is, hard plastics are recyclable.
  3. Vote with your wallet, become a sustainable consumer and consider the packaging your purchases come in. What will you do with this product at the end of its lifespan? Is there a similar item with less packaging? Is there a better quality item that will last a lot longer? Will that plastic toy last longer than 5 minutes? Can you buy a box of biscuits and put them into reusable snack size containers instead of purchasing a packet of 10 individual packets, which is 10 times more plastic packaging! Can you use containers with lids to store leftovers instead of cling wrap? Can you buy in bulk? for example, a 2kg bag of sugar instead of 1kg. Can you remember to take your green bags to the supermarket instead of using their plastic bags? Can you clean with reusable Enjo micro fibres instead of disposable cloths and chemicals? Of course shopping locally at the markets for fresh food or growing or baking your own puts you in the driver’s seat with packaging choices.

Local councils have introduced these new measures for a good reason, continuing with landfill is unsustainable and expensive for us as rate payers. The methane produced by organic matter in landfill is a greenhouse gas contributing to global warming.

Instead of trashing our councils for being so proactive, perhaps we could share our ideas on what to do with our trash instead.