Recent convert to bin slimming, Sue Roochove from Suffolk shares how the Rubbish Diet made her realise what a difference one family can make to the world. Over to Sue…
I can honestly say that I was not a fan of recycling. I was one of those who found it irritating when the council stopped picking up our weekly dustbin bags all those years ago and we were left with smelly bins for 2 whole weeks. I even begrudged supermarkets taking away our free carrier bags. I thought it was all one big fat con to save large corporates money and make it harder for the average jo. The thing I hated most were the recycling aficionados, I instantly switched off when peers spoke about such things and made hasty excuses to cut and run. And then my moment came!
I went to a talk at the recent Bury St Edmunds ‘Festival of Ideas’, more to fill a spare hour than anything and I listened to a member of the audience talking about how a family she knew had reduced their household waste and no longer had overflowing bins. I didn’t really register it at the time, I wondered what she was talking about and I thought ‘The Rubbish Diet’ was a really cool name. But that evening I found myself looking it up on google and reading all about how UK households are still throwing away 4.2 million tonnes of avoidable household food and drink annually which equates to about six meals every week for the average UK household. At the same time a petition pinged up on Facebook saying under a new law set to crack down on food waste, French supermarkets will be banned from throwing away or destroying unsold food and must instead donate it to charities or for animal food. And suddenly I wanted to get involved.
I read ‘The Rubbish Diet’ website with my children, we googled what should go in what bin, we set our bin target for the week, stuck it to the fridge and we were off. We decided to be very conservative and drew a chalk line on our overflowing black bin saying we would try and reduce it by half. We labelled up our brown and blue bin to remind us what went in those usually rather empty ones and that was it. It was that easy. By the end of the week the whole thing had reversed. Our black bin was just a quarter full and our blue bin was overflowing and we had actually used our brown bin!
And we are going from strength to strength. My friend told me the other day that vegetable peelings could go in the brown bin (I thought it was just for grass) so by week 2 our blue bin is less overflowing, our brown bin is filling up and our black bin is nearly empty. And I’m hooked. And so are the children.
Slimming your bins actually makes you feel good. My children are talking about it at school and I have taken the challenge to my office and have got 80 employees on board to try the diet at home. I have even labelled up our work bins. I want to challenge all the companies on the business park I work on to do the diet and I want my girls’ school to get on board. The Rubbish Diet is one of those rare initiatives in which one person can make an enormous difference. And one little family can feel really powerful.