One of the biggest issues I deal with on a daily basis in my day job is domestic waste management. I’ll admit sometimes it can be incredibly frustrating that people are just not getting the message about the 5 Rs… Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repair, Redistribute.
I will be quick to mention that waste management in my household is not perfect. However I think we do a pretty good job with a household of six. The little ones are still getting use to separating the waste but it is a work in progress.
For those that don’t know about our kerbside waste service we have a 120Lt general waste bin, a 240Lt recycling bin and a 240Lt organics bin through NAWMA (Northern Adelaide Waste Management Authority). I am amazed by the amount of people who tell me this is not enough. Personally I would be lucky to fill up my general waste bin on a weekly basis. Whereas my other two fortnightly bins (recycling and organics) are usually bursting at the brim to be emptied every fortnight. However before I look to purchase another recycling or organics bin (an option that is available to us) I really need to look at ways I can reduce or find alternative ways to recycle.
Cans and bottles, clothes and food scraps are most probably the easiest things I can dispose of without having to place in the kerbside waste. Cans and bottles we collect and cash in, clothes we donate and foodscraps quite often get placed in our worm farm.
At the moment we have a couple of tables and a matress to get rid of but I have taken advantage of a “free” (it is paid for within rates) hard waste service that our local council offer. This offer allows us to until the end of the year to get rid of one 6×4 trailer at the local transfer station.
I guess some of the things that I or we could improve upon in the household is recycling soft plastics. I guess I’ve been a little slack in implementing that “rule” into the house and making it happen. I do hope the other supermarket chains pick it up as I tend not to shop at the big multi-nationals (for ethical reasons).
Domestic waste management does require discipline. Even for the people who live, work and breathe sustainability. However if a household of six can manage with the bins that the local council give us and the programs that are available for recycling on top of that I’m sure that most can. Do a little research on your local council’s website, “google” recycling for your area, you will be surprised with what’s out there.