Today I hit upon an ingenious idea: Sharing the cost and space of our recycling box. Ok, now this may not seem like such a radical move, but what you have to bear in mind is that we’re the only people in our whole block of flats that have one. That means that the other… however many people, are just throwing everything away.

You also have to bear in mind that I have an almost pathological hatred of waste. Seeing someone throw something useful away makes me come out in giant itchy boils. That’s why I squirm so much.

It seems to me that our society sees increasingly less as useful. If something is broken, we throw it away. If we’ve had something for a long time, we swap it for a new one, upgrade. What is important to many people is not that they have everything that they need, but that they have the latest version, the newest fashion or just a better one than their friends. Most of the time it’s not even stuff that we need. I don’t *need* a television, a hairdryer or humorous quirky ornament on my shelf, so why the hell do I have them?

One thing I am currently rather pleased with is my recent reduction in waste. I compost religiously, even though I don’t have a garden. I re-use as much as possible, like taking empty plastic containers to a creche for kids to build stuff with. I haven’t had a new plastic carrier bag in months as I collect them from hedges and fences. I refill my olive oil, washing-up, etc bottles and bags for rice and lentils. I’ve found people who will recycle bottle tops, corks and some other stuff so I collect them too and take them to the appropriate places. Any tat or clothes I don’t want goes on freecycle or to the free shop at BUCFP.

the consequences of all this obsessive diligence are that it takes about a month to fill a dustbin liner between the two of us and that we’re only using about a third of the space in our recycling box. It seems like a bit of a waste, which as you know, I hate.

I have written a small notice, complete with doodles, pictures and colouring in and I have pinned it to the notice board downstairs to try to encourage some of my neighbours, few of which I have ever met, to share the space and cost of my box with me. I live in hope.

3 thoughts on “Waste

  1. I collect the compost in a carrier bag in my kitchen and then take it to either one of the community allotments that I haven’t got around to working in yet. Actually what I usually do is take it to The Cowley Club, but it gets picked up from there and taken to an allotment anyway.I’m hoping to initiate a community compost scheme in my neighborhood soon, possibly matching up people with gardens or allotments with people who want to compost.

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