Zero Waste Audit 2017

What is in my bin before Zero Waste Week?

In Blog, Less Waste, Zero Waste by Lisa Cole

In a nutshell – the week before I’m attempting Zero Waste Week I look in my bin and recycling to see what I can improve on.

This is just 3 days worth of waste. It is mostly all just mine.

There is a great rescource over on the Zero Waste site, it is a nicely laid out printable chart that helps you log your waste. If you are considering lowering the amount of stuff you chuck out, or even recycle then looking at where you are to start with helps.

Click on the image to get the printable PDF

I was reluctant to start saving my waste, especially after all the pics of my bin during Plastic Free July. But I see the sense in logging it now so here we go. It represents 2 days of just my waste and 1 day with me and my son. I would have logged for longer but it was getting depressing having it sit there.

What does 3 days worth of waste look like for us?

All this crap in just 3 days!

Clockwise from top left:

  • Fabric scraps: recyclable in a bag marked ‘Clean Rags’. The compost caddy: I tend to use whatever pot I have handy until it is full. I add paper and tissues to it as well.
  • The compost caddy: I tend to use whatever pot I have handy until it is full. I add paper and tissues to it as well.Cardboard: recyclable
  • Cardboard: recyclable in our weekly collection
  • Plastic: not recyclable, it is the stuff that packages cheese, spinach etc.
  • Mixed: plastic net and plastic labels from oranges. not recyclable. Little packets that contain cat de flea stuff, mixed foil and plastic, not recyclable
  • Foil Pouches: not recyclable anywhere near me
  • Foil pie dish: recyclable in our weekly collection
  • Paper: recyclable in our weekly collection
  • Yarn scraps: not recyclable

What goes into landfill?

After I empty the compost caddy and put the recycling in the boxes I’m left with this:

3 Days worth of non recyclable waste

3 Days worth of non recyclable waste

This is a bit lower than average. My son was away for most of the time and he is a horror for bringing home ‘useful’ non recyclable things. Generally in a week we produce a full carrier bag of rubbish that cannot be recycled. Composting helps keep our waste down and a teenage son who eats everything means there is little food waste.

How can I improve this?

I think I can find a way to use the fabric scraps and I’m going to have a play with using the plastic and pouches in a creative way.

So, I’m a little better prepared for next week. I have a target area to start with which is fabric and I need to get looking on Pinterest for things to do with foil and plastic.

Want to join in?

Sign up for Zero Waste Week to get useful emails and a whole pile of (Zero Waste) resources.

Look out for the hastags #zerowasteweek and #zerowasteweek17 on Twitter and Instagram.

And follow this site for daily posts if you want to see how I get on. I’m still nervous I’ve bitten off more than I can chew!