How I Sort My Waste

With the plastic bag ban just around the corner in my area (Yayy!) a lot of my friends have been asking me what I do for bin liners. When I tell them that I don’t use bin liners, I always get the same reaction. They always wonder how my rubbish doesn’t smell. I thought this would be a great opportunity to explain the way I sort the waste I do create (because most zero wasters still have some waste).

I want to preface this by saying that I live in a council area that has curb side recycling every two weeks and in Australia we can recycle soft plastics at the major supermarkets. While the goal of Zero Waste is to recycle less, making sure the items that we can recycle, do in fact get recycled, is so important.

Anyway, on to my waste.

I have 4 small bins in my kitchen, and I use them as follows:

  1. Compost Bin – I use a small bin to place my food and small paper scraps in until I take it out usually every second day. We wash out this bin each time we empty it.
  2. Recycling Bin – As I mentioned, we have compost pickup each fortnight, but we also have a small bin for recycling inside. I have created a list below of items we recycle to give you a guide of things we can recycle. We usually take our recycling bin out once a week (unless we have larger items such as boxes after our fruit and veg order comes.
    1. Cans – we have a dog, so we have dog food cans, as well as tinned tomatoes when we don’t have access to enough fresh tomatoes. We wash out these cans completely for two reasons. The first, so that the cans don’t make the bin smell, but secondly, to ensure less contamination in our recycling.
    2. Pasta boxes – we currently buy our short length pasta at a bulk store, and make most of our pasta at home, but occasionally, we are busy, and we have yet to be able to find a wholegrain spaghetti at a bulk store. We do buy the cardboard boxes that have a small plastic window (once again, I do not understand why!). So we cut this out, and recycle the box.
    3. Glass Milk Bottles – While we do use a lot of these as storage in our home, sometimes, we just have too many. We wash these thoroughly too, for the same reasons as the cans.
  3. Soft Plastics – while we don’t put much in this bin now, this was extremely important for our transition.
  4. Waste – There are some things we just cannot avoid. Medicine packets, clothing tag labels (yes even on second hand clothes) and others depending on your lifestyle. We take this out weekly too, but if I had to guess, I would say we would only need to take it out once a month.

So that’s how we sort our waste. Each month, I am seeing less waste and more progress on this journey. Check out Minimize the Waste on Instagram and Facebook for frequent updates on our journey and check back here every Tuesday and Friday for more blogs. I’d love to hear your tips and tricks on how you sort the rubbish you have – so comment below.

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