4 bins you need for effective waste management

4 bins you need for effective waste management

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One of the best places to start with zero waste is by sorting out your bins.  You need to be able to effectively manage the waste that leaves your house before you can start reducing it.


Getting this under control will allow you to see clearly where you need to improve and to start looking creatively at ways to make these changes.


I’ve perfected my waste management system over the years, so that it allows me to control what comes in and what leaves my house.  These are my four bins:

Compost bin

We’ve finally got around to creating our own soil with a compost bin.  This means that I have another place to put some of our garden and food waste.


To help make sure that the correct items go in the compost bin and so that I don’t have to head outside every time the kids have a snack, we have a smaller compost caddy in the kitchen.


We place everything that can be composted in here and empty in in the main bin when it gets full.  It doesn’t smell and means that it easier for me to compost.


Food waste bin

Not all food waste can be composted.  Meat and eggs for example can’t be placed in the compost bin, so for this we use the food waste bin.


We are lucky to live in an area where we have weekly food waste collections by the council.  They also provide you with a food waste caddy, but I think ours got lost at some point so we have replaced it with a more aesthetically pleasing option.


Like with the compost caddy, I place the correct scraps in here, which include tea bags because they can’t be composted either, and empty when it is full.


Recycling bin

The recycling collection service in our area is good and they recycle most items in one bin.  We are able to recycle paper, cardboard, glass and plastics all in one bin.


Under our sink we have two bins of which this is one.  Recyclable items get washed and placed in here before being taken out to the wheelie bin when full.


Incorporating a separate recycling bin is one of the first steps we made towards zero waste living and it seriously increased the amount we recycled.

General waste

Last, and least, is the general waste bin.  This covers all those other items that can’t be recycled or composted.  The good news is that this one doesn’t get used much.


The few items that do go in here are rinsed before they go in the bin, but I struggle to think what needs to go in this bin.


It would be things like bits of Sellotape or that disgusting cellophane wrap that they like to put around things.


Learn to use some bins more than others

Seeing where your waste goes will open your eyes to the changes you can make.  Pay close attention to the general waste bin and find ways to remove these items from your life.

Disclaimer:  Remember the information you read here does not represent advice.  Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you.  Read the full disclaimer here.

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