Bins: is there a topic that gets us Brits more riled up? Aside from Brexit, probably not – because councils in the UK received more than 1.8 million complaints last year about waste not being collected on time, according to the BBC. That’s 4,500 complaints every single day.
If you’re one of the many people drowning in your own household rubbish while waiting for a bin collection then fear not, we’ve rounded up four ways you can cut back on your waste at home.
1. Recycle More.
Okay, if your recycling bin is also overflowing this won’t immediately help you. But it’s far better to recycle things like plastic and cardboard than chuck it in the bin. If you’re not sure what can be recycled in your area, find out from your local council first – or read our guide on what all of those confusing symbols mean to learn what is widely recycled here.
2. Get A Compost Bin.
A lot of councils offer this anyway, but if they don’t you can always make your own. Composting is a sustainable way to reduce your household waste – a surprising amount of food (and random household items) can be composted and processed into fertiliser for new life in the garden.
If you’re making your own, the key is to purchase a bin that will exclude rain, retain some warmth, allow drainage and let in air. It’s best to position the bin in light shade, the Royal Horticultural Society advises. Check out some more detailed instructions here.
3. Waste Less Food.
In the UK we have an abundant food supply, but households waste several million tonnes from our cupboards and fridges, according to resource consultancy WRAP. One of the easiest ways to reduce your rubbish is to stop throwing away uneaten food.
The energy and resources that have gone into growing, cooking or packaging food are wasted if that food ends up in the bin. If you’re unsure what to do with those leftovers, head to the charity Love Food Hate Waste online – it has a number of recipes which can be adapted to suit what’s in your fridge.
Or if you don’t fancy cooking, there are a number of apps in the UK that sell surplus food to save it going to waste: Too Good To Go, Karma and Olio.
4. Regrow Leftovers.
Did you know that the food scraps we chuck in the bin could be brought back to life by simply placing them in a glass of water? Or that those half mouldy potatoes lurking at the back of the cupboard could be planted in your garden and give you a crop of your own homegrown spuds?
Spring onions, potatoes, basil, lettuce and celery are all relatively easy to regrow at home – check out out how-to guide here.