So I haven’t had a waste bin for two and a half years. This is easier than you think. I do this by cutting out single-use disposables, packaging, and by refusing to allow rubbish into my life in the first place.
Anything that can’t be reused, recycled or composted I keep in my landfill tin to keep track of it. This I empty every few months. It mostly contains fruit stickers, cellophane wrapping, chocolate wrappers and those little clear plastic seals from jars. Currently it also has a mascara wand and some out of date medicine.
I should say that I don’t include absolutely every last piece of waste in the tin. I don’t save every non-biodegradable teabag from social visits, for example. I also made the decision not to include larger stuff that breaks and can’t be repaired, mainly because it’s just too annoying to keep those bits around the place. I don’t want broken umbrellas and knackered bike parts cluttering up my cupboards. There are good people in the world working towards a circular economy, but until then, the tidiest place for these rejects from the linear one is in the landfill.
Although it’s fashionable in zero waste circles to store one’s rubbish in a large kilner-style jar, I have resisted the temptation to buy something shiny and new. It feels more in keeping with the spirit of zero waste to repurpose this quite charming hot chocolate tin, and anyway, it’s refuse – it doesn’t require glamour.