There is no such thing as waste – everything we currently throw away is a resource which could be used again. And we don’t actually throw things away either as there is no ‘away’ – these unwanted resources have to go somewhere.

We are currently involved in campaigns against large scale waste management infrastructure developments across the city as part of the Glasgow Alternatives to Incineration group. These proposed developments are risky (in terms of finance, health, and the environment) and unnecessary. They are the wrong proposals, for the wrong locations, at the wrong time.

In the last 10 years there has been big increases in waste reduction, reuse, recycling and composting across Scotland and the Scottish Government has set out ambitious plans for a Zero Waste Scotland.

But there is still more to do. We need to ensure we manage our resources more effectively. This will not only help save these valuable resources, but it will also protect the environment and, very importantly, significantly reduce the need for large scale waste management developments!

So we have put together 5 easy steps to Slim Your Bin to help you, your family, neighbours andwork colleagues reduce the amount of waste (unwanted resources) that you generate.

STEP 1) LOOK IN YOUR BIN

If you don’t know what you are throwing away then it is difficult to take action to reduce it. So take a look in your bin and find out what’s in it. Try keeping a diary of what you throw away, how often you put your bins out, how much your bin bags weigh etc

STEP 2) SEPARATE STUFF

Now that you know what you are throwing away you can start to take action to Slim Your Bin. The next step is to separate stuff into three groups:

  1. food waste – keep food waste separate from from everything else. This will also help prevent making dry and clean stuff, such as paper, wet and dirty. Once you have done this you might be amazed how much food is in your bin!
  2. wet and dirty stuff – this is the stuff that will make your bin smell so keep this together. Also, a tin of soup which hasn’t been washed out will be wet and dirty and will become smelly.
  3. dry and clean stuff – most of the dry and clean stuff should be reusable or recyclable.  And once it is dry and clean then it can be stored longer in your house without causing any problems.

STEP 3) TAKE ACTION

Now that you know what’s in your bin and how much different stuff you have you can start to take action to Slim Your Bin. So choose two or three things which you can focus on to share, reduce, reuse, repair, refurbish, recycle and compost. There are lots of useful websites with advice and ideas such as Greener Scotland, Zero Waste Scotland, Recycle for Scotland and Love Food-Hate Waste.

Also make full use of the Council’s recycling services – it’s also worth remembering that the Council’s households collections only collect a few different materials – however the Council’s recycling centres accept over 15 different materials and products.

STEP 4) WORK TOGETHER

One of the biggest challenges for Glasgow are tenements and flats. Therefore we need to work together to make a real difference. If you live in a tenement or flatted property then get together with your neighbours to start to take action. For example you may already take glass to the bottle banks or recycling centres so working together will make things easier. Also the Council’s recycling centres accept a lot more different materials. You’ll be amazed what a difference working together can do to Slim Your Bin.

STEP 5) SHARE & EXCHANGE

Sharing and exchanging information about what you are doing to Slim Your Bin will make it easier for more people to get involved. So speak to your neighbours and colleagues at work about what you are doing. Also there are some great blogs with lots of advice including The Rubbish Diet and My Zero Waste. You could even start your own!

And finally…

Don’t forget about other things that you throw away less frequently or that you no longer have a use for like clothes, textiles, books etc – these can all be easily reused and recycled.

And you may have other stuff in your house that you only use once every so often such as a drill, a lawnmower, a bike rack, – the list is endless. You might not want to get rid of this stuff but could someone else be able to use it? If so think about joining a borrowing and lending scheme such as Ecomodo.

So go on…Slim Your Bin! And don’t forget to let us know how you get on!