Natural Solutions for Waste and Wastewater

Innovative Designs for Challenging Sites: Zero Discharge Systems and Waterless Toilets

Excellent effluent quality disguised as a Wildlife Habitat...

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Get Rid of Your Bin Tips

The format below is taken from Get Rid of Your Bin, with some website links added so that you can easily find some of the best tips and resources pages online.

Do you want to keep your waste disposal charges to a minimum?
Do you want to minimise your environmental impact?
Did you know that beyond our species, there is no such thing as "waste" in nature? Surely there is room for improvement on the widespread use of the rubbish bin. . .

With some straightforward steps and a clear goal in mind, it is quite easy to reduce your rubbish by a surprising amount. With a bit of vigilance it is possible to bring both your environmental impact and your waste disposal costs down to a minimum.

So to maximise your savings and your ecological sustainability, read on and practise from the word go!

Remember - Keep the Essentials in Mind:

Step 1 - Be Ruthless when Shopping. Allow into your home only those things that can leave it again without going via the bin. Have a look at the Story of Stuff website for a bit of background.

Step 2 - Compost all you kitchen and garden food and plant waste. There are some exceptions depending on your circumstances, but basically everything organic in nature can be composted in one way or another. The Irish Peatland Conservation Council have some good information on their composting DIY website.

Step 3 - Reuse Everything that you possibly can. Reroute unwanted but functional things to friends, relations, charity shops, book shops, charities or other places that can find a genuine use for them. Use returnable containers where possible. As a last resort reuse the materials within your unwanted items by recycling glass, paper, card, plastic, metals and textiles. Freecycle and Jumbletown are just two websites dedicated to rerouting things to new homes in Ireland and a map of the charity shops can help you buy second hand and pass on useful but unwanted items.

Some Tools for the Journey:

Tool 1 - Information on composting, waste minimisation, recycling and simplicity is all freely available on the internet, in the library, from environmental groups and other sources. Use it wherever you come up against a stumbling block and have difficulty getting your rubbish down to zero. To take just two examples, Christchurch City Council have a very straightforward worm bin leaflet for composting and Permaculture Magazine has excellent practical ways towards a more low waste and eco-friendly lifestyle.

Tool 2 - Grow your own organic vegetables and fruit. Even a 1.2m x 1.2m raised bed can keep you in some vegetables all year round and use all the compost you generate. Food from the garden doesn"t come in plastic. . .

Eco--Congregation Ireland has a good article on square foot gardening for beginners.

Tool 3 - Get rid of your bin. Nothing focuses the mind more than burning your bridges. But do so from a place of informed confidence, not blind ignorance. Read on, make your decision and cancel your bin collection as soon as you are ready. There's lots online for free, but if you want a good read, then you can buy a copy of Get Rid of Your Bin to help you along. An excellent site is Zero Waste Home - well worth a look.

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FH Wetland Systems website content on this page by Féidhlim Harty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.