Why Zero Waste?
Derry is currently under the threat of having to host an Energy to Waste plant for the next 25 years. I oppose this development because I am worried about the detriment to air quality, local produce and health. These concerns are not unfounded, Doctors Vyvyan Howard and Paul Connett have spoken compellingly in Derry on the dangers of living in the vicinity these incinerators.
After watching the documentary Trashed at the Foyle Film Festival I was so disgusted with the human race that I decided it was time to start practising what I preach as a Zero Waste North West campaigner. As a two week experiment I am going to find out how difficult or easy it would be to live as a Zero Waste household. My black bin goes out tomorrow and once it is empty I have resolved that it will stay empty until the next collection in two weeks’ time.
What Have I Been Sending To Landfill and Why?
It’s time to do some soul searching- in my kitchen bin. So I performed this rubbish bag autopsy to see what it was that was coming out of my household in significant quantities that couldn’t be recycled.
There was quite a lot of organic waste in there, some plastic bags and packaging, a cotton bud, fireplace residue, tinfoil, a teabag wrapper and a chocolate bar wrapper. By composting and making different choices as a consumer, I’ll be able to reduce my waste drastically. Do I really need to have my teabags individually wrapped? Isn’t there a better way to clean our ears? Can tinfoil and plastic bags be recycled somewhere? Is there somewhere to fill up my own containers when I buy rice and pasta? I hope to find the answers to these questions over the next two weeks.
DCC, Can We Have Our Brown Bins, Please?
Other areas of Northern Ireland have brown bins for their organic waste, why have ours in Derry been locked in a recycling centre in Strathfoyle for years? People are willing to recycle, but the proper systems are not in place. There is no justificiation for incineration. Luckily I have a composter in my garden which I can use, but many people in Derry don’t have that as an option.
Instead of being frustrated and wondering if or when the council is ever going to get their act together, I have decided to empower myself by becoming a Zero Waste pioneer. I refuse to participate in the destruction of my local community. As Gandhi said: “you must be the change you want to see in the world”.