What to do with too much rubbish for your wheelie bin
How to deal with too much rubbish for your bins
Struggling with too much rubbish for your wheelie bins? Overfill it with waste and many councils will refuse to pick it up. Put the extra bags beside the bin and foxes seem to find them in minutes. Keep bags filled with rubbish inside until your next collection and your home can start to smell like the local tip! Not to worry, here's some advice.
The best way to reduce the waste in your general waste wheelie bin is to separate your waste into the correct disposal streams. This means you shouldn’t put recyclables or food waste in your general waste. This will significantly reduce the amount going into your wheelie bin whilst also being better for the environment.
The most bulky recyclable is cardboard from boxes. For great tips and advice on disposal of cardboard, read our guide on How to Dispose of Cardboard Boxes.
Between a quarter and a third of all domestic waste is packaging and the vast majority of packaging that goes into general waste is the contaminated packaging for food. So, if you can reduce how much packaged food you buy - you’ll significantly reduce the contents of your general waste bin.
Lots of supermarkets are now offering in-store refill stations and plastic-free packaging. You can also buy fruit and veg loose instead of wrapped in plastic. Obviously less pre-cooked meals and more home-cooked ones also reduces the need for packaging.
Note: Avoid putting empty containers (for example, plastic trays, bottles, tin cans, pizza boxes) that are substantially contaminated with food waste into your recyclable collections. This will contanimate the other material in the load and potentially make all of it non-recyclable. Be sure to rinse out bottles, cans and plastic containers properly before adding them to your recycling collection. Only put cardboard items in that have zero (or just a very small bit of) food waste on them.
Where possible consider using reusable items instead of disposable items. Here are some easy wins:
- Metal, bamboo or glass straws instead of plastic
- Use a water bottle instead of buying plastic bottled water
- Reusable shopping bags instead of plastic bags
- Use Tupperware or wax food wraps instead of cling film
- Bring a flask to your local coffee shop instead of opting for a paper cup with a plastic lid
- Reusable nappies instead of single-use nappies. TBH, this last one isn't actually that easy. It creates a lot of extra washing and takes considerably more time than using disposable nappies, but it will dramatically reduce the waste you create! Here's a good list for best reusable nappies.
You can create a lot more room in your bin by squeezing your refuse bags down to take air (space) out of the bag. It’s a quick fix and makes a big difference. A top tip is to make a small hole in the bag after you tie it, to let all the air get out easily. Once you’ve given a bin bag a good squeeze, you’ll find that it tends to stay nicely squashed down. The trick though is to squeeze all the bin bags you put in your wheelie bin, not just the last one you're trying to squeeze in 🙂
Councils often offer a larger or extra wheelie bin if you have a large household that’s creating too much waste, despite your best efforts to recycle. For example, Merton council provides a larger wheelie bin if you’re a household of five or more, or if you produce more non-recyclable waste because of a medical condition.
If you’ve tried all of the above and still have too much rubbish – the easiest solution is to snap a photo of your wheelie bin and create a listing on LoveJunk, similar to the one below. A collector will snap it up in seconds for £10 - £30. We know it’s not free – but it beats having a home that smells of rubbish😊