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Katy Anderson FRSA from social enterprise Cwm Harry is working towards this vision of a zero waste world through The Rubbish Diet, the UK’s slimming club for bins. She would like to invite Fellows across the UK to join the thousands of people who are helping bringing zero waste closer by committing to a completely new kind of New Year’s Diet.

Why?

Across the UK, huge amounts of valuable recyclable materials are being lost to landfill and incineration.  In West London, where the Rubbish Diet is working in six boroughs, 67% of the waste sent to landfill could have been recycled.

It goes to landfill by train, the waste train is one-third of a mile long, taking 1,000 tonnes of “rubbish”, six days a week.  1,000,000 recyclable bottles a week go to landfill every week on the train, when they could have been made into new bottles and been back on the supermarket shelves in just 3 weeks.

How does it work?

Anyone can join The Rubbish Diet by taking an easy online challenge to slim their bins. The Diet will motivate you to set a goal and measure your progress by tackling two simple steps over just a few weeks.

You’ll receive emails with great tips on how to recycle to the max, make the most of your food and avoid waste altogether. Dieters experience very quickly the positive difference their actions make to their waste and they are encouraged to share their ideas and questions, creating a whole new conversation about waste reduction and the positive impact it has on our lives.

Dieters then spread the word amongst their friends and family, and so the Diet grows…

Crucially, The Rubbish Diet tackles the issues that make it hard to avoid waste – this quarter we’re focusing on packaging, culminating with a workshop at the Resource Event on Thursday 5 March 2015.

The Results

On average people slim their bins by 40% on the Diet, and the change is permanent.  Slimming your bin will save you money as you’ll reduce food waste and start reusing more, and it has obvious benefits for the environment – food waste alone in the UK is the equivalent of one in four cars on our roads in terms of carbon emissions.

Thousands of people have already taken the Rubbish Diet across UK, taking it online, in collaboration with their whole street or in a group. Jackie and Howard from Shrewsbury took the Diet with their street, meeting to talk rubbish with their neighbours over tea and cake.  They now have slim bins, run clothes swaps and share trips to the recycling centre, and have gotten to know their neighbours! Since they started two years ago, they’ve saved 6 tonnes from landfill.

Ashley Street Dieters two years on

Ashley Street Dieters two years on

Simon who shrank his overflowing wheelie bin by two thirds said:

“I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved – you could heat the house on my smugness.  The whole family is loving our weekly trip to the market where we can buy food with less packaging, and save money too”.

Taking a close look at what we throw away has a real impact on our lifestyles. As Dieter Sarah from Harrow explains.

“I thought I was good at recycling, but The Rubbish Diet Challenge has really made a big impact on how I view, well, everything in fact.  It’s really changed my life. It made me think about the make do and mend culture that everyone had back in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. I am much more careful about what I buy, and I reuse and mend much more than I used to. ”    

The Rubbish Diet solution finally provides a structured, yet fun, community based way to recycle. Sign-up and let Katy know how you think it could be shared in your area.

Katy Anderson is Co-founder of The Rubbish Diet Challenge.  To find out more visit The Rubbish Diet website or contact Katy.

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