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'What not to waste' challenge makes Wandsworth residents halve rubbish

Families in Wandsworth, South London , have halved their rubbish waste in just six weeks, by participating in an environmental makeover challenge.

This was not exactly what not to wear but what not to waste. Families taking part in the Recycle Western Riverside (RWR) makeover relished the challenge and completed a series of three fortnightly missions to recycle, reduce and reuse as much of their rubbish as possible.

Participants were rewarded for completing their challenge to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle at an awards ceremony held last week at the Roehampton Sure Start Centre, based in
South London .

Eight families were selected for the project and five families were audited by RWR. The families are now recycling nearly half of their household waste and have cut the amount of non-recyclable material put out in their orange sacks and recycling banks by over three quarters. They have also reduced their food waste by composting their kitchen waste by almost 90% and shopping in a more environmentally friendly way.

RWR outreach officer Jackie McKeay said: I am thrilled with the progress the families have made, and crucially all the participants now say they will keep up their commitment to recycling and reducing their rubbish.

The what not to waste makeover shows that everyone can make small changes to their daily routine and reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfill.

Participant Simonne Drake completed all the challenges and successfully reduced her households overall waste by almost three quarters. She said: I think there are two main reasons Ive been so successful. Im composting all my food waste, which originally made up two thirds of my black sack rubbish.

Im also using reusable nappies, which saves me money as well as helping the environment.

Maria Seeborun, who also took part in the programme, managed to cut the amount of junk mail she receives by 96%. She said: The programme has really made me think differently about what goes in the bin. We now buy loose fruit and vegetables and try to buy in bulk; I cook in smaller portions and freeze leftovers so Im creating less waste.

Its a gradual process but its all fitting into place and the whole family is now living a greener lifestyle.

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