Waste and recycling tracking

I generally try hard to minimise my environmental impact, but it can be a challenge without being aware of the actual effect that daily decisions have. Now that I live in a one-person flat, I'm much more conscious of exactly how much energy I use, how much stuff I consume, how many possessions I accumulate and how much waste all this activity produces.

I've therefore decided to keep track of how much waste I produce much more accurately. My apartment block in Tampere, Finland, provides bins for six types of waste: paper, card, glass, metal, compost and general waste. Everything except the last of these can be recycled (although whether the council does or not, I don't know). In addition, Finland has an exemplary network for financially-incentivised bottle and can returns, with return stations in pretty much every grocery shop. Each week I therefore find myself splitting my waste into eight different categories. It's a fair bit of effort, so taking weight measurements aswell isn't such a big deal.

The following graph shows the week-by-week data I've collect about my waste output. I plan to update it every week. Click on the graph for a larger version.



Some brief points to note about the graph:

  1. The weekly average, calculated since the start, is shown in the vertical bar on the right hand side.
  2. All of the green items are recyclable and should be recycled by the council. The general waste in red isn't recycled.
  3. There's only me living in my flat, so this is output for a single person.
  4. I'll continue updating the graph on this page every week.

There's only about a month of data so far, but I hope to continue collecting data over time to see how things are progressing, with the aim of reducing my waste output (both recyclable and non-recyclable) over time if I can.



13 Oct 2019 : Waste and recycling data #
Another week, another round of rubbish weighed. I'm pleased it went down a bit this week from 2.5kg to 1.8kg total, mostly due to a big reduction in compostables being thrown away this week. Weighing my rubbish has highlighted how much of it comes from junk mail, so yesterday I added a note to my door that reads "Ei mainoksia kiitos" ("No ads please"). Let's see if that reduces my paper waste in future.
5 Oct 2019 : Waste and recycling data #
I've weighted my waste and the new numbers have been added to my waste tracking page. This week compost and card are up, while glass is down. My average is still around the 2.5kg level.
28 Sep 2019 : Waste and recycling data #
I've decided to start collecting data on how much waste I produce each week. Might help me reduce it over time. Check out my new waste info page for the full details.


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