Weekend Waste Diary with Silvia: October 19-21

About This Series  

This blog series provides readers with a chance to catch a glimpse in the life of a zero-waste lifestyle supporter. It documents the daily weekend activities of the blogger, as he/she generates waste from Friday to Sunday. Readers will be able to put their feet into someone else’s shoes through this blog series, and hopefully learn some good waste management tips for them to practice at home as well. These bloggers have experience in working with waste diversion and understand the concept of zero-waste quite well.

Let’s see how this weekend’s blogger will do!



This blogger is an Italian girl that came to Rochester to spent six freezing months seeing how waste is managed in the US. She is dealing with getting used to pass from a system where you must recycle as much as you can (she has 5 bins at home in Rome: organics, paper, plastic and metals, glass, all the rest) to another one where, even if you want to do it, recycling is not easy at all!



6:00 PM: Finally it’s Friday and the week is over! I came back home wanting something sweet, so I bought a small pack of donut holes to have them with some hot mint tea. I first washed my reusable glass lunch box, and then sat down and enjoyed my snacks. The donuts came in a paper box, with a very small thin plastic layer. I threw the paper part in my recycling bin, and the plastic one in the landfill bin. As always in this case, I found myself thinking that, if I was in Italy, I could have recycled also the plastic layer. I threw my tea bag in the landfill bin because I don’t have an organic one yet, and washed my ceramic mug.

8:00 PM: It’s dinner time and my boyfriend decided to make paratha (a stuffed Indian bread) with potatoes for dinner. We ended up throwing only the potato’s skin (but sadly in the landfill bin) and an empty box of spice, whose external paper box went in the recycling bin and the internal plastic part in the landfill bin. After dinner another herbal tea in my ceramic mug, and then time for sleeping.

Friday Waste

Reuse: ceramic mug.

Compost: nothing cause I don’t have a bucket yet, but I could have put the tea bags and the potato’s skin in it.

Recycling: paper from the box of donut holes, and from the box of the spice.

Landfill: the organics from above, the plastic layer of the donuts’ box and the one of the spice’s package.



10:00AM: Getting out of bed has taken a lot of time, but now I’m ready to have my breakfast. I am eating some cookies that I made few days ago and drinking some green tea. The only waste that I have produced this morning is the tea bag.

2:00PM: Very late lunch! We have decided to make some pasta with green beans and tomato sauce. We threw the edges of the green beans in a plastic bag, hoping that I will remember to get an Impact Earth bucket for the organics on Monday, and the tomatoes can in the recycling bin. I am happy that we finally found out how to recycle at our apartment complex! Last week I got so mad after having to throw in the landfill bin two 100% recyclable aluminum cans! We have finished the pack of spaghetti, so I separated the paper part to recycle it, and threw the thin plastic layer in the landfill bin (I still don’t understand why we can’t recycle this kind of plastic here). We have also finished the olive oil, so I put the glass bottle in the recycling bin.

9:00PM: After a late lunch, we had a late dinner. We have decided to make some pizza and an apple cake. We had mostly organic waste (apple skin and eggshells), that we threw in our temporary bag for organic waste, and we finished another can of tomato sauce, so I washed it and put it in the recycling bin. I am noticing that in the last two days I have been producing waste only while cooking.


Saturday Waste

Reuse: ceramic mugs.

Compost: edges of green beans, apple skin and seeds, eggshells.

Recycling: paper from pasta’s package, bottle of olive oil, tomato cans.

Landfill: tea bag, thin plastic layer from pasta’s package.



9:00AM: I could finally taste my apple cake, I had it for breakfast with some herbal tea. The only thing I had to throw was the tea bag, and I realized that I am not sure about where I am supposed to throw it… In Italy it would go in the compost, but here I am not sure, so I put it in the landfill and will ask tomorrow to the Impact Earth team.

2:00PM: My boyfriend and I went to Brighton Farmers’ Market and got some organic squashes and potatoes to make a hot creamy soup. We also bought a delicious croissant that came in a very oily paper bag that we put in the landfill bin. We had a lot of organic waste from the soup, and we threw it in another plastic bag, still waiting to remember to take the bucket for the organics. Before going back home to cook, we also bought a decent knife (much needed to cut the squash!), and, as usual, its package was made of both paper and plastic, so I put the paper in the recycling bin and the plastic in the landfill one.

My delicious soup!

My delicious soup!


We also went to throw out our recycling this morning, and I found out that my apartment complex doesn’t collect glass! So now we have the glass bottle of oil from yesterday waiting in the car until we discover where we can leave it for recycling.

9:00PM: We spent the rest of the day going out for some shopping, and we had a light dinner with all the leftover food from the last days, so we had nothing to throw besides two tea bags.

Sunday Waste

Reuse: ceramic mugs.

Compost: skin and seeds from squash, potatoes and onion.

Recycling: paper from the package of the knife.

Landfill: tea bags.

— Silvia I.

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