When the biodegradable bin liners run out…

Post-It Box

We are lucky enough to live in the part of Blackheath managed by Greenwich council, who seem to have a more sensible policy on recycling than Lewisham. It means that we were given a little green “caddy” to place kitchen scraps into, which can then be transferred to larger white biodegradable sacks, and then disposed of in a special biomass only wheelie bin once a week.

Which is great, except that the white bin liners were a one-off. Like a drug pusher offering the “first one free”, we aren’t going to get any more of these bin liners without paying for them. Fair enough, as it isn’t actually necessary to wrap your kitchen scraps in anything before chucking them into the wheelie bin, but it makes for a much nicer experience for all concerned if you do.

The council alternatively suggest wrapping the scraps in newspaper. So – I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to do this. I had an idea that I could make some little origami boxes out of newspaper, and dump the waste into those before putting it into the wheelie bin.

UPDATE: There are loads of examples on the web, but, being origami, they are nearly all based on square sheets of paper, rather than rectangular newspaper sizes. I had a go with this one; but you have to start with a square sheet, and the box that is produced is pretty tiny (see below left).  All the boxes in the photo below were made with single pages of A4, despite the different sizes of box.

Origami bin liner replacements prototypes

This one looks more promising, shape-wise, but is in Japanese, and gets a bit confusing around about the reverse-folding stage.. The box is bigger but flimsier (see photo above right).

This one looks really good, but is meant for creating seed pots, so is quite small (see middle box in the photo above).

But they’re all a bit small. I suppose ideally, you’d want one made from several sheets of newspaper for strength, with no resizing of the paper required.

If anyone finds one, let me know, and I’ll try and add a video of my happless attempts to replace the bin liners soon!

Box made from a Post-It note by Flickr user teamaskins.


Filed under blackheath, green

8 responses to “When the biodegradable bin liners run out…

  1. I completely disagree that Greenwich has a more sensible policy on recycling than Lewisham. In Lewisham we can put all our recyclables in one bin, which vastly simplifies things. Most councils ask that residents keep a number of bins and separate the rubbish into them. This means a lot more complexity and a lot of bins for homeowners to store.

    Home composting is something Lewisham could do more on, and I hope they do so in the near future. We had a trial of brown bins for garden waste, which seemed to work well and I hope they introduce them borough wide.

  2. It was the composting of veggie waste I was thinking of – and my comment was based on talking to a guy from Lewisham council at the bike and kite festival, who mentioned that they didn’t do food waste recycling.

    I agree that putting all the recyclables in one bin is easier from an individual perspective, and that is how the Greenwich scheme works (one bin for recyclables, one for veggie waste, one for landfill)?

  3. Pingback: Building a Better Bin Bag « The Blackheath Bugle

  4. J J

    How come you got free bags. We had to pay for ours from day one. Never anything free here, from the people’s republic of Greenwich.

    They are cheaper in Asda anyway.

  5. We were given some biodegradable bags to start off with – they were left by the front door. Don’t know why it should be different from you, as we’re both Greenwich council you know!

  6. J J

    Unfortunately I know we are both Greenwich Council.
    We had a note delivered to every house with a telephone number to call to get the bags. (Paper or cornstarch.)
    It also had a breakdown of the prices.
    6 litre paper bag for kitchen caddy £3.70 for 100
    6 litre cornstarch bag for kitchen caddy £4.70 for 100
    There were also larger bags for more money.
    The leaflet says that these are the ‘Optional extras’ for the Free and improved waste & recycling services
    There is also a 50 litre black bin with lockable lid priced at £9.00
    It would appear that some people in Greenwich get a much better service than others.
    We are all ratepayers, but obviously some are more equal than others!

  7. A Clarke

    Funny that one of the first pages I came to by googling for ‘origami bin liner’ is based in my home village of Blackheath.

    I found that using 3 sheets of broadsheet newspaper and following this instructional video provides a reasonable removable liner for the caddy.


  8. Hi, just found this old post & I love your DIY spirit! Not sure if its too late to help (and also I’m next door in Brockley and we have a slightly different system), but something from here may be what you’re after – we use these for food scraps which we can then transfer to a compostor but the principle is the same… also I love these bags as they’re actually made out of potatoes themselves (well potato-starch at least) so they’re *truly* green!


    or for directly in to the wheelie bin you could go for

    Hope this helps reclaim your life from the vagaries of origami!
    Best wishes

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