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‘Chockers’: Couple go one year without putting the bin out

“It sets an example for the rest of us,” said its head of circular economy programs, Ryan Collins.

Ms Arnott is wary of being seen as “a crazy bin lady,” but said “most people think it’s great and want to know how and why”.

The couple mark the date of each collection on the top of their garbage bin.

The couple mark the date of each collection on the top of their garbage bin.Credit:Joe Armao

Ms Arnott said the pair wanted to reduce their contribution to landfill, noting they aim to refuse, reduce, reuse, repurpose and recycle.

They refuse to buy veggies in “ridiculous packaging,” instead putting raw goods in bags from home. Most of their clothes are from op shops.

Mr Canty recently removed a sliding door and instead of breaking it up for the bin, he listed it on a free goods website and someone collected it.

The couple takes batteries, light globes, X-rays, e-waste and pens to specialist recyclers.

Ms Arnott aims to reduce their amount of recycling rubbish next.

Ms Arnott aims to reduce their amount of recycling rubbish next.Credit:Joe Armao

So what went into the tightly packed 80-litre rubbish bin?

The couple’s annual waste included hard plastic packaging for screws, medication tablet sheets that are a frustrating mix of plastic and foil, eco-unfriendly types of adhesive plaster and those metal circles that secure plastic wrapping for rolls of dog food.

The rubbish bin in June 2019 before being put out for the first time in nine months.

The rubbish bin in June 2019 before being put out for the first time in nine months.Credit:Liz Arnott

They now want to reduce how much content goes into their 120-litre recycling bin, currently put out every six to eight weeks.

Giving up alcohol would help, they joke. But having a SodaStream means they don’t need to buy soft drink. And they buy milk in returnable glass bottles.

This isn’t a new occurrence for the pair. In January 2018 they went seven months without putting the bin out. Then they lasted nine months. This time: 369 days.

“It’s not really an obsession,” Ms Arnott said, although her husband laughed.

“I don’t work and my children are grown up. I have time to do this. I understand a lot of people don’t,” she said.

Her advice is to think before you toss stuff into the bin.

Ryan Collins from Planet Ark said not every household could ”reach the bar” set by the couple, especially those with kids.

However, “we can all take ownership of our decisions and make positive environmental decisions each day”.

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