Council hails 'shining example' as Exmouth woman ditches dustbin

PUBLISHED: 17:00 31 May 2018

Sarah Allen with her empty black bin. Ref exe 22 18TI 4418. Picture: Terry Ife

Sarah Allen with her empty black bin. Ref exe 22 18TI 4418. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

An eco-warrior from Exmouth’s successful six-month black bin ban has been hailed a ‘shining example’ to others.

Sarah Allen with her empty black bin. Ref exe 22 18TI 4419. Picture: Terry IfeSarah Allen with her empty black bin. Ref exe 22 18TI 4419. Picture: Terry Ife

Married mum-of-two Sarah Allen, aged 42, turned recycling royalty from October 2017 when she set herself a challenge to shun all things disposable. Her landfill bin has remained almost empty for six months after she dramatically reduced her household waste.

This week schoolteacher Sarah shared her success story in the hope of inspiring others to wage a war against waste.

Introducing ‘small steps’ to change her shopping habits, recycling all she can, repairing items of clothing, composting, ditching disposables for reusable, and shunning non-essentials, means Sarah’s black bin stands redundant.

Taking her inspiration from waste warrior Bea Johnson, who claims to dispose of one jar of non-recyclable waste a year, Sarah is ‘working towards becoming a zero waste house’.

Sarah, who blogs about her campaign, said she is ‘that crazy lady walking around the supermarket squeezing and rejecting packets’; her success story relies on reusing or refusing.

She said: “Even though we recycled, quite a lot did end up in the bin. So I decided not to buy anything unless it was recyclable.

“I can’t see how I could go back now. Making changes is quite hard to do, but once they become new habits, they are not hard to do; it would actually be quite hard to go back to old habits.

“I always believe that individual things do make an impact. That’s my main reason for doing this – what we are doing to the planet. It would be nice to see Exmouth as an eco-friendly champion.”

Sarah credited East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) kerbside recycling collections for helping her achieve her goal.

Councillor Tom Wright, EDDC portfolio holder for the environment, said Sarah was a ‘shining example to the community’ - and hopes to meet her. He added: “This really is a fantastic achievement by Sarah and her family, who have embraced all the values of our extended recycling service.

“It’s no mean feat to recycle as she has done.

“Sarah’s actions should also give encouragement to other local authorities who are considering three weekly collections of residual waste, as it clearly demonstrates a really sound recycling policy negates the need for more frequent collections.”

Read Sarah’s blog at https://plasticfreeportal.com/reduce-reuse-recycle-superboosted

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