Oh rubbish!

When one dreams of starting a new life, way out in the middle of nowhere, one tends to idealise and fantasize about downsizing and living a slow life, picturing all the time you can spend just sitting out in nature, birdies singing, bunnies hopping…..you get where I am going? I need to keep bringing myself back down to earth so that I can focus on some realities.

One  thing that I have never had to worry my poor little brain about was rubbish {waste, trash}.  I have now learned how much I took for granted, those people who must have gotten out of bed before dawn to go to work, get in a truck, and come and collect what I had thrown in the bin.  What a thankless job!  I really miss those people now, because they don’t live near me….

One of my primary objectives, when I decided to move out here, was to be as kind as I can to our planet.  Now I know trash is a huge headache for governments, and  “greenies” are pushing the reuse, recycle story. My plan as you know, is to try to produce as much of our food as we can. This alone cuts down on how much rubbish a family produces, doing away with all packaging of veggies etc.  However, I have only planted one avocado tree so far, with plans to start some seeds this next week, so we are buying our food and producing way too much waste. 

We live too far out of town to take advantage of the municipal refuse collection.  The municipality has a fight on its hands because they have an illegal dump at the moment, and there are no recycling facilities in our town.  The nearest recycling center is just over 100 km’s from us.  So you can imagine – I have a little issue to deal with.

I asked the local farmers what they did with their trash. They dig holes, burn then bury it.  Not the best option by far, firstly because our ground is so rocky – it would take us a month to dig the right sized hole, secondly, it is really not good for the environment, thirdly, living in the bush we would have a fire hazard – not even thinking about the ozone and cancer risks.

Then I was told about Global Gap regulations.  This is a governing body that controls and audits farms that produce fruit for international markets.  They stipulate that waste gets burned in a “furnace” to raise the heat of the burning, so lowering the damage to the ozone layer as well as reducing the risk of cancer from the carcinogens in regular trash smoke. {I have not researched this yet}

We are now the owners of a farm made furnace donated to us by one of the farms.  This I am sure is really not the ideal answer, and I need to continue to pursue the reuse, recycle option, however it is dealing with an immediate problem so that we do not start spreading disease. 

Below you can see the accumulation of rubbish that we have to deal with

And here are all the bottles that the previous owners left for us . These will have to go with us next time we go to the city so that we can drop them off for recycling.

Even although an immediate problem has been sorted out for now, I think we still have some issues to resolve:

  • We still need and ash hole – hopefully we can get some help from a local farmer with a grader/digger
  • I hate the idea of polluting the air
  • The burner is an eye-sore so we will have to build a wall around it – this will also help with the small fire hazard risk.
  • There is still the need to get to some type of recycling facility – I really wish there was one closer
  • I need to do more research regarding the burner/furnace and related risks.

If any of you have any experience with these issues, or know people who live far away from facilities like we do – please let me know. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. {Edit:  I forgot to mention that we have started composting also – thanks to the Handsome Estate Agent for reminding me}

Well there you have it folks – one of the not-so-pretty things we have to deal with, living in the bush in Africa.

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3 thoughts on “Oh rubbish!

  1. Ah the simple life…always some surprises, huh? LOL.

    Actually the first thought that springs to mind is that it sounds that there is a need for the community at large for a recycling center. Now starting something like that would definitely be a contribution to the planet…and your community. While that is presumably not what you had in mind moving out there, perhaps you might undertake starting a cooperative venture?

    Just a thought. Back to your blog… 😉

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  2. Pingback: Why recycling matters « The Slowvelder

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