Friday, 4 April 2008

Green disposal unit

waste disposal unit with salad

Photo by Flickr user Sherwin. Creative Commons licence.

I regularly receive emails from John Lewis (for non-UK readers, it is a very reputable department store). In this last one, they have embraced the green movement with a vengeance, and are suggesting I buy all sorts of things to make my green life easier:

  • a twin compartment rubbish bin
  • a can crusher
  • a waste disposal unit

A waste disposal unit?

What on earth makes them think a waste disposal unit "will encourage even the most reluctant environmentalist to get involved"?

Is that recycling? How do they think it is environmentally friendly? Even land fill would be better than using electricity and large quantities of water to dispose of kitchen waste. Better still compost it.

Am I missing something here?


  1. Missing something? I think so. But deep down, you know what it is. You're too smart not to get it.

    Landfills, water, and electricity don't put money into that store's pockets.

    I'd say their touting "green" is just another excuse to make a buck (a pound? a Euro?)--and they really don't care about the environment at all.

    Yummy advises you get their attention by supporting other businesses that have a proven honest desire to protect the environment. And encourage your friends not to shop there as well.

    Yummy is not familiar with this business you mention, however. Perhaps it is too large for you to boycott?


  2. Make that: "Yummy and his buddy Max BOTH think that's what you should consider doing." ;)

  3. I gather they're very popular in America, so of course they're going to become popular over here. [/sarcasm]

    The sort of people who shop in John Lewis aren't, by and large, going to be popping down the garden to the compost heap. They're going to want to keep their perfectly manicured hands nice and clean. If they can jst tip the bowl of washing up (while wearing their Marigolds, natch, dahling...) and get rid of the bits, so much the better.

    It's just greenwashing. Something that looks good, but has no actual benefit to the environment whatsoever.

  4. You're missing nothing as there is nothing one can do to alter "climate change" which has been going on for as long as the Earth has been around.


    Jeremy Jacobs

  5. I've been trying to think of a good reason to use a waste-disposal unit. The only thing I came up with is the possible benefit to high-rise dwellers - if they could afford such a thing.

    As far as a can-crusher is concerned, I'm expert at flattening cans, very neatly, with my feet.

  6. Oh silly you, it comes in a green box. The store colour is green, what more do you want? ;O)

  7. Hi,a.,

    If you have a garden and you compost, then certainly, a waste disposal is going to both seem and be extraneous.

    I don't have a garden (nor perfectly manicured hands, either), and don't compost, so for me, a garbage disposal really does reduce the amount of stuff going into the trash and - presumably - the landfills.

    I'm not sure if that qualifies it to be 'green', though.


  8. @Relax Max/Yummy, I'm sure you're right, it's just another way to make money. John Lewis is really a reputable store and I wouldn't want to boycott them on this alone. I am disappointed in them though.

    @Solomon Broad, you're right too, it's greenwash and in fact I'd intended to call the post Greenwash disposal unit and forgot. To be perfectly fair, and as a couple of others point out, it's useful if you live in a terraced house without a garden or a flat, where it can be quite an issue disposing of waste.

    @Jeremy Jacobs, even if global warming has been around for ever, I think we need to be a good deal more careful with our environment. Apart from the recycling issue, landfill in this country is a major problem, most especially if you find your local council proposing a site nearby.

    @Dragonstar, yes I think high-rise flats and anywhere you need to keep waste, especially smelly waste, to a minimum because of storage problems. Now that so many places are collecting rubbish only fortnightly, there is more of a reason.

    @Beetle, of course, they ARE green, I'd forgotten:)

    @janeway, hi, same here - no garden, no perfectly manicured hands! I can't decide whether it's better to put the waste in the sewage or in landfill. I suspect waste going to landfill is almost always wrapped in plastic, so unlikely to decompose properly.

    As an aside, I think it was our local council who decided to try selling the properly sterilised waste from the sewage plant as compost for the garden. Strangely, nobody bought it.

  9. If you don't have much space, there's always bokashi composting.


Forethoughts, afterthoughts, any thoughts. Tell me.


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