Are you up for my rubbish challenge?

Anti waste campaigner Karen Cannard ANL-160802-155829009
Anti waste campaigner Karen Cannard ANL-160802-155829009

Do you still suffer from the battle of the bulge? Bulging bin bags that is. If so, then you’re perfect for the challenge I’ve got coming up in 2017 and the more stuffed your black bin is right now, the better it will be for this particular rubbish opportunity.

I’m looking for four households in Bury St Edmunds to go head-to-head in a special mission to tackle their rubbish to see who can create the least amount of trash in their black bin.

You don’t need any special skills and you don’t even need to know anything about recycling. All you really need for this particular challenge is a black wheelie bin that is regularly stuffed to the brim, a honest disposition and a sense of fun. Actually, a sense of fun will probably be your secret weapon. Being up for a laugh and a willingness to try out some new ideas for 2017 will give you the best start to this crazy challenge.

You’ll even get your own rubbish mentor. Yes, I’ll be on hand to answer all your rubbish questions, from what to do with your loved ones’ old pants to what can really be done with that dodgy old loo seat. Curiosity will definitely be your best friend for a challenge like this. The more questions you ask about your rubbish, the easier it will be to beat the opposition.

Perhaps you’ll want to tackle the challenge on your own, or you could even get a bunch of friends behind you, especially mates or relatives who are creative cooks, smart shoppers or know the way to the recycling centre. Think of them as your Rubbish SOS team. As long as you don’t just hide your rubbish in their bin, get them on board. The more the merrier.

Perhaps you could even go head-to-head with your best mate, your neighbour or a competitive colleague at work. We can also make that work.

Up for it? Brilliant! So what should you do next?

It’s totally simple. Just drop me an email at Karen@therubbishdiet.org.uk by Friday 6th January to confirm that you’re up for a rubbish laugh. Remember to include your contact details, where you are based and the number of people in your household. I’ll then let you know what you need to do next.

Whatever you do, don’t try to change your rubbish ways until your rubbish challenge starts. Doing some research and gathering ideas is totally fine but don’t be tempted to tackle your bin until we’re ready to get cracking.

Just be ready for a month of puns and unexpected opportunities.

If that’s not an unusual start to 2017, then I don’t know what is. There’s nowt like kicking off the new year with rubbish plans that have bags of potential. Your life will probably never be the same again.

So all that’s left for me to do is to wish readers a very happy new year and a 2017 full of good health, peace and prosperity… and a lighter approach to the weighty subject of rubbish.

Here’s hoping for a lighter and brighter new year.

--- As well as a regular columnist, Karen Cannard is The Rubbish Diet’s award-winning Bin Doctor and a frequent contributor to BBC Radio Suffolk and national radio on all sorts of rubbish. She has also appeared on C4’s Dispatches, ITV’s Tonight and The One Show and has worked with Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s team as an adviser to his BBC series, Hugh’s War on Waste, gaining a reputation over the years for an entertaining approach to bins.