Nowadays, whenever I see a hard number quoted in a govt or quango release I try to see whether it makes sense. This 800lbs per person makes my BS alarm go wild. We have three people chez Mosquito. Me, Mrs M and mosquito minor, who is 16. IF we were throwing away 800lb each per annum, that would be over a ton for three of us, meaning I put out fifty pounds of rubbish a week (yes, still weekly in S. Oxon) and I don't really think I do, more like 20lb. We compost some (the awful quango WRAP says this is wicked wasted food) and occasionally take larger items to the tip, but I can't see a ton in it. Is this in fact the total industrial and domestic waste of the country divided by the population? If so, when looking to reduce it it's daft to concentrate on what's in our bins.
Oh, and WRAP. They say 'we' throw away a third of our food. THIS number needs looking into. It whiffs too. Do they include peel and skins, outdated stuff chucked by supermarkets because of sell-by labels, friut and veg which aren't pretty enough to put on the shelf, what? Again, is this a national number being presented as just the ordinary family's fault? Any chance of something about that, Doctor N?
I wonder if they've taken the bulk figure for waste generation, neglecting the fact that domestic refuse accounts omly for ten percent of the total. It may be a repeat of the factoid on water consumption, when the average household use also takes account of industrial use. You are definitely right - it needs looking into!