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My Norwich

Slim your bin challenge

Published on Thursday, 28th January 2016

A novel slimming club which aims to help you slim your bin rather than your waistline is inviting Norwich households to join a special challenge this February.

The Rubbish Diet is a programme co-founded by inspirational recycling expert Karen Cannard and it is coming to our city as part of the council’s One Planet Norwich Sustainable Living Festival.

Karen, who has appeared on television and radio and run ‘slim your bin’ challenges across the country, was an advisor to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s latest primetime BBC series Hugh’s War on Waste.

She is calling for as many people as possible to sign up to her three-week Rubbish Diet programme and have a go at improving their recycling throughout February ahead of a free talk she is giving at our festival.
Karen said: “The Rubbish Diet has helped thousands of people make a difference at home and I’m delighted to bring it to life in Norwich.
"I’d encourage you to sign up via our website, have a go at the diet and then come along to One Planet Norwich and share your stories and questions.
"I’m looking forward to passing on a few insider tips and sharing some of my confessions too.” 

Norwich City Council is looking for two households who are currently struggling with their waste and recycling to contact us and be special case studies for The Rubbish Diet. The two chosen households will get a special thank you from us for their efforts with a £50 voucher each to spend at Jarrold's.

Cllr Bert Bremner, cabinet member for waste strategy, said: “It’s really exciting to have The Rubbish Diet as part of our sustainable living festival.
“I think the challenge sounds like great fun for those households struggling to get their heads around recycling.
“It’s a great opportunity to get involved and take advantage of all the support, ideas and shared experiences of Karen’s programme.”

The Rubbish Diet is an online programme. Participants register for free and are then supported to find easy changes that work for them, with emails packed with top tips, advice and problem-solving ideas. It aims to help people do their bit for the environment, while saving cash, recycling more, shopping more wisely, and making the most of their food.

To date the challenge has a great track record. It has helped save 600,000 wheelie bins of waste from landfill and put a total of £236,000 back into the pockets of those undertaking the challenge.

The Rubbish Diet builds on Karen's personal experience of slimming her family's wheelie bin down to just a couple of small bags of rubbish a month. Her story has been shared on BBC Radio Four’s Woman’s Hour, BBC One’s The One Show and Channel 4’s Dispatches.

Householders who sign up and take the challenge can come along to the One Planet Norwich Sustainable Living Festival on the Saturday (12 March) and hear Karen talk and will have an opportunity to feed back to her about their experiences. Her talk starts at 1.30pm.

The festival is a free two-day event at The Forum encompassing a wide range of stalls and stands, children’s activities, hands-on experiments, and more from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 March. .

To sign up to The Rubbish Diet and find out more about it visit

To find out more about becoming a case study for The Rubbish Diet contact the city council's environmental strategy team on 01603 212545.

Look out for Karen’s latest programme, ITV Tonight’s Waste Wars, for which she was interviewed in her role as The Rubbish Diet’s ‘bin doctor’. It is due to be aired in the coming weeks.

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