Deanna Rogers and her two roommates have managed to reduce the garbage they produce in the course of a week to a single handful of rubbish.

The Simon Fraser University students have joined nine other households in Strathcona to cut down on garbage by adjusting their shopping habits and finding new ways to compost and recycle.

The Zero Waste Challenge, supported by Metro Vancouver regional authority, started on June 25.

“A lot of people feel like a deer in the headlights when (it comes to) issues of sustainability,” said Rogers. “This project is giving people the motivation … and means to reduce their garbage.”

Rogers said she was surprised how easy it was to cut down on her trash.

“Once you get into the habit of doing this, it just becomes the normal thing to do,” she said. It’s simple if you just get creative about it.”

Her household has set up community composts for organic waste, meat, dairy and cooked foods, and a recycling centre for plastics that aren’t accepted in the blue bin.

“Zero waste means different things for different people. Someone who is single (produces different waste) than a family.”

She said one family is down to garbage that consists only of diapers — when they aren’t using reusable diapers.

“That’s still pretty impressive,” she said.

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