OK, I'm not a family of four, so I probably create a lot less rubbish anyway but I follow the Reduce Reuse Recycle philosphy.
- Reduce - the packaging you buy in the first place. Buy produce loose. Don't buy processed food which relies on packaging. Buy packaging that CAN be recycled. Build a compost heap.
- Reuse - carrier bags, cartons, jars, paper.
- Recycle - glass, paper, plastic, cardboard, clothes etc. Recycle unwanted goods to charities, car-boots etc. Sign up with the Mailing Preference Service (in the UK) to reduce junk mail.
I don't eat a lot of pre-packaged food, that reduces the waste. I have kerbside collection so that deals with all my glass, paper, plastic and tin cans. There's a cardboard recycling point just down the road and I have two large compost bins in which I place all the kitchen vegetable waste from my regular juicing. Even the pulp from that gets recycled into soup - at least at this time of year.
Think about what you buy and think about what you throw away. It's just shear wastefulness in most cases.
Take some action and reduce your own waste. You'll improve your wallet too!