Monday, September 17, 2012


Our new home is county instead of city so we aren't included in city trash pickup. Instead of paying for a private company to get our trash, we've opted to take our trash and recycling to the dump ourselves.

We live only about 5 minutes from the dump so this has worked out quite well so far. Admittedly, it does take a bit more effort to gather all the trash together to take somewhere than setting the can at the curb. 

A few ways we've reduced the trash and made things a bit easier:
  • Composting food scraps. I'd gotten out of the habit of consistently adding to our compost bin. Since moving, we've started this back up. I keep a bowl on the counter and then empty every day. Super easy. I'm also adding some to our garden plot to amend the soil. We have a septic system so no garbage disposal, so if not composting, these things would go right into the trash, not only creating more garbage but a lot more stink!
  • Recycling. The trash and recycling center provides a blue recycling bag. Almost all recyclables can go in this bag eliminating the need for sorting. They accept almost everything except for styrofoam. Recyclables in the trash can tend to fill it up very quickly so this keeps the actual garbage amount down.
  • Outside trash can. I keep a can outside for diapers and other smelly stuff. We normally only have one bag of household trash per week. I'd have to empty it more often if diapers were included so they get their own can plus it gets them out of the house! At the end of the day, I tie up the grocery bag of diapers we've accumulated and cart it outside.
  • Passing stuff on. Egg cartons go to the guy we've been buying eggs from. Another lady at the farmers market uses the plastic clamshell containers to package up her produce. I add those items to our market bag through the week and take it with us to disperse among the appropriate vendors. 
  • Reusing and repurposing. Individual applesauce containers make good little paint cups. There are oodles of uses for toilet paper rolls and cardboard. Glass jars can be reused. So I keep some. Not all. If I kept everything hoping to find a use for it one day, we'd be buried in a sea of recyclables. And we don't want that. I keep a few things if I have a specific use in mind and send the rest to recycling. Super simple.
  • Reducing the use of disposable items. Using plastic or glass containers instead of so many plastic bags, lidded bowls and pans instead of always having to cover with plastic wrap or foil, cloth napkins and rags instead of paper towels and napkins are some of the ways we reduce our trash. We don't do this perfectly by any means but the little things we are able to do add up to savings and less trash! 
By implementing these tips, we typically only have to make a trip to the dump every couple of weeks! 


Living on Less Money said...

Great ideas! I like your compost garbage can. I need to put holes in mine.. just haven't quite yet. :-)

Rhonda said...

good ideas. We compost but we still have so much trash- I blame it on all our guests though :)

we have a big bin that the city picks up once a week.
We also have a benefit than husband is allowed to put things in his works dumpster and we usually have to do that when our house has been especially busy.