Trash Talk: What do you throw out?
|Our neighbors seem to throw out more trash than us.|
Today we're going to talk trash. I was grumbling the other day about how much garbage we toss every week.
I just don't see how we can accumulate three bags (standard 13 gallon kitchen bags) of garbage a week. I'm generally pretty good about recycling and composting, so what exactly is in my trash?
Greg broke it down for me one day when he bundled up the last bag. The bulk of our trash contained:
• 1 large plastic orange juice container
• 2 liter Coke bottle empties (I'm a soft drink junkie--don't judge me.)
• Plastic wrappers/boxes from fruit and veggies
• A wine bottle
• A couple of tin cans from tomato sauce and beans
• Empty glass/plastic containers from mayonnaise, ketchup, and soy sauce. (It was actually a field day for containers because it happened to be the day I used up several condiments.)
• Dog waste (once a week)
We don't live in an area that picks up recycled materials, and there are only so many glass jars and plastic containers I can use at home. We do try to recycle things like peanut jars and mini jars because they come in useful for a large variety of things.
Greg keeps all aluminum cans. He claims he's going to build a forge and wants to use the aluminum in his metalworking. They're not in the house, so that's all I care about.
I used to keep the two liter soda empties to hold beans and rice, but I have all I need now. Butter and whipped cream tubs are handy for small batches of broth. All organic matter goes straight to the compost bins. Other things like boxes, cardboard, and paper are burned whenever we burn brush several times a year.
Dog waste is the only organic compound we don't compost. One reason is because they are meat eaters and I don't want to introduce a different set of bacteria into our compost. It's probably safe, but since I use the compost for food crops, I'd rather not take the chance.
So how about you? Do you think our trash is normal for our society? What kind of things do you throw out regularly? Does your community offer recycling?
Update: We're getting better. In 2019 and 2020, we're down to two bags a week.
I think if you could recycle you'd drop two bags. I find it strange that your district doesn't have a pickup. Even here we have it in the rural areas at least every other week. You
We used to throw fish carcasses into the woods for the mama raccoon, but those were attracting vultures. Sometimes we'll put unwanted fruit out for the deer - bruised apples, grapes, carrots. Not totally sure if the deer are eating that or some other critter.
If I don't want it, but it's still good - old clothes, etc. - I donate it to the thrift store.
We still have about 3 bags a week for two people.
Even if there's no recycle pick-up, is there a drop off somewhere? I know it may not be feasible every week, but maybe once a month or every other month to at least cut back on some of what's going to the landfill?
Our city does recycling, but they don't take toxic/chemical things with the pick-up. I did, however, recently find out that our MET recycle drop-offs will take vehicle oil and a few other toxic waste items!
You could start making your own mayonnaise and cut back on the jars you're purchasing, too, since you'd be reusing containers.
That said, I'm not as good about recycling as I should be considering I just have to dump things in a separate bin right outside my door. And we still have 2-3 bags of waste (though one of those is JUST cat litter) each week, and far too much of that ends up being paper waste. I really need an extra recycle bin to go in the office.
I think we just don't realize the conveniences we take advantage of until we see them stacked up in the trash.
I'm focused on not buying new things whenever possible. When one of my old serving bowls finally cracked in half last week I went to Goodwill to buy a replacement. The bowl I found there was cheaper than buying new, looks perfect, and blends right in with my hodgepodge collection of dishes. :)
I've got everyone thinking about how to recycle now. My guy makes our own firewood with tree trimmings that he seasons over the summer. My daughter just clean out her wardrobe and took a big bag of her old clothing over to Goodwill. I'm donating an old computer to the local high school. You just have to get creative with what you don't want to use.
We kind of made up for it when we started downsizing and three a lot out. Most got picked up before the trash people arrived, but for once I got my money's worth.
Re: Goodwill: Absolutely. One of the reasons we enjoy garage saling is because we find high dollar pieces for dirt cheap, even cheaper than Goodwill. We just picked up two gorgeous arm chairs for the dining table worth $$$ for a few dollars.
Ahem. Rant over.
Like Lynn, we try not to buy 'new' stuff, but with food you're kind of stuck with whatever they decide. I miss the old days when they'd wrap stuff up in brown paper or just stick all your items in a paper bag that you can, of course, reuse.