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Friday, November 14, 2008

Saving on Trash

Has anyone ever considered how much trash they go through in a week? Do you have to pay for trash pick up per bag? Or do you have to take it off as we do? We were filling a 13 gallon trash bag full or more every day. That was two trips to the dump a week, because our bags were no longer fitting in the large trash can in the garage. How can a family of only four have this much waste, I asked myself. I started watching to see what was all being thrown away, and was amazed at the amount of recyclables that we were trashing. Yes, I believe in recycling, but they don’t offer pick up in our area, so I had never bothered with it, thinking our small amount wouldn’t matter much. I know, bad me. Our local drop off doesn’t offer a place for plastics, magazines, or tin cans, but they do offer cardboard, newspaper, and aluminum can drop off. I’ve started in small steps, and with just one thing, our bags per week went from 7-8, down to 4. I now break down my cardboard boxes (I couldn’t believe how many we went through a week, from cereal, Pop-Tarts, dinner boxes, etc.) and put them in a larger box that I keep in a cabinet. I also save our newspapers in a separate box. These I drop off every week when we take the trash. I save my magazines in another box and take these once a month to a recycling center, when I go visit my mom in the next town. We now make less trips to the dump, saving gas. I also only have to buy half as many trash bags as before. It’s a small thing, but can add up at the end of the month. My next goal is to start recycling my tin cans and plastic bottles, but I am still trying to figure this out since our space is limited.

Here is a list of Commonly Recycled Materials.

I would love to hear how and what you recycle, and if you have a system for separating, especially if you don’t have pick up service!


Leesie said...

We have pickup service living here in New York. We recycle practically everything and have for years. So glad to hear you are recycling more stuff now too! We are only a family of 3 and sometimes we only have one garbage bag a week. What I wish is were were less reliant on plastic - I shutter throwing away all the plastic bags and such that I have to from all the packaging. Good luck to you in getting your garbage down and recycling done. Last night I made $5.50 bringing back soda cans and bottles - although we have cut down a lot of the soda stuff.

Jami said...

Leesie, you've made up my mind for me. I'm going to start today, in saving out my plastics, too. Thanks for the inspiration!