Just cut garbage service to every other week

jrdwyerMarch 13, 2007

Our family recycles a huge amount of plastic containers, aluminum cans, steel cans, cardboard, paper, and glass. We use stackable plastic bins and a big cardboard box for all the stuff and store it in the garage. We take it to a collection center every 4 months or so while we are out. It's something we enjoy doing.

Because we recycle so much, there isn't a lot of trash in the bin every week. The private garbage hauling rates have been going up 10%-15% every year for the last 3 or 4. It was up to $15/month and so we cut it back to every other week at $11.25/month (80 gallons).

I would rather have gone halves with one of my neighbors, but no one else recycles and so they need all the bin space they can get.

When I use to work for the state, a co-worker and other state workers would sneak garbage into the state dumpster once a week to avoid the charge. To keep the harmony, I never turned anyone in. I don't think they ever got caught. I did give my co-worker some grief about it though.

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Not an option here...
We pay by the quarter only. If we put nothing up one week, there is no discount. But at around $40 per quarter (and that includes recycling curb-side pickup), the expense doesn't break the bank!

BTW - - in my area, putting your garbage into someone else's bin is 'theft of services' and punishable by fines/jail time.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 7:37PM
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It's not an option here either.
It's kind of strange how it works here. You can select the trash company of your choice. Some come on different days but all come only once a week. It's about $40 per quarter but it creeps up about $1 every bill until you call them and threaten to switch then it creeps in the opposite direction at least temporarily.
I like this competition because it keeps the rates low however I really much prefer twice weekly pickups that I got from the one and only waste contractor my last town had. I think it was about the same $ although twice weekly pickups and they pretty much had to take anything you left out there. They'd send a separate truck for yard waste and things like mattresses. You can't leave a stack of tires or stuff like that.
Cutting back to twice a month is a novel idea though even if there was no savings to us. I wish there was some easy and safe way to burn the food and pet waste so that the garbage didn't get so smelly in the interim.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 9:41PM
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We buy stickers to put on garbage bags at 10 for $17.50.

Pick-up every Wednesday.

Blue box for paper, bottles, cans (including pop cans - but I sell them to scrap dealer).

Rules say that we are not supposed to pick other folks' garbage items, but many do it, without major publicized penalty.

It seems to me to make lot of sense - for it reduces the amount of goods going to landfill.

And I have one of them within 2 miles of my house that was given a licence to almost double their capacity a while ago - and recently bought by a major city, over 100 miles away, with over 100 trucks to be travelling that distance daily, in a couple of years when the border is closed to it.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 5:35AM
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Interesting about the 'theft of services'. That is definitely what my former co-worker was doing.

Almost everyone in our neighborhood uses their own bins for the private haulers. Also, there was no written contract when we signed up for trash service so I don't know the fine print. I do know that each household is limited to so many gallons per week/two weeks and 80 gallons per week seems like a LOT OF TRASH!

I was thinking more on the lines of taking my bins across the street or next door if I had a neighbor who was receptive to the idea. As long as we stayed under the limit, I don't know what the problem would be. The trash hauler wouldn't like the reduced revenue, but in today's world of stagnating or reduced real incomes, we must do things more efficiently while also minimizing our impact on this planet.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 12:38PM
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We have a monopoly with trash. Not only can we not reduce the amount of pick-ups, we have to pay for trash service even if we never used it. Really a trash tax. Our city is very young and to get services started, everyone needed to participate. More choice in the outer edges, but it is still a flat quarterly fee for a specific amount of bags.

And people who fill dumpsters with their trash deserve a special spot in hell. I guess they don't bother to think that someone is paying to get that dumpster emptied. Having owned apartment buildings where we had to empty the dumpsters so the paying residents could use it when the freeloaders filled it, I just think they are scum!


    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 1:04AM
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I recycle heavily, so I only need to put the trash out every other week. Half of that is dog poo. The only time I need to put out more trash is when I'm on a reno project.

When I walk my dogs on trash day, I'm shocked at the amount of recyclables that I see in others trash. I was thinking of sending out a mailer to people one street at a time, but then figured it wouldn't help any.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 9:35AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

hmm...seems like I maybe have the best/cheapest set-up. Bags are bought for $1 a bag, and then they can be gotten rid of for free. The only bad thing is that it is on Tues 3-7PM in my area...about 4 miles away. I general have a bag once every 2 months (sometime sooner or later), and can take most of my recycles there too....must haul scrap metal, oil, and a few other things to other drop off points.

When the 1$ a bag was first implemented, all the locals screamed. I imagine they have either reduced, or gotten used to it by now. I thought it was a good idea from the very beginning...those who have a lot of trash (because they don't/wont recycle,) 'should' be paying to get rid of it.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 11:10AM
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That does sound like the best setup to reduce the amount of waste going to the landfill and help many citizens lower the cost of waste disposal. I wish we had it here. Our bill would drop to $5/month.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 11:58AM
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Posted by quirkyquercus: I wish there was some easy and safe way to burn the food and pet waste so that the garbage didn't get so smelly in the interim.

Well then you would have to put up with the stench and pollution when you burn it. Most of the homes in my area were built with home incinerators in their basements or out in the yards. They are now illegal to use. Where I live it is illegal to burn leaves too.

It is easy to separate and recycle glass, metal, most plastics, and paper.

Food and pet waste can be composted. Check into getting a *Green Cone* for your yard. Or a hand cranked composting drum. Or just build bins.

The problems come in with trying to dispose of ceramic containers, HD plastics, toxic items, and multi material items - things that cannot be recycled.

There is not a quick and easy answer, but if enough people contacted the maufacturers of consumer goods, and also their local and state government representatives, to request ecologically sound packaging, eventually the problem could be solved. It really could.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 10:58PM
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When I was a kid, if we wanted 24 bolts, they counted out that number from bulk bin, put them into a paper bag, we paid out money and carried the bag home..

Now, one must buy 4 packs made of cardboard and heavy plastic, each carrying 6 bolts.

Then send all 4 packages to the landfill ... about a mile and a half from my home.

So, for cooking and drinking - I haul jugs of water from the city.

Where it comes from a tap.

As does most of the bottled water, prior to a bit of filtering and addition of certain substances, that people buy, paying more than we pay for gas.

Yet - we complain about the price of gas ...

... but buy bottled water, without a whimper.

Hooman beans are logical??

Not so one would notice!

Have a great spring week.

ole joyful

P.S. Garbage pick-up every other week, now?

Did they drop off a few clothespins to every home when they implemented that rule, for each family member to install one on his/her nose?

o j

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 2:42AM
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When I was a kid, if we wanted 24 bolts, they counted out that number from bulk bin, put them into a paper bag, we paid out money and carried the bag home..

Now, one must buy 4 packs made of cardboard and heavy plastic, each carrying 6 bolts.

There still are plenty of hardware stores like that around, including the one I go to most often. But the big-box stores rarely do that. You have to stick with the Ace/TruValue/etc. types of stores.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 11:09AM
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We buy trash bags at $6 each from the town and take them to the transfer station, which is open 3 days a week. (Bigger bags than our bin go for $8, I think.) You can recycle as much as you want there for free so long as you are enrolled in the bag-buying program. I don't get mad about the $6 per bag so much as that they only take #1 and #2 plastic (the last place I lived took up to #6) and no styrofoam (which again I was used to in the last place), so I feel forced to recycle less than I want to.

My neighbors upstairs don't want the hassle of bringing things to the transfer station, so they hire a trash pick-up service and recycle nothing. However many bags per week they are contracted for, they make more trash than that. So they leave the bags on their deck (directly above ours), since again they can't be troubled to carry it to the trash cans in the basement. Then their trash rains maggots on us all summer and drips goo on us the other 3 seasons. So I really hate people who don't recycle! What world do they live in?

jrdwyer, does your town provide recycling services? How do you find a place that recycles things if not?


    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 11:17AM
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Collect some of the maggots.

Put them into a Ziploc bag.

Knock on their door, offering them to them saying that you think some of their pets went astray, had dropped down on to your balcony.

If they don't take action, I think that I'd warn them of my anticipated action first, and if no result, get the health dept. in, ask what those things are, where did they come from?

That should get some action.

Have a lovely, (unwanted) livestock-free week.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 2:56PM
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Are you kidding? I would have called the apartment manager, the health department and maybe the cops, when that nasty mess first started. Warning slobs like that gets you nothing in return.
Speaking of bin space stealers, we rented a dumpster which was parked facing our garage....we were cleaning it out. We got home from work a couple of days later and found it almost full of industrial type crap. Someone apparently driving by with a dump load decided to save money and had the nerve to come on my property and use the dumpster we paid for. Where do people get the gall?
Also one of my neighbors works for the county garage....he hasn't had a trash pick up at his curb for 30 years. I wonder what he does with his trash?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 4:47AM
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jane d,

I live in the county just outside of town, and our county provides recycling days 5 times per year at different locations. Unfortunately, they only take #1 and #2 plastics and it seems that many containers recently use other plastics (probably cheaper to buy).

The city has recycling built into the trash contract. All city residents get a recycling bin to put out every week with the garbage. They don't have any choice of trash haulers, just the one the city contracts with.

I am very curious about where all the recycled plastic is being used these days. I know our local grocery chain takes back plastic bags and the outside of the bin is labeled Trex (as in the decking). I would consider buying Trex when we redo our deck, but they have had their share of problems with the decking product as customers have shared on the decking forum.

It seems like a good business model to get 'free' or very inexpensive raw material to make a product.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 9:13AM
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Ahem. My DH points out to me that we pay $6 for a bag-of-5-bags, bringing the price-per-bag for trash back down to earth. Whoops.

In the meantime, I have found a **great** site that lets you search for the nearest facilities to you (U.S. or Canada) for recycling ALL KINDS of stuff. For instance, there's no longer a way to recycle styrofoam or packaging materials near me, but now I know 3 places to take it on the way to visit my sister. (She's gonna love that...) My mother the teacher has also suggested that the elementary school art classes would love a donation of clean stryrofoam trays to use as paint pallets. So hopefully that's useful info to some of you, too.

We just put an offer in on a house a few towns over, coincidentally in the recycling mecca of our area, and with no neighbors above. Please cross your fingers for me that it gets accepted so we can be out before maggot season starts up! (We have discussed this issue with them several times, but Joyfulguy's suggestion gets me thinking in new directions...)


Here is a link that might be useful: find recycling center for anything

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 9:52AM
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The possible new house would require a dumpster at first for some cleaning/rehab... Thanks to your suggestions, we will keep a pad-lock on the lid when we're not there! Thanks again!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 9:58AM
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I don't have an option regarding garbage collection. Our town provides garbage collection twice a week, and we pay through our town tax (over six thousand a year). But when we first lived here, there was private garbage pickup. We paid something like $40 every three months. My next door neighbor used to put his garbage cans in the back of his station wagon and drive to it the dump. My mother came to visit once and saw him loading up the garbage cans. She asked "What is he doing? Taking his garbage for a ride?" I explained he was saving some money.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 10:44AM
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I only put out a bag about once a month - or less often. Plus stuff for the recycle service.

No - much less often, for I've lived there for over two years and only put out about half a dozen bags. I pack 'em tightly ... they cost $1.75 tag each!

I compost most of the kitchen wet waste. The garden enjoys that.

Tread lightly on the earth, folks - don't damage it.

My Dad used to say that he wanted to leave his farm better than he found it, and I've heard brother say the same.

I try to help build a community which is better than I found it. Which includes my nation, other nations, and the world at large.

Our world's a pretty small canoe, folks ... if we stupidly tip it over ... we may all drown!

ole joyful

P.S. I live within 2 miles of Toronto's new garbage dump ... that cost them 220 million!

Recent increase in licence from 9 million to 17 million tons capacity.

o j

    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 3:56PM
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I think pay per bag is a great idea. It definitely get people thinking about how much garbage they produce and ways to reduce it.

We produce (with a family of 4) about 6 bags per month. So at $1.75/bag that would be $10.50. We could probably get it down to 4 bags through tighter packing and composting.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2007 at 12:54PM
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