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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Dump Your Own Trash

Last month, my garbage bill got hiked again! $91.60/3 months from $73.80. This is the third straight bill where it went up in cost. So I canceled my service; I will take it myself. You do need a truck a van with removable seats or access to one to make this worthwhile.

One, I will save money, and two, it will force me to recycle which I have been too lazy to do when it was easier just to toss it.

Find your local dump if you have one. Mine's actually two towns over (You can call your county enviromental department if you don't know where yours is), find their hours and their minimum charge. My mother takes her trash in every 3-4 months to a transfer station and pays, oh, $10. My landfill's minimum charge is $50.33! I am unlikely to bring more than a ton of trash, so the minimum charge is likely what I will pay each time I go there. See how many miles it will take to get there and take into account the fuel efficiency of the vehicle you will be using. Gas will cost me about $4 to go there at the current price of gas anyway. So grand total of $54.33. I have to wait at least 8 weeks to break even and waiting longer to save more money. Plus, I don't know about you, but I often forgot to take trash out on the right day on time and then I just wasted about $8 of payment for the service.

Or of course, if you can get someone nearby of like-minded nature to join in with you who will produce as little trash in the same manner, you can cut that cost in half! I think a regular truckbed could handle 8 trash cans. Or find a friend who is keeping their trash service and ask if you can add to their pile and pay them a bit a month for the help they are giving you.

So, to make it 2 months +, I used the money that I had saved up for that hiked bill, to buy a few more garbage cans with nice locking lids. I now have 6; 4 tall ones for trash and 2 large long ones for sorting recycling. I only want to put in real stuff for the landfill, not the stuff I can get rid of or that will stink it up.

So, I found out what the recycling place will take and now keep out of the trash all of those items and sort them in bags and then place them into their own garbage can for taking to the recycling center. Wash/rinse and let dry food plastics and cans to keep them from smelling as they accumulate. I took my first set this time just to see how the recycling went, but I really didn't have enough to merit going once a month, so I will wait to take these for at least 2 months from now on.

I found where the household hazardous waste department was by calling my county Environmental Office and got the hours I can take my dead batteries, CFL lightbulbs, paint, etc. and they are accumulating in a box in the utility room.

I have a burn box for the paper products that recycling won't take -- here they won't take my food/cereal boxes. So when that gets full, I will burn it, of course, you can only do this if you have a decent sized yard and no rules against burning in your area. Otherwise you would have to throw it.

I have two compost ice cream buckets. One for the garden compost: veggies, coffee grounds, grains, fruits etc. that will be ok for gardening. The second for "bad" compost: dairy, meat, bones, grease. The garden compost is above ground to compost and turn, the bad compost has three options, when my hubby gets around to installing the garbage disposal everything but the bones will go there. But for now, they are thrown on the ground separately from my compost or if you are worried about it being messed with you can dig a small hole in the ground which you can periodically bury -- I have very little of this kind of trash. The "bad compost" will degrade, it just isn't good for the garden unless you are diligent at watching the temperature and turning it so that you are assured it composts, I'm too lazy, so I don't want to mix it to be on the safe side. If you don't have a garden, you could compost it all together if you just wanted to throw out the food. I don't want to put the bad compost material in my garbage cans because they have to be there at least 8 weeks and I don't want it to stink!

In the other rooms of the house that collect trash, I do now have two little wastebaskets, one for actual trash and the other for recycleable/burnables to sort out later when full to the appropriate places.

I cloth diaper so all that stinkiness is gone to the septic. So all that really goes in the trash now is unrecycleable plastics and metal things unworthy of going to the scrap metal place and other such things. Where I was filling a kitchen wastebasket worth of stuff about 2-3 times a week, I am now only taking actual trash out less than once a week to their new home in the garbage cans and I am sure I have room for improvement. I am on week 7 and have almost filled 2 large trash cans - I will go when I fill all four, but I am already only one week away to being cheaper than the garbage service. Going at this rate I will have to take trash in at probably 15 weeks. That's a savings of $3.43/week or 15 week savings of $51.45 and less clogging of the landfills by yours truly.

UPDATE: A friend of mine lets me bring my few bags of trash with me when I visit her, she isn't interested in giving up trash service and just enjoys my visits as "payment." SCORE! No paying for trash anymore!


Mommy Managing said...

Our county won't let you get your car tag if you're not registered with waste management! Feels like tyranny...

Michelle said...

Wow, and I was complainng when ours went up from .50/bag to .75/bag. Of course that was when gas was $4/gal and I had to carry ours off every few days. We now have pick-up for less than $30/month. But no recyling.

Susan said...

I saw your post on the Blogger help page about the font size. That happened on my blog, too. Were you able to figure anything out? It's really irritating!

Melissa Jagears said...


Yes, the comment the guy made that you didn't understand did tell me what was wrong, but I couldn't quite decipher what he said either. What I got was, "You copy and pasted something from your spreadsheet (I use Open Office) and the code that comes when you do that messes up blogger.

So,you can either write in your own HTML, which was more work then I wanted to do, or somehow not copy and paste that info. Since mine was a chart, I couldn't just write it in there. So I chose to put that information on a separate web page by using Google Docs spreadsheet and making it Export to an individual page. That means you have to click a link to see it which is annoying, but I don't have time to mess with code.

In response to his info that copy and pasting messes up blogger, I just made a future post that I copied and pasted from my Open Office Writer (aka Microsoft Word)and since it is just text it is easier to fix. After pasting it, I clicked in Edit HTML and found all the gobbledygook garbage that Open Office threw in before and after my writing and erased it.

Once I got rid of the copy and pasting stuff it did indeed fix my blog and now the preview window works again.

So most likely you copy and pasted something from another application into your posts and once you published it, it messed up blogger. So if you can delete it and type it in by hand or somehow link it off site your problem should be fixed.

I hope that helped feel free to email me directly if you have another question on it.

Tina said...

We recycle, so only have enough trash for maybe one small bag a week. Our trash is over $100 for three months. We cancelled our trash service and decided to dump our own, only to discover that our local landfill has a minimum trash requirement of 8 cubic feet! That won't fit in our minivan! We found another trash service that lets us pay on a monthly basis, and we can cancel whenever we wish. So, we pay for trash service for a couple of months, cancel for a couple of months to let it build up again, and pay for a couple of months again.