Monday, October 13, 2008

Garbage

Our garbage is picked up early friday mornings. Early enough that if we don't put it out the night before, we're not going to get it out in time.

We've missed the last two weeks, and I was a little worried about how overflowing it surely must be by now, but when I took the kitchen garbage out, the big can wasn't even half full yet.

I bet if we really tried, we could cut our garbage down another 50% by being more careful about making sure recyclable things go in the recycling can and compostable things go in the compost bin.

If it wasn't so impractical, I'd wish that we were charged for how much garbage we generated rather than just a flat rate. Well, I wish it anyway, but recognize it would be difficult to track how much garbage each household produced.

Which of course brings up another point- as my neighbor likes to say, the burn plant ought to be paying us to take our garbage. They sell the energy generated from burning the garbage to HAFB, and then they run a giant magnet over the ashes and pull out all the metal, which they are able to sell.

I'm not fond of the burn plant, so this just adds to my irritation with it generally.

8 comments:

Charlotte said...

In Europe they charge you like 3 bucks to buy a single garbage bag and recycling is HUGE and everyone is required to do it. Strangely the households there that I visited produced substantially less garbage than the standard American home! I think you are right in that we could all try harder...

Salt H2O said...

Wait, what recycling bin? My recycling center in Bountiful shut down and I've been going nuts!

They say they're going to start the recycling program in Bountiful in December- but I want it now! It's against my nature to put cardboard in the the trash can.

Allie said...

Our city (our mayor-who is great it many ways, this is just not one of them) thinks that the burn plant is even better than recycling, so we won't be getting city wide recycling any time soon.

We've signed up with Mountain West Recycling. 801-627-3056

It's $10/month and they come twice a month to pick up.

I'm hoping that losing all of their bountiful customers doesn't hurt them too much.

They don't take glass though- and without the bountiful bins, I don't know where to take the glass. Will your city recycling take glass?

Allie said...

Oh- and cardboard breaks down pretty fast in the compost. You can tear it into strips, or you can get your husband to bury it under a thin layer of dirt or lots of grass clippings in the garden.

bekkieann said...

I wonder why surrounding cities couldn't easily piggyback on the Bountiful recycling program. Everyone would benefit from the economies of scale. Thanks for the tip for Mountain West Recycling. I don't share your opinion of our mayor as she is the city official (as a city councilwoman) who was most responsible for our city getting a medical waste burn plant. That's a black mark I just can't forgive.

Allie said...

I don't love the medical incinerator, and it bothers me that Mayor Shaefermeyer would have been so supportive of it- but I guess since it was here before I was, I don't have quite the same distaste for her because of it. I can certainly understand where that comes from though.

I just have worked with her in through things I've done with the youth in the city, and have appreciated her dedication to those projects.

Sarah said...

We often put out our less-than-half full trash can on the curb. That is the joy of recycling. When I drive by my neighbors, I have to NOT be judgmental because they so easily could recycle some of those big things: cardboard boxes, etc.

I'm proud to be a recycler! Next year it's on to composting! ;o)

The Muehli's said...

As Charlotte mentioned, recycling is required here in Germany...with 5 different trash cans/bags. A bit intense at first but I do feel so much better knowing that I'm recycling most of our waste.

They pick up regular trash every 2 weeks and there are barcodes on the trash cans (which you can only get from the trash company because they are special cans that are picked up via an arm on the trash trucks) and everything is scanned and weighed right there...so you literally pay for the trash you throw away. Then there is a special paper trash can (a flat rate charge), a garden trash can (not weighed but they only pick this up a few times a year and will also take things you bundle off the street or put in composting sacks), compost trash (scanned & weighed) and yellow sacks which contain all sorts of plastics and packaging. The sacks are free at the local city hall.

We've recently noticed that we barely fill our regular trash can most of the time...and have tons of packaging and paper trash - which is great because it's being recycled and not just ending up in a landfill.