Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Cut your garbage service bill in half

If you've been recycling, buying used (garage sale or thrift shop), composting, substituting more beans for meat and cutting back on your spending sprees, you've probably noticed that your trash can is never full at the end of the week.  We have cut back so much on the garbage that we generate, our can takes the entire month to fill up.  In our area, you can opt for once a month trash pick-up.  This saves us almost 50% on our garbage service.  We still get recycling anytime its offered to the regular customers.  And if we have a month when we need an extra can picked up, we can do that for a fee.  But we've never needed to use that option.  Once a month service works for us.

Now you're wondering, "all that garbage sitting around for a month, does it stink?"  In the warmer months, when you take the lid off the can, yes you can smell it.  But as long as the lid is securely on the can, no smell.  We eat very little meat and we compost kitchen scraps, so there's little to create those malodors.  Here's a tip for you that works whether you have weekly, bi-monthly or monthly service, during the warmer months of summer I keep a plastic shopping bag in the bottom bin of our extra freezer in the garage.  I put bones, meat scraps and meat related packaging in this bag.  Just before garbage day this bag goes into the garbage can.  No odors.

Second question, "what about animals, don't they get into the bin?"  We keep our trash can in the garage. If we were to keep it outside, and we had critters scavenging, then yes, that could be a problem.  But then, it would be a problem with once a week pickup as well.

"Isn't this unsanitary?"  Like I said, we don't have much that carries bacteria in our garbage.  It's mostly things that are neither compostable nor recyclable, like plastic wrap from packaging, and lids, containers and wrappers that can't be recycled.

If this still seems just too gross to believe, I've heard that the city of Seattle is considering reducing trash pickup to twice a month.  Will that be too gross for you, to have your garbage sitting around for an extra week?  It seems to be the trend for large cities, scaling back on garbage pickups, encouraging composting and mandating recycling.  Just think how much quieter our streets will be, if trucks only come through the neighborhood once or twice a month.  Think how much cleaner our streets and sidewalks will be if garbage only has the potential to be scattered (at morning pickup or by animals knocking over cans in the night) once or twice a month, .  Think how much extra $$ will be in your bank account if you don't have to spend as much on garbage removal.  And think how much simpler your routine will be when you don't have to haul the can(s) out to the curb every week.

If reducing your service interests you, give your garbage service billing office a call and inquire about your options.

*note* this is definitely a YMMV sort of thing. The price scale for garbage collection services is negotiated between the collection service and your city or county.

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