As of this morning, we are no longer having our trash picked up at our home. For those of you who have never had trash pickup at their house, this is no big deal; you have been dragging your own trash to the landfill for years. For those of us who have had the luxury of having our trash picked up at the end of our driveways, this will be a big change. But there are several reasons why we are canceling our trash pickup, and the time has come for us to go it alone.
Waste Management has the contract for picking up the trash here in our town, and we pay $27 a month to have their giant polluting truck stop in front of our house and take our garbage away. Each month, we throw away a grand total of about 2-3 bags of trash, meaning that we pay somewhere around $12 per bag depending on the week. Once I realized how little trash we threw away and how much we were paying to do so, I called and canceled the pickup. For less than $.35, I can take my trash to the dump a little ways down the road myself. I already have to take my recycling to the recycling center (except for the plastic recyclables, of course), so throwing an extra bag in the car to bring to the landfill is not going to hurt me any. So reason number one for canceling pickup is to save $20+ every month.
Reason number two is to further reduce what goes out in the trash. As I have mentioned before, we do recycle as much as we can and we compost most of our food scraps, but I am sure that more stuff ends up in the trash than needs to. Sometimes you get lazy or forgetful and food and envelopes end up in the trash. But knowing that I pay for trash disposal by the pound now, I think it will force me to never be lazy or forgetful! We have to pay $.35 for every 20 lbs of trash, which gives me even more incentive to reduce what we throw away each week. I would like to get our trash down to two full bags a month, and I think I can do it.
The only thing that concerns me is my own emissions from taking the trash in my own car, but I figure as long as I combine that with any other errands I have to get done while I am out I will be fine. Honestly, I wish everyone would do it themselves in my town, because Waste Management here runs a fleet of filthy, polluting trucks that you cannot even drive behind without gagging. So much for the slogans on their website…
Having to add up your trash, lug it yourself, and pay by the pound sure gets you thinking about how much you contribute to the waste stream. Too often, I think people just fill up those big bins every week without realizing that their “stuff” as to go somewhere. As a study of our waste habits, I will start tracking how many pounds of trash we throw away each month, and see if I can get that number to go down month after month. Look for a follow-up post in a few months!
What about you? Do you have trash pickup or do you lug it yourself?
Copyright © 2002-2013. All rights reserved