email: cavebear2118 AT verizon DOT com

Monday, February 17, 2014

All That Trash

Re-reading the Wednesday post about the tubs of used kitty litter and bags of trash, I thought I should explain a bit.

I don't pay for weekly trash pickup service because I have so little.  I used to pay $40/month for weekly trash pickup, but since I only accumulated enough to bother putting it out once a month, they tended to forget I was on their pickup route.  THEY said to just put out my little one bag each week and the driver would remember I was a customer.  Still, that was only a 5 gallon bucket per week, and seemed not worth it.

I have so little "regular" trash other than the used kitty litter.  50% of my "trash" is recyclable.  Another 20% is "film plastic" (shopping bags and shrink wrap) which my grocery store recycles to make new bags.  Most of the rest is compostable (almost nothing goes down my garage "dispose-all").  The remainder is styrofoam that nobody will accept, and that gets collected in bags in the garage for months.

That leaves the used kitty litter.  I keep a half-gallon lidded plastic container lined with a plastic shopping bag near the litter boxes and scoop everything in there.  When filled, I tie the bag up tight and set it into one of the tubs the litter comes in.  So I have a tied bag, in a tub with a tight lid, in the garage.  You can't tell its there even after several months.  And just to be a "little" more environmentally friendly, I'm looking for small biodegradable bags to use for the litter.

The landfill charges a flat rate of $5 for all "household trash" you can fit in your car.  You can pay by weight, too (they weigh the whole car going in and then leaving and charge you by the loss in weight), but I found that after 143 pounds, flat rate is cheaper.  I usually accumulate about 300-400 pounds in used kitty litter every 4-5 months, plus about 4 large bags of styrofoam and other odd stuff I can't recycle.

So basically, I got rid of 500 pounds of trash for $5 (plus gas) by driving 10 miles to the landfill, instead of paying $160-200 for weekly trash pickup I seldom used and got skipped over most of the time.


Andrea and the Celestial Kitties said...

300 to 400 pounds... Pardon my language, but it has to be said, just has to!
That's a lot of shit! LOL

Megan said...

The system where I live is very different Mark. Paying for garbage collection is not optional. The cost is included in local council rates. We get 120 litre wheelie bins. Standard 'garbage' is collected weekly and recyclabe papers, containers and vegetation (in 240 litre bins) is collected fortnightly.
Hauling non-recyclable stuff to our local waste disposal is VERY expensive - deliberately so to persuade people to think carefully about tossing stuff into landfill.
We compost and actively participate in paper and container (glass, metal, plastic) recycling so we usually only have one small bag of 'garbage' in our bin each week. We don't have three cats, of course, so used kitty litter would be in addition to that.

Sydney, Australia

Katie Isabella said...

Whoa nelly, you have the perfect system worked out. I am envious. I live in a town so they come by and get stuff once a week. Recyle bin as well. Single stream recycle.