Talking Trash

Large families can generate a lot of trash.  More people naturally leads to more trash; however, there are some things our family does to keep our trash at a minimum, and make the trash we do generate more manageable.

1. Recycle. If you can reuse it, do so.  If you have a recycling program in your city, sign up.  If there is a place you can haul recyclable things to, do it.  This alone will reduce your trash load threefold.  We’ve been blessed to have a recycling program in our city that includes everything from paperboard to glass to all plastics and paper.  There’s not a whole lot left after that!

2. Compost what you can. Even if you don’t have a garden, try your hand at composting.  Don’t try to be perfect at it, but do try it.  You can eventually use it for everything from potting plants to using in your own garden to selling to other gardeners.  If the whole experiment fails, it isn’t really a failure because dirt is dirt and be spread anywhere!

3. Do not buy trash cans with lids. Children have an aversion to opening lids, so trash will end up everywhere but IN the trash can.  Save yourself the headache.

4. Buy drawstring trash bags. These do tend to be a bit more expensive, but end up being a very wise use of a few pennies more when it comes to households with children.  Using the drawstrings to pull an overflowing bag of trash out of the trashcan,and then not having to maneuver the mess to add a twist tie or tie the flaps is priceless!

5. Keep several trash bags in the bottom of the trash can. This was a trick I learned from my days of working at a little greasy spoon restaurant.  If you keep several trash bags in the bottom of the can, you can very quickly pull the used bag out and replace it.  No more empty trash can sitting around for hours because no one seems to get around to putting a new bag in it!

So, how do you keep trash manageable in your home?  Who’s in charge of taking the trash out?  Have you ever sent your child out in pajamas to haul the overflowing outside garbage can to the curb because you heard the garbage truck pulling up in your neighborhood? *blush*

This post is linked to:
Works For Me Wednesday

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15 thoughts on “Talking Trash

  1. My kids actually get a kick out of our lidded trash cans. I cannot keep my son OUT of the trash. I call him my little dumpster diver because he’s always in the trash. He’s almost 2. My daughter is almost 4 and had learned how to operate the foot pedal to open the trash lid and it’s pretty much the funnest thing ever for her to throw away everyone’s trash. I suppose they will grow out of it, but for now they are toddlers and a lidded trash can is just that much jucier to a toddler… or at least to MY toddlers! LOL!

    • Oh and I don’t have to put a new trash bag in when I take it out either because my daughter thinks she’s hot stuff if I “let” her put the new bag in the can. Toddlers are so much fun, aren’t they? :D

  2. Since Britian is quite a small island with ALOT of people living on it we now have mandatory (free) recycling with our trash collection! We will actually get fined if we try to throw away things that are supposed to be recycled!!! I had a compost bin for years but it got left at our old home when we moved. :o( I just got one again and we are going to set it up this week. I’m so excited! I love composting!!! (how sad am I?) It is just great to see stuff you would throw away turned into wonderful soil for growing things – all for free!!!

  3. Great tips! The only thing we haven’t tried is composting. We do use recyclable trash bags that break down faster than regular ones even though they are thinner than regular ones. We haven’t had any major problems with them though. :D

    Have a great day!
    Sherry

  4. a lot of our lifestyle already leads to less trash in general- cloth diapes, napkins, wipes and floursack towels to reduce paper ones.

    buying foods in bulk and not buying a lot of boxed processed food to begin with help cut the trash.

    but yes, even if you only recyle tin cans and milk jugs (instead of *everything*) a little is better than nothing!

  5. My 11 yo son burns anything that can be burned (don’t have to buy a shredder). He also takes out the garbage. My 9 yo son joins him on garbage day to haul cans to the end of the driveway. Everyone lines up at the window and yells “Thank you, garbage men!” when they come by. We recycle aluminum cans, but have to take them 20 miles away (but we get money for them).

  6. Awesome info. I only have TWO babies and the trash we have is RIDICULOUS! We just started recycling…right now I’m using cardboard boxes to throw some stuff in but need a better storage/organized idea. Any sites or suggestions?

    • My recycling company gave me one tub and then I went to WalMart and purchased 3 more of about the same size (they are fairly cheap). They all sit in the garage by the door. I also keep a cardboard box in my kitchen that everything goes in prior to going to the garage to be sorted.

  7. We learned that if we don’t take out the trash until the collection day, we make less trash. Having to cope with it being in the house with us is a big incentive to reduce it!

    Michelle: Look for bins that stack, if you have the vertical space for them. Consider putting different categories of recycling in different parts of your house, where you’re discarding the most of the stuff–for example, we have the can/bottle and cardboard recycling bins in the kitchen but the paper recycling bins under our desks.

  8. I actually LOVE my lidded trashcans in the kitchen because I have multiple little ones and it helps keep their hands out. My kids do run outside hauling the trashcan in the mornings though!

  9. I just found your blog and I’m totally loving it, thanks! A few years ago I found a blog called Zero Waste Home. I got behind the idea as much as possible. The basic principle is that whatever comes into your home will eventually need dealt with. Stick a big REFUSE in front of the typical three R’s and get in the habit of it. Think of all the junk we allow into our homes when really we could just refuse it. Junk mail, birthday party treat bags, free bottled water that you really don’t need, hand me downs you won’t use. I’ve gotten lazy again in the last year and dont buy from the bulk bins with cloth bags and all that other fun stuff. Now my husband spends an hour here and there sorting our garbage/recycling/giveaways! Sad but true. Sorting garbage when we could be hiking, gardening, swimming. Training our children to be responsible with stuff is important and they learn by watching us don’t they. Anyhoo, there’s my rant mostly for my own benefit but thanks for listening.