One other way to “halve it all” is to reduce the amount of garbage we generate. Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) is more commonly known as garbage or trash. This is the stuff and junk that ends up in our landfills. Or, in some areas, it’s incinerated.
My wife and I have been working to reduce our trash. Our garbage collection company gives us three cans, a 90 gallon recycle can, a 90 gallon yard debris can and a 32 gallon trash can. For quite a while, they would pick up the recycle and yard debris on alternating weeks and the garbage every week.
So we took on a personal challenge. How could we reduce our garbage that we generate? Some of the things we did I am blogging about. More will follow. We tend to like the challenge with a goal, so we started looking at several areas of our trash generation. Little did we know these are also the suggestions at the EPA website.
First, we did what is called “source reduction.” We looked at buying less. Then, we tried to buy in bulk when we could. We look at how much packaging there is with an item and is there a way to buy it without all the surroundings? Some stuff there is more packaging than item! If not, is the packaging recyclable? Go paperless when you can (more on this later).
Second, we recycle everything we can. When we designed our kitchen, we built in large, pull-out drawers for the recycling. Sometimes our 90 gallon can is overflowing. Many items can be recycled: paper, cardboard boxes, many plastic bottles, food cans, etc.
Third, we started composting. We got a little can and have it in the kitchen for food scraps. We were running it down the garbage disposal, but now we compost it. I also put our lawn clippings in the compost to balance “the greens and the browns”. I know that didn’t really add to the landfill problem, but it certainly was wasteful. My wife loves to plant flowers and compost helps feed the soil. And our yard debris has been reduced.
So, what’s the result of us “halving it all” with our garbage? We now only have our garbage company pick up our garbage every other week. Yep, 32 gallons that are often not full, every other week. AND… we pay less for this service, so, again, we’re saving money. Do some of these things and call your garbage company: you may be able to save money while helping our environment.