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Reducing Household Garbage

Category Miscellaneous
Recycling what you can and composting food and garden waste, can help reduce what you send to the landfill. This is a page about reducing household garbage.


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If possible, do not use garbage pick up. Check with your employer to see if you can put your garbage in their dumpster. You may even ask your church or a local business that does not fill up their dumpster to use theirs.

I recycle all our paper and newspapers at the local school recycling bin, I compost most all our food products, I return plastic garbage bags to the store, and what's left my husband takes to work and puts in their dumpster. If we are doing heavy cleaning and have a lot to throw away we give usable items to goodwill and take the rest to the local land fill.

CAUTION: Please ask before using a dumpster. Some businesses do use the full capacity, some have signs posted and it is illegal to use a dumpster without permission.

By J McClure

Comment Was this helpful? 3


November 23, 20160 found this helpful
Top Comment

We haven't paid for garbage pick up in 4 years. We recycle everything we can. We re-use plastic shopping bags as garbage liners.


We can then take that garbage to any public garbage can. Gas Stations, Restaurants that have outside bins, sometimes even work

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We have become a disposable society. We throw things away instead of getting them repaired or reusing them as our grandparents did. Make it a game to see how little you throw away. So here are a few ideas on how to cut your trash bill.


  1. Buy any thing you can in glass jars. These can be recycled into Christmas gift jars or to hold something else. Also some trash companies will recycle them. Brown bottles can be used to hold homemade salad dressing and other homemade vinegars. Corks can be bought online at brewing supply companies.
  2. Start using cloth napkins and cloth placemats and dish towels instead of paper towels.
  3. Invest in cloth grocery bags and break the plastic bag habit. Recycle all plastic bags they can be used for packaging materials for storing things or mailing. Leave some at your local dog park for poop pickup. At least you will have used it twice. If you are a crafter, use it for stuffing.
  4. Save your plastic containers for storing other food. Bag your own fruits and vegetables instead of buying pre packaged food. Get a water filter and make your own bottled water.
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  6. Buy the filter save your bottles for a month and then refill them.
  7. Use china, stoneware or melamine plates instead of plastic or paper. Use real silverware instead of plastic.
  8. Donate your old magazines and periodicals to nursing homes. If they are not to old most nursing homes will take them for their residents to read. You can also donate yarn and basic crafts supplies they will love you for it.
  9. Avoid disposable contact lenses, lighters, cameras and razors. Buy refill-ables and real contact lenses, go digital with your cameras.
  10. Clean and crush your tin cans and recycle them. Many cities now have county recycling programs that will take them and recycle them for you.
  11. Donate old sheets and towels to your local animal shelter or rescue, and if you have a pet pass think about donated your pets belongings to the shelter also.
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  13. Recycle that old computer. There are many programs across the nation that recycle all kinds of Electronic computer, try your local Best Buy or Office Max many will take your computer to recycle along with batteries of all kinds.
  14. Reuse those old calendars. If you loved the pictures frame them. Schools can also use them (Especially the ones with landscapes) or they can be decoupaged to furniture or in other crafts.
  15. Use the backs of envelopes for lists. Shred your old documents and use them to package items with. That includes old checks. Make scratch pads from papers that are printed on only one side.

Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 8

April 22, 2005

Reducing, reusing, recycling and composting saves energy, landfill space, and natural resources. These measures also keep our air cleaner because they help reduce pollution, when compared to manufacturing with raw, virgin materials.


Compost when possible.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

Aside from eating less (therefore less garbage from food packages), recycling a few cans I rinse out and an occasional clean empty jar saved for some other use, what are ways to recycle, reuse, and reinvent some of the packaging items so they don't end up in the garbage?

I moved to the country so I can have a "burn pit" or "burn barrel". I have been buying much less food stuffs. Everyone else out here subscribes to the $25 a month garbage pick-up service, which so far I have been able to get by without. I make at least one trip to town a week (if not more) and take my little garbage with me.

I also keep my bag of trash as small as I can so I can toss it in the car wash bin or sometimes when I stop for gas I leave a small trash sack in the gas station barrel. My friend thinks thats just terrible saying "they have to pay for that service so you shouldn't do that !" but when I am a customer there it is you or I they pay for it on behalf of so I use it! It has never been a HUGE kitchen bag full, only small shopping sacks so I feel I am not doing wrong.

I am always on the lookout for more creative ways to use my trash items to give them a second chance before giving up on them. I never have minded reusing things around the house or giving them away, not everyone recycles. So I am wondering what you do in similar circumstances.

Campers also sometimes have this same dilemma. If they pay a camping fee of some sort as I have done in the past or a maintenance fee for a camping club as I also have done, then the trash pick-up is paid for them as a part of their stay. What do you think?

melody_yesterday from Otterville, MO


By caseye (Guest Post)
January 21, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

Recycle everything possible! Plastic liter bottles (actually, plastic of every kind is now being taken in my area of Texas), aluminum cans, metal cans, glass, newspapers, junk mail, etc. Recycling costs way less than using raw materials to make new things. Think of creative ways to "repurpose" things before they end up in the recycle bin: use greeting cards for new cards, tags, placemats, doorknob hangers, boxes, etc. Use cereal boxes for purses. Fill plastic liter bottles with things you can mail to friends. A wealth of ideas can make repurposing fun and creative!

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By Linda (Guest Post)
January 21, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

I don't know how you handle Christmas, but I would suggest your gifts be hand made or something you have baked like cookies. You could wrap them in the leftover cereal type boxes. If you don't give to family, how about giving to a homeless shelter or senior home, etc. I reuse paper towels that I put in freezer bags that I have washed out. The towel absorbs the water in the bag. It will dry out and can be put in another bag to absorb moisture again.

I reuse the black containers from Lean Cuisine meals for other meals I have made ahead. I put the container in a quart size freezer bag, perfect fit, and freeze. Can fix meals for this purpose or store leftovers for future use. Do not use the bags with the tab you slide across, use the ones you have to close yourself.

My homeworker and I made hamburger helper on our weekly cooking day, and got three containers to freeze. I see nothing wrong using the container at a gas station, people clean out their cars and put stuff in them. If you used a neighbors container, it would be different. I for one appreciate all the efforts you do to recycle, wish more people were that thoughtful.

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January 21, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

I mean these comments in a nice way. If everyone dumped their small bags of trash at retail locations - or anywhere except the dump. Think how expensive it would be for the retailers? What right do any of us have to place our trash in gas stations, malls, whatever? I have a friend who also does this & justifies it in her own mind, but it offends me.

A gas station does not owe you trash dumping services. Also, as an allergy sufferer, I do not like trash pit or barrel burning. It is an air pollutant for everyone, & particularly bad for allergy, & breathing problem sufferers as well as others. What you have is a miniature "dump" with burning wastes. When I lived in the South, many people had trash burning. It made my breathing miserable as well as polluted air for everyone. Just my thoughts.

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January 21, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

I understand about taking trash elsewhere, especially if one's circumstances prevent being able to afford a trash service. I've been there. I would recycle as much as possible - tin cans (lids can be removed from both ends and can smashed), plastic bottles, glass jars, paper. Garbage can be buried in the back yard/garden. For the small amount that you take into the service station - I really wouldn't worry about it. As far as the burn pile - fire reduces everything to its original elemental state, and living in the country - there are very few people who are going to be affected by whatever pollutants that might be produced - they'll probably dissipate by the time it reaches town.

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