A Dozen Ways To Cut Your Trash Bill

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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.

A Dozen Ways To Cut Your Trash Bill

About The Author: Debra Frick is a mother of 5 and a grandmother to 8 grandsons and one granddaughter. She is a published author and poetress. Recycling and saving money are her passions. She also loves crocheting and cooking. She is also a pet rescue volunteer and has many pets of her own.

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August 17, 20101 found this helpful

Cardboard boxes can be cut up and made into "sewing cards" for young kids to begin learning to sew. They're cheap, easy and if they get torn up just make another.

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August 17, 20101 found this helpful

Put every single shred of vegatable waste in a compost box including coffee grounds and egg cartons. Use the plastic bags from the store for trash instead of buying trash bags.


Freeze water in milk jugs and toss it in your dogs water bowl if it big enough. I use a dish pan from the dollar store for water.

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October 8, 20200 found this helpful

Avoid potato peels in a compost. Potatoes are treated (powdered) with a sprout suppressant, usually with "chlorpropham". Chloropharm was first used as an herbicide. It remains in the compost and when you use your compost in your garden it can stop germination of seeds and still be an herbicide for young plants. Egg shells in a compost are very useful. Full egg shells will aerate your compost and grounded egg shells are an excellent phosphate provider. Egg cartons can go in your compost as long as you take off the label if it is made of colored paper. Colored inks are toxic.

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August 18, 20100 found this helpful

What in the world is a "sewing card"?

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August 25, 20101 found this helpful

Sewing cards are the best toy for pre ks. Glue pictures onto a shirt card or the side of a cereal box. I always cut around the image, i.e dogs or ducks, then take a little hand hole punch and make holes around it.


The child can the take yarn which you have secured to a closed safety pin and "sew" through the holes. A needle point needle which isn't very sharp can also be used with the yarn.

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October 6, 20140 found this helpful

As an art educator we use a lot of recyclables. Just looking at the photo with the trash; the bananna peels can be used in a compost, the tin cans- luminaries - freeze water in the cans and use a nail to pierce the design into the side of the can, egg cartons multiple uses. Call up your schools and talk to the art edcuators there!

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October 22, 20210 found this helpful

Roses as well as the rest of your garden love banana peels! I cut the peels up and work them in the soil!

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October 22, 20210 found this helpful

Sad to say with COVID, recycling to daycare centers, preschools and early elementary classrooms is limited. All must have known donor and a way to be sanitized. I am "THE ART" for church....Anything brought in for recycle use has to be sanitized. It gags me when people suggest toilet paper rolls. If they are used in the bathroom, they will read e coli. Hard to believe people don't get that explanation...6' spray from the toilet will read it. Paper towels rolls used in the kitchen can be a recycled art. Rolls from wrapping paper, wax paper, parchment paper, foil. People who order online find their box stuffed with brown paper...smooth that out and donate that...expensive to buy to use for simple projects of art.


Another for end of the school year...(ask first) a box in the halls of elementary schools where kids who plan to throw their crayons, markers, half used glue bottles and sticks...We gather them, spread out at church and sanitizer as we do all other things at church...and you can sort out for VBS use, package up to use crayons in the quiet bags for church, save the markers for VBS or share to kids needing summer supplies. Our public library does free classes all summer long for kids..Always looking for free art supplies. And when crayons come to an end, melt a bunch together to create rainbow pucks of color.

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September 16, 20220 found this helpful

People who live in Germany pay garbage disposal fees for anything exceeding their quota (I read this a few years ago and don't recall the weights and fees). My city recently conducted a survey along those same lines, asking residents if we should move to a user-pay system (with allowances for family size, of course).

I'll confess to havinb been tempted on more than one occasion to return excess packaging to the store where I purchased an item.

Nonetheless, between recycling / reducing / re-using options these days, it's reasonably easy to get into the habit of not simply pitching everything into the garbage bin (user pay provides additional incentive).

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