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Old 02-15-2008, 10:21 AM   #21
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mine often overflows but with vegetation from the urban jungle. thank god for glad forceflex bags or that dead palm tree would have ripped right through inferior quality plastic.

this week i've been gardening at the inherited house instead of here. so this morning i didn't even bother to put the garbage out as i just don't make that much.
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Old 02-15-2008, 10:51 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
You might check to see if your community has a program like this: You buy these 30 gallon special garbage bags (they are blue here) for something like $5 each, and they'll pick them up for free.
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Originally Posted by freebird5825 View Post
does your community allow you to put "FREE" items on your curb? i do this all the time, just good usable stuff, and it rarely sits for more than 1 day.
Hawaii has figured out that it's cheaper to have free trash pickup (and free bulk/appliance pickup) than it is to track down all the stuff people would throw away in the roadside brush. Even so we still have jerks who can't be bothered to put their bulky stuff at the curb yet find a way to haul it to the most remote (beautiful) areas to trash it.

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if your community recycles and people actually do so, it makes a huge difference in the volume.
As Oahu's landfill approaches its legislated capacity and the state contemplates shipping trash containers to the Mainland, recycling has come back into vogue. The last few years have been a huge improvement.

Most beverage containers have a nickel surcharge that can be redeemed by recycling, and that's started a whole entreprenerial economy. The HPOWER plant burns a growing minority of the trash for electricity and is adding a couple new incinerators. Our neighborhood has a pilot recycle program with alternating weeks of metal/plastic recycling and green waste mulching. Of course now we have four color-coded cans, but trash pickup is down to once a week. That'll probably go island-wide next year.

We've been composting for a couple years but last November we moved our worms to a "Can O' Worms" container of four stacked trays, each about 24" diameter and 4" deep-- volume of roughly a cubic foot. They've ramped up their consumption (and reproduction) nicely so we put out less than a 13-gal bag a week. Hardly any food waste leaves our lot.

The worms have an amazing capacity. In just under four months we've loaded that vermiposter with over 10 dozen banana peels, a couple dozen papaya rinds, hundreds of teabags and coffee filters, dozens of mango & starfruit rinds, apple cores, and probably another half-dozen cubic feet of assorted fruit & veggie waste. Yet the container is less than half full and we siphon off nearly a half-gallon of yummy leachate every week for the plants. Our regular compost volume is way down so we've moved that from a huge three-bay pit to a much smaller bin.

Our bunny is very productive too-- a half-cup a day, which turns out to be great orchid fertilizer.

Our old compost pit produced a bonus side effect this year-- a half-dozen baby papaya trees that I have to transplant closer to our kitchen for easier access.
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Old 02-15-2008, 11:03 AM   #23
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What is this thing called "rain" you speak of? Here in Central Texas we've pretty much forgotten what the word means.
We average over 60 inches/year, as opposed to 8" in Spring Valley, CA when I lived there. Most places I have lived in have about 30"/year.

I love the rain here, when it doesn't flood. It cleans everything off nicely and it adds variety to the weather. We had a great, efficient system of canals and huge pumps for flood control that was in place since dirt was young since it is part of our infrastructure. However it was badly damaged due to Katrina (and no funds to fix it).

I lived in College Station, Texas from 1984-1996, and I remember how parched, brown, and dry things used to get in the summers. I don't think I've ever been hotter than I was there. Otherwise, the weather was nice. No hurricanes.
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Old 02-15-2008, 11:08 AM   #24
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What is this thing called "rain" you speak of? Here in Central Texas we've pretty much forgotten what the word means.
What? You're complaining about a little "inconsistency" in precipitation?

Jan 07 - Sep 07: 47 inches
Sep 07 - Feb 08: 3 inches
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Old 02-15-2008, 01:08 PM   #25
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Stepford Collin County's water supply, Lake Levon, went from something like 14' low to flood stage. Not much rain since, though...
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Old 02-15-2008, 01:44 PM   #26
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I have a regular 32 gallon cylindrical trash can and put it about once a month. I also have a recycle bin that I take to the recycling place about a mile away every month or so. We have curbside recycling but they don't take everything the recycling place does.

It's just me, though, so not much trash. I could probably do less because much of what I put in the trash is paper waste.

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Old 02-15-2008, 01:59 PM   #27
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DW and I have about 2-3 plastic bags she recycles from the local Giant Eagle or Kroger every week that we put in this great big wheeled bin the town gave us and put it out on the curb. We walk around this neighborhood that includes some pretty high end homes and one public golf course - always seeing great mounds of trash. I have about 109 foot of that white wire shelving in the basement along with all of the supports and most of the wall attachments that I picked up from some family's curb on trash day that had the Master Closet redone by one of the national firms that do that kind of stuff. We also have a few chairs that just needed some cleaning and a little glue where the parts were loose that were picked up on trash day. DW picks up lots of flower pots, sometimes along with the plants too. We have picked up several other items that were complete, functional and just thrown out (guess they were replaced with the latest model). Most of the USA is truly a "throw away society".
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Old 02-15-2008, 03:47 PM   #28
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No recycling here, so everything goes in the trash. We rarely order food or bring home take-out. Nonetheless we end up putting out two or three 20 gal. cans each week.

DW uses a LOT of paper towels for cleaning kitchen counters and such. I have been trying to get her to switch to using rags but I think it is inherited because her father does the same thing. Otherwise she's fairly frugal so that's not a battle worth fighting.
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Old 02-15-2008, 09:00 PM   #29
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The worms have an amazing capacity. In just under four months we've loaded that vermiposter with over 10 dozen banana peels, a couple dozen papaya rinds, hundreds of teabags and coffee filters, dozens of mango & starfruit rinds, apple cores, and probably another half-dozen cubic feet of assorted fruit & veggie waste. Yet the container is less than half full and we siphon off nearly a half-gallon of yummy leachate every week for the plants. Our regular compost volume is way down so we've moved that from a huge three-bay pit to a much smaller bin.
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your worms are...um...cute. just kidding.

i've seen worms advertised in my gardening books and never realized they were great composters. i only read they were good for aerating the soil.

hmmmm...would they survive in my cold process compost tumbler? i rotate it every time i add fresh stuff. and i add compost accelerator, which is microorganisms. would the rotating and accelerator disturb them too much? more important, would they eventually take over the container in their reproductive enthusiasm?

I live at 42N latitude in upstate NY. translated bitter cold in winter. are they winter hardy burrowing down below frost line in my garden?

also, i've been to HI twice in my life. I tagged along on LH's business trip. Maui for 1.5 days, Kauii for 5 days on trip 1. Oahu for 4 days, and the Big Island for a tourist trip to the active volcano on trip 2. I rented a scooter on Kauii and went all over on my own. Saw sights no tourist ever would. what a wonderful time that was. the guy who rented scooters was afraid i would get hit by cars, but once i explained i learned to drive just north of New York City and had driven the freeways of CA and in Boston a few times, he handed me the keys and the helmet with a big grin.
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Old 02-16-2008, 12:58 AM   #30
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We decided to save the $15 per month trash service fee and bring our own trash to the dump, which is free. That way we're also able to bring all of our recyclables and our HI-5 containers (5 cents deposit in Hawaii). Now that we're recycling just about everything, we have very little trash. Just one small bag per week.
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Old 02-17-2008, 10:35 AM   #31
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i've seen worms advertised in my gardening books and never realized they were great composters. i only read they were good for aerating the soil.
hmmmm...would they survive in my cold process compost tumbler? i rotate it every time i add fresh stuff. and i add compost accelerator, which is microorganisms. would the rotating and accelerator disturb them too much? more important, would they eventually take over the container in their reproductive enthusiasm?
I live at 42N latitude in upstate NY. translated bitter cold in winter. are they winter hardy burrowing down below frost line in my garden?
I've learned a lot, and it turns out that worms come in at least two varieties-- surface & subsurface. The trash-eating worms are the surface type, normally found on pig & cattle farms where they sit at the base of the grass and eat whatever splats (so to speak) on the ground next to the animals. The local worm company has some difficulty finding people who will hunt wild worms (even for pay), so ours were bred "on the job".

As for rotating composters, if you listen closely you'll hear them going "Wheeee!" they don't care. And the worms are just one of many other types of critters (compost mites, earwigs) that live in the muck. The worms don't actually eat the trash, they slurp up what's left after the other critters have broken it down. They only reproduce to the extent of the available food, so they won't disturb the eco balance. If you stop feeding them for a couple months they'd work their way through the last of it and die off.

The best resource in your area is a library copy of the book "Worms Eat My Garbage". There's also info at Waikiki Worms: Waikiki Worm Co.: Home

Don't know about that winter freezing stuff and I doubt they'll survive. I don't think they'll bury because they'll lose their surface-supplied food source. Ours live happily in our kitchen right next to the aquarium...

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I rented a scooter on Kauii and went all over on my own. Saw sights no tourist ever would. what a wonderful time that was. the guy who rented scooters was afraid i would get hit by cars, but once i explained i learned to drive just north of New York City and had driven the freeways of CA and in Boston a few times, he handed me the keys and the helmet with a big grin.
You're exceedingly brave to tackle Hawaii drivers armed with only a scooter. It's a completely different set of problems from CA & NYC & Boston, mostly involving "fear of passing", "sympathetic braking for no reason", "random lane-changing", and "Scooter? What scooter?"

Hawaii lacks a helmet law so the situation usually comes to a Darwinian conclusion...
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Old 02-17-2008, 04:24 PM   #32
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I'll start keeping an eye on the neighborhood, maybe look through the trash and do an inventory.
You sure know how to have a good time on a budget!
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Old 02-22-2008, 09:42 AM   #33
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Possibly. But I also think that you can determine if folks are eating/drinking healthy by a quick glance at their trash cans.

We're a family of 6, but we put our 64 gallon recycle trash can out to the curb about once every 3 weeks. We put all recyclables in it (plastic/bottles/cardboard/paper). Granted our kids are all under 8 years old, but I see folks around our neighborhood that have it out every week full to the top with mostly soda bottles/cans.
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Old 02-22-2008, 10:07 AM   #34
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We decided to save the $15 per month trash service fee and bring our own trash to the dump, which is free. That way we're also able to bring all of our recyclables and our HI-5 containers (5 cents deposit in Hawaii). Now that we're recycling just about everything, we have very little trash. Just one small bag per week.
That's great!
We're a little different, in that we actually get paid to recycle.
Visit recyclebank.com to find out how it works.
We average about 1 $10 coupon every 2 weeks which we use at our local ACME.
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Old 02-22-2008, 10:59 AM   #35
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Can you measure LBYM by people's trash? I don't think my neighbors know what LBYM means but I can estimate the condition of their livers by how many bottles they throw down the chute.
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Old 02-22-2008, 04:40 PM   #36
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Can you measure LBYM by people's trash? I don't think my neighbors know what LBYM means but I can estimate the condition of their livers by how many bottles they throw down the chute.
You don't think they're estimating the condition of your brain by watching you spend your day counting how many bottles they throw down the chute do you? (just kidding...... )
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Old 02-22-2008, 04:52 PM   #37
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You don't think they're estimating the condition of your brain by watching you spend your day counting how many bottles they throw down the chute do you? (just kidding...... )
It's the condition of my hearing I'm worried about, as the bottles crash into each other at the bottom, usually after midnight. Never mind, that guy and his liver moved out.
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Old 02-23-2008, 12:31 PM   #38
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I've learned a lot, and it turns out that worms come in at least two varieties-- surface & subsurface. The trash-eating worms are the surface type, normally found on pig & cattle farms where they sit at the base of the grass and eat whatever splats (so to speak) on the ground next to the animals. The local worm company has some difficulty finding people who will hunt wild worms (even for pay), so ours were bred "on the job".

As for rotating composters, if you listen closely you'll hear them going "Wheeee!" they don't care. And the worms are just one of many other types of critters (compost mites, earwigs) that live in the muck. The worms don't actually eat the trash, they slurp up what's left after the other critters have broken it down. They only reproduce to the extent of the available food, so they won't disturb the eco balance. If you stop feeding them for a couple months they'd work their way through the last of it and die off.

The best resource in your area is a library copy of the book "Worms Eat My Garbage". There's also info at Waikiki Worms: Waikiki Worm Co.: Home

Don't know about that winter freezing stuff and I doubt they'll survive. I don't think they'll bury because they'll lose their surface-supplied food source. Ours live happily in our kitchen right next to the aquarium...


You're exceedingly brave to tackle Hawaii drivers armed with only a scooter. It's a completely different set of problems from CA & NYC & Boston, mostly involving "fear of passing", "sympathetic braking for no reason", "random lane-changing", and "Scooter? What scooter?"

Hawaii lacks a helmet law so the situation usually comes to a Darwinian conclusion...
the worms definitely won't work for me up here at 42N latitude. thanks for the info, though.

re scooter in HI - the helmet was worn AT ALL TIMES. i waited until the morning rush hour was over, then went tooling along. and strictly avoided the evening rush hour. Kauii is less congested with cars, or so the rental guy told me. he said to stay visible and just pull over and wait the traffic out if it got too crazy.

i used the secondary roads as much as i could. the main highways were a zoo.

it was a great experience.
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