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Can you measure LBYM by peoples trash?
Old 02-14-2008, 11:50 PM   #1
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Can you measure LBYM by peoples trash?

Friday is trash day so I pushed our big 90 gallon trash can to the curb tonight. All it had in it was two small kitchen trash bags and one 30 gallon trash bag full of sawdust and wood chips from my shop. I look at the neighbors across the street and every week their can is overflowing with the lid half open.

Most of the time they have more trash than a number of families of four and five people near us. I always wonder how can two people have so much trash. My only thought is they must be spending a pile each week and throwing most of it away.

How bout your trash can? Does it overflow each week?
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Old 02-15-2008, 12:01 AM   #2
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Interesting question! I think it would take me 2 months to fill up my trash can, if it never got emptied.

The other parts are also environmental awareness and frugality. I try to buy fewer things with lots of packaging and bring my own cloth shopping bags to stores. (Especially now that shops like Ikea and some grocery stores are charging extra for plastic bags)
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Old 02-15-2008, 05:18 AM   #3
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Similar to you UncleHoney, two or maybe three 10 gallon trash bags. We have a good recycling program, they changed it last year to take junk mail, I think it has cut down our "trash" by at least 1/2 a bag per week.

We tried to get out of junk mail lists but they never seem to work or we get put on more junk mail lists?
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Old 02-15-2008, 06:27 AM   #4
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We have a twice a month pickup (1/2 price but limited to one toter) and most times the trash toter is not filled. We do have good recycling program but that would not be enough most months to over fill our twice a month load.

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Old 02-15-2008, 06:30 AM   #5
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We put out one small barrel a week and most times we could go two weeks without putting it out. Our town recycles paper, plastics and glass, all our leftover food either goes in the compost pile or is fed to the birds.
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Old 02-15-2008, 06:58 AM   #6
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Usually my trash includes more yard debris than anything. Plants grow vigorously in rainy SE Louisiana, and I have to keep after them to keep the yard from getting too overgrown.

If I haven't hacked away at the plants, and if I'm not throwing out stuff due to one of my downsizing jags, I suppose I produce about one bag of trash every week and a half. I would produce more except that I prefer eating simple foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, shrimp, etc., which don't come in boxes. That's not necessarily LBYM as much as a desire to get away from excess food additives and salt.
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Old 02-15-2008, 07:23 AM   #7
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Well, we put our trash out about every three weeks but recycling goes out weekly. One of our neighbor's, who walked away from their house in August, used to put two overflowing garbage cans out a week.

Interesting premise but I'm not sure... I'll start keeping an eye on the neighborhood, maybe look through the trash and do an inventory.
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Old 02-15-2008, 07:52 AM   #8
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Look closely at your neighbor's trash and you may see lots of fast food debris: pizza boxes, burrito wrappers, cardboard soda can boxes, big gulp cups, etc.

This type of garbage takes up a lot of room.
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Old 02-15-2008, 08:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
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maybe look through the trash and do an inventory.
I always want to empty out their can on the sidewalk and do an inventory too.

They bought the house 1 1/2 years ago and have tried to sell it twice now. It's a white elephant with a pool so the number of buyers is very limited in our neighborhood. With nothing down, two mortgages and long yardage they must be feeling the pressure today.

I don't even think their married and he doesn't have a job (at least one he goes to everyday). Maybe he's the live in poolboy.

They sure spend a pile on stuff to throw out each week.
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Old 02-15-2008, 08:04 AM   #10
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Look closely at your neighbor's trash and you may see lots of fast food debris: pizza boxes, burrito wrappers, cardboard soda can boxes, big gulp cups, etc.

This type of garbage takes up a lot of room.
That may be where it all comes from.

DW sees the guy frequently head up the street in the summer and come back within minutes with a big drink from the dairy mart.
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Old 02-15-2008, 08:12 AM   #11
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Like others, we have a large (90 gal?) can but we only put in 2 kitchen garbage size bags and 1 bag with cat litter each week for four of us (and pets). Even when I spend a week cleaning out "junk" or at holidays we don't fill it.

But, we also recycle aggressively - food into the compost, paper, glass, plastic, metal and aluminum into the recycle bin, which is full weekly.

DH and I comment on one neighbor who's can is always overflowing - three people. They have lots of food containers and general packaging. Also, they do not seem to recycle much.
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Old 02-15-2008, 08:12 AM   #12
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if your community recycles and people actually do so, it makes a huge difference in the volume.

i have a fireplace, so a lot of the junk mail and boxes get burned. only plain unlaminated and no color paper, the rest i recycle at the curb. i live in the country so i can do the fireplace burn thing.

i compost all my green refuse from the kitchen. i have a large tumbler type. it makes a huge difference in my trash volume.

i tend to buy large size or volume items, so the packaging is minimal. i hate shopping, so i get the super size or 20% more items. better price per unit across the board.

ever stand behind someone in the store line and look at their shopping habits? some folks will buy multiples of the small size of the same item, instead of the larger package. i've never figured that out.

maybe i'm the wierd one who does the math in my hand to figure out the better bargain.
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Old 02-15-2008, 08:20 AM   #13
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We have a 90 gallon trash container and a paper recycling bin and a plastic/metal bin. These are shared by us and 3 other apartments. The extent they are filled depends on the types of tenants. Right now, it is rare that the 90 gallon trash bin fills, often it is less than half full. That is because everyone is recycling. Yeah! But, our paper bin overflows, especially if anyone has any cardboard. The metal/plastic bin is full each week, but it isn't a big bin.

This week I spent time cleaning our basement. I brought four bags of clothes to Goodwill. I threw a bunch of stuff out. This was the first time our main garbage can was full in maybe a year.
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Old 02-15-2008, 08:20 AM   #14
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maybe i'm the wierd one who does the math in my hand to figure out the better bargain.

I count on my fingers too.
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Old 02-15-2008, 08:36 AM   #15
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don't forget the toes too! LOL
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Old 02-15-2008, 08:39 AM   #16
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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. if it's not gone by trash day, then off it goes with them.

one man's trash is another man's treasure?

we have several metal recycling entrepreneurs in the area. anything metal is gone quickly.

anything to keep it out of the landfill.
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Old 02-15-2008, 09:10 AM   #17
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With weekly pickup, our township provides a little (10 gallon?) container for recycling which is usually overflowing with newspapers, cardboard and glass.

Ironically, my own 50 gallon trash can usually has one plastic trash bag in it.
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Old 02-15-2008, 09:14 AM   #18
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DW and I typically generate two standard kitchen trash bags every three weeks. We recycle paper, plastic, and metal. The recycle is bulkier and heavier than the trash.
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Old 02-15-2008, 09:34 AM   #19
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Usually my trash includes more yard debris than anything. Plants grow vigorously in rainy SE Louisiana, and I have to keep after them to keep the yard from getting too overgrown.
What is this thing called "rain" you speak of? Here in Central Texas we've pretty much forgotten what the word means.
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Old 02-15-2008, 09:39 AM   #20
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BLUE BAGS!

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.

So, we don't have (or pay for) regularly scheduled pickup, and just take these out when full. For us, it's about every five weeks.
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