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Garbage Service + Composting
Old 12-28-2011, 06:40 AM   #1
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Garbage Service + Composting

My local garbage service company charges $79.95 per quarter for 1 garbage pickup/week and 1 recycle pickup/2 weeks. I have been composting for a few years with great success, and I would estimate at least 90% of our garbage, mainly fruit/vegetable peels, goes to our compost bin. So I only need to have at most 1 garbage pickup per month, sometimes even less. Even that the volume is very low, only a small bag. I talked with my garbage company and I do understand their point that they can not offer monthly pickup service because it's impossible for their drivers to keep track. Apparently I don't have any other options where I live.

Just wondering if anyone has the similar experience, and if there is any initiative in where you live to encourage and reward people to reduce garbage being produced and sent to landfill or incineration. A few years back, I watched a news of city Taipei in Taiwan about their policy to charge fees based on the weight of garbage each household sends in. They have a digital scale at each garbage collection truck. Not sure if this policy will ever gain popularity in US.
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Old 12-28-2011, 06:49 AM   #2
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Why don't you do a deal with a neighbor to put your small bag out with their trash?
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Old 12-28-2011, 07:13 AM   #3
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We don't have a choice re garbage--you're required to use what the municipality contracts for. I wish we had 2-week recycle pickup--we recycle everything possible but that big wheeled bin is never even half-full in a week so we don't always put it out.

The waste management companies (I miss the Sopranos!) probably are not going to negotiate their rates downward for any reason.
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Old 12-28-2011, 07:17 AM   #4
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we also don't have a choice on the price of the garbage and recycling pickup. we recycle, but if you have to pay for it anyway you might as well use it.
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:15 AM   #5
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Time is money to any company. If you have 12 pick ups a months, you pay just over 6 bucks per pick up. Now, great idea to drop off a bag with a willing neighbor, or drop if off yourself at a city/county dump. I think you'll find that your gas and wear and tear on your car will cost around 6 bucks.

Your decision......I wouldn't expect the garbage company to cut you a special deal, they have to pay a driver and run equipment......they couldn't develop individual home service and stay in business.
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:18 AM   #6
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My inlaws purchased about 3 of the large garbage containers themselves at Walmart and did their own Quarterly trip to the dump for $20. They usually charge by weight or carload.
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:01 AM   #7
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We've had similar success. Our neighborhood has 95 gallon trash cans and 95 gallon recycling cans with weekly pickup, all contracted services (not the city). It's not unusual to see the trash cans overflowing at many homes. We do have recycling included, but there are no other incentives.

DW and I started recycling and being careful to minimize packaging (reusable bags in both cars at all times) many years ago, and we started composting almost 2 years ago. Our weekly trash output is now 1 standard grocery store brown paper sack most weeks, occasionally more. It helps that there are only two of us compared to families of 4 +/-, but we can't understand how so many generate so much trash.

We thought composting would be messy and take too much time, we've been very surprised. Stuff breaks down much faster than we thought, no smell at all and no cost whatsoever - just happy earthworms and much better soil in the garden! We have a small bucket by the kitchen-garage door to collect fruit & veggie waste, coffee grounds, egg shells, etc. and I add to compost once or twice a week, only takes minutes.

All we've done couldn't be easier, just a matter of developing simple habits.

We have thought about sharing a trash can with a neighbor, not sure how they might react...may bring it up at neighborhood New Years party this Sunday.
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:20 AM   #8
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Our trash pickup and recycling program is through our city. For $17.50/mo we have weekly pickup of a 95 gallon bin for trash and another 95 gallon bin for recyclables. Most times we don't come close to filling them. 3 times a year we have unlimited pickup of extra items outside the bins, for a Spring Cleanup, Fall Cleanup and another one between Christmas and New Years. If you call in advance they will also pick up appliances or other large things that won't fit in the bin. Twice a year we can ask for an additional pickup of up to 15 large bags.

The city also offers Limited Service for a reduced amount. It's a smaller bin and does not include the appliances or extras of Full Service. Many senior citizens or smaller households use the limited service and save a few dollars a month. The smaller bin looks like about 2/3 the size of the full service bin.

I think ours is a good value. I don't know if it's possible to decline trash service and take care of it yourself.
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:44 AM   #9
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We have a total of four pick-ups per week. Trash on Wed and Sat, recyeleables on Wed and yard waste on Fri. All for $219/yr which is billed as part of your property tax bill as a separate line item. You are supposed to have no more than two 40 gal trash cans, but they take extras as well like a box or two of misc juck. I think that is a great service for the price. Big stuff like old appliances, junk furniture and mattresses can be taken to the county landfill dump site free of charge if you show your tax receipt as proof of residency. Same for large yard waste like trees and bushes.

We have three disposal companies in the county. Just had a big meeting between the citizens and the county commissioners where they discussed the bidding process. The commissioners were split on going out for bids vs just awarding the contracts. The citizens put up such a fuss that the decision was finally to go out for bids on the contracts. Way to go citizens!
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:45 AM   #10
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My city does recycling for free, trash service is $X per month to rent a can with weekly pickup, or you can pay $Y per sticker and provide your own can. Garbage stickers weekly work out to about 2/3 the cost of renting the smaller can or 1/2 the cost of the larger can.

After getting my own can, I found out we only make enough trash to fill it every other week. I regret the years we spent renting the big can. Hundreds of dollars spent to avoid a 30 minute trip to home depot.
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:47 AM   #11
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My city does recycling for free.
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:20 AM   #12
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For us, trash pickup is $26.64 per two month period for two pickups a week of an essentially unlimited amount. If you put out 15 bags and boxes of trash and a four foot high pile of unbagged branches, they are taken, for example. Recycling was suspended 6 years ago although there are plans to resume and that will involve an unknown mandatory fee.

All residences are charged the same and get the same services, AFAIK.
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:47 AM   #13
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Here's the solution if your city has this option. We buy special 32 gal bags from the garbage company for about $8 each. When the garbagepersons see those bags, they take the load for free. So we only need to take the trash to the street about once per month.
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:06 AM   #14
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Garbage! That's one of my hot buttons. Private pickup out here in the country is about $60.00/quarter, but there is a constant threat to raise rates. Recycling is free. But here is MY undercover method to save.

Being a landlord with apartments, I've found that tenants often don't fill up their cans. You can see this coming... So, there is no since in leaving a can half full is there? It does cost me a trip to the property on e per week, so it's not totally free. And on the way back I stop at the recycling center near home and dump that stuff. I also try to compose to help my garden soil health , but the fruit flies often discourage this practice, especially in the warmer months. Anyway, I save that $60/quarter, plus I need to check on things anyway at the apartment. Now if I could just get them to pick up later in the day instead of at 8:30am ...
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:51 AM   #15
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I also try to compose to help my garden soil health , but the fruit flies often discourage this practice
Ignore them -- what do they know about music?!
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:25 PM   #16
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Ignore them -- what do they know about music?!
The auto-correct on the iPhone strikes again.
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:38 PM   #17
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We don't have a choice re garbage--you're required to use what the municipality contracts for.
Ditto here. We pay a quarterly bill which covers garbage, recycling and landscape waste. You cannot opt out, it's just like a tax but not called one. I guess I understand why. If you could opt out, partnering with a neighbor would become common. Still, it seems expensive since DW and I don't generate much trash.
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:33 PM   #18
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In our area, trash is about $3-4 a bag, recycling is free and we compost ourselves. Usually have a bag a week and we usually go by the recycling center once a week anyway so no need for a special trip. Did it this morning as part of running a bunch of different chores.
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Old 12-28-2011, 02:03 PM   #19
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The mostly rural county I live in charges $42 ($21 for people 65 and over, like me) per quarter for twice a week pick-up. I don't know if there are limitations on what they will take. They have always taken anything I put out including furniture and water heaters. They do not pick up recyclables or HAZMAT (hazardous material). We have to take that to a central collection point. Most people burn or compost their landscape/agricultural waste.
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Old 12-28-2011, 02:59 PM   #20
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I don't get charged for trash pickup (city of San Diego has some weird old law from 1919), but we can get fined if they find recyclables in our trash cans. It has seemed to help a lot with recycling rates.
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