getting a better handle on the kitchen trash , saving a couple bucks and doing all three subjects in this catagory( Reduce/Reuse/Recycle)greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
While converting chores here to one man capability I inadvertantly came up with a change that while being intended to reduce odor and bugs only, also covers the 3 Rs of this thread catagory and saves a couple bucks. Instead of buying tall kitchen bags for the kitchen can, I use the plastic sacks from the stores. I hang the bag by the handles over the tabs the lid hooks in, then put a large red rubber band around the outside of the can at the top. I then attach a clothespin on the rubber band and clip the pin to the near edge of the bag. This stretches the bag out with a triangular shape almost covering the top of the can with a 1/3 depth bag. When its full after a couple days, I tie the ends and drop it to the bottom of the can and install another. I get plenty of these from my shopping and my friends. I lowered flies and smell, reduce, reuse and recycle and eliminated $20 a year in bags (wonder where I'll take a vacation with those savings ? :>) and still only empty the kitchen garbage in the outside can once a week. I just like finally finding a use for those dang plastic bags.
-- Jay Blair in N. AL (email@example.com), January 07, 2002
I think thats brilliant. I'm going to try this. thanks ronda
-- ronda (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 07, 2002.
Recently spent a couple of days visiting sisters in Florida. The familes of two of them generate more kitchen trash in a day than I do in a month (and I'm not kidding).
Plastic, such as bread wrappers and newspaper sleeves) is stuffed into one-gallon plastic jugs until it absolutely won't hold any more. It then goes into the plastic recycling bin.
Aluminum cans, tins cans (flattened first) and plastic drink bottles (and I don't generate many of these) go into a bag in a trash can until it is so full it just barely ties. Recycle center gets these unless the guy who walks the road looking for alum. cans asks for them first.
Since glass is not recycleable locally, I use a splitting wedge (mawl) to crush the glass in a 5-gallon bucket. This then goes into empty paper feed sacks. While it goes to the landfill, at the least the volume is reduced.
Most correspondence goes into the plastic grocery bags with the newspapers. If I composted, the newspapers would go there. (Recycle center asks for newspapers to be put into doubled-up bags as they are then easier to handle.)
Bones, veg. trimmings, etc. are just thrown out into the yard. Something comes along and cleans them up.
Egg cartons are saved until there is a stack, then given to a flea market operator to give away free.
I'm sure if I went through the bag I would recycle more, but one has to draw the line somewhere when I generate one full garbage bag in about two months.
-- Ken S. in WC TN (email@example.com), January 07, 2002.
I too have been astonished at just how little "trash" trash we now have. We recycle everything the recycle center will take and are now canning the majority of our food. Of course the canning jars can be reused forever, unless they get a nick on the rim or get broken.
All our vegetable trimming and such go into the compost pile and after 6 months of very heavy use, it's only about 8 inches high. And that's with grass clippings and leaves added in. Was over two feet high this summer while we were furiously canning, but it sure settled fast. Now I'm beginning to wonder if we will end up with enough compost to be used for anything except house plants.
Plastics are our biggest problem. The recycle center will accept only #1 plastics and we get few of them. It does take the 2 liter soda bottles, too. But that's it. So a lot of plastic ends up in the landfill.
So nice to see others doing the recycle thing!
-- Carol - in Virginia (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 07, 2002.
I follow the 3 R's and have been able to cancel our trash pick up about 5 years ago. We take a trip to the dump 2 times a year now.
I like the plastic one gallon container to store all the plastic bags in, and I do get them, So I will incorporate that into my recycling program. I try to get paper bags when ever possible along with taking my own fabric bags into the store. I use the paper bags for Paper only or burnable only things. When the bag gets full it goes to the fireplace to become the starter for the next fire. The ashes are then used in my garden.
There are many times that I unpackage an item at the store and ask them to throw away all the packaging. The cardboard isn't bad as I can compost it in the compost pile or shred and feed it to the worms, or even use it as a fire started in the fireplace or BBQ. But the plastic is so hard to dispose I never know what to do with it, takes up space cause it doesn't stay folded - LOL! so I just leave it at the store for them to deal with.
I love my worms and my chickens! they eat almost everything so I have 2 buckets under my sink, one is for worms the other is for chickens.
Since I can I don't have alot of tin cans to worry about and we don't drink soda pop I don't have to have a space for aluminum - Yippie!
The trash that is most generated for us is the plastic feed bags and either the bailing wire or the platic rope from the bales of Alfalfa. I do try to shop in places that I can get feed in paper bags but some feeds just don't come in paper (in my area)...scratch and corn are 2 of them. So I have looked at buying alfalfa pellets in large 1 ton bags that are made of canvas and are returned with next shipment. This way I can feed less bales of alfalfa (and less waste--goats are so wasteful!) and reduce even more trash. I am still trying to figure out what to do with all the plastic feed bags. Right now I use them for my trash going to the dump, but they disintegrate very quickly and with me only going to the dump every 6 months they don't work out very well.
I have enjoyed finding ways to reduce my trash output and can't wait to read what others are doing.
-- westbrook (email@example.com), January 07, 2002.
Shopping bags, both paper and plastic, will be greatly appreciated at food pantries and most thrift stores.
-- Sandy Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 07, 2002.
the plastic feed bags get takin back to the feed satore for me, if you dont bring one in they charge you 50 cents,, so I "collect" them from neirbors and such,, and get the feed discounted as they give you 50 cents for every bag you bring back also :) I dont get alot of feed in paper bags,,so I either burn use then for newpaper recycleing,,or when I sell dry rabbit manure
-- Stan (email@example.com), January 07, 2002.
Jay; the only problem that I've ever had with using your method, and I have used it for years, is that if you do throw away things that smell, or attract bugs, they tend to be wet. The bags from the supermarket here have small holes in the bottom. I don't throw anything away that might leak out the holes. Smelly things? If their veg they go in the compost, if their flesh or bones, they go in the fireplace, with any paper, and cardboard that didn't go to the garden. The only thing that goes in the garbage is post consumer plastic, that somehow seems inevitable when being completely surrounded and constantly dealing with a pre-packaged consumer society. Like others have mentioned Thrift Stores, and other small holder retailers like health food stores, who couldn't care about packaging details will take your bags. I bring mine to the library, to the farmers market, to the Salvation Army thrift store, and to the local independant health food store. I'm fortunate where I live that 2 of the local Supermarkets allow you to bring your bags back. I don't know what they do with them, but you might be able to find out if this is true of your local chain. You could pressure them to follow the example of Safeway, and Overwaite stores in British Columbia.
-- roberto pokachinni (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 07, 2002.
All of our local grocery stores, including Wal-mart, have a bin at the entrance for recycling bags. One store takes both paper and plastic. These bins are usually tucked in a corner so you may have to look for them. Also, if your store has two entrances, the bins may be only at one. Another good use for those paper feed bags is for sheet mulching. We've mulched whole beds with them with good success.
-- Bren (email@example.com), January 07, 2002.
We get enough ripped plastic bags from the supermarket (they tear easier than paper, it seems when they bag the groceries) and tie them in a knot before putting in to recycle so that we know not to reuse them.
For those we do use, I bought a thing (similar to what the stores use to keep them open while bagging) with a lid that attaches to the inside of the cabinet door under the sink. When full, we tie them up and put them in the large garbage bag.
-- GT (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 07, 2002.
The bags can also be cut as litter box liners to better control the urine clump at cleanout.
-- Jay Blair in N. AL (email@example.com), January 07, 2002.
Plastic feed bags and other bags can be torn into long (spiral cut) strips and used for anything from tying up Christmas presents (in a strip form some of them are pretty nice looking) to crocheted or knitted into mats, rugs, bags, and so on. Use them for tying things that don't have to look pretty. Plastic jugs can be cut up for quilting templates (small shapes), stencilling templates, cut spirally (2-lire style jugs) to hang up to frighten of birds when it flashes in the sun. Works really well if you paint it with silver glitter before you cut it. Cans are great when cleaned up and punched decoratively. Put a little sand in the bottom, add a candle and voila - luminaries. By the time you go through all the things that can be remade with "trash" (and I'm not talking about making "trashy" stuff, either), you should only have a very small handfull of things to pitch. Get the kids busy whacking together some crafts and such, or cutting up the bags for crocheting. If you don't need any plastic crocheted rugs or bags, look around. Someone else may be thrilled at the idea. If you run a farmer's market stall, or know anyone who does, they could give them out or sell them for shopping bags. They're a lot stronger the second time around!
-- Soni (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 07, 2002.
I like to keep those plastic grocery bags in the truck or car for when I pick up the mail. It is easy to carry that way. Nothing gets dropped or lost.
-- Ardie /WI (email@example.com), January 07, 2002.
What about the plastic jugs that clumping kitty litter comes in? All they need is a rinse & they're clean. I can't bear to part with them because they seem like they'd be super handy for something...just not sure what! One thing I have thought of is to use them in the garden: poke small holes in the bottom, fill with water, and set next to plants for slow, steady watering. I will also set one up for Ken's suggestion of putting the plastic grocery bags inside. What else?? As for paper feed sacks, see my post about plaster-look walls from a couple days ago. Also, I have thought about the bagging rabbit-manure idea, only with horse manure. Bet you could sell the stuff at farmers markets or someplace. Clean, dry, cheap manure in practical amounts...small gardeners would probably love it!
-- Shannon at Grateful Acres Animal Sanctuary (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 07, 2002.
When I sell items through eBay, I use the plastic grocery bags for cushioning. I have also sometimes used egg cartons to take up extra room in the box.
-- Ken S. in WC TN (email@example.com), January 08, 2002.
We use the plastic containers from cat litter to carry water down the hill to the chickens. They aren't too large that our 11- and 14-year old can't carry. They are 1's and 2's so they recycle as well. It might be used also to carry water in the back of the car when you are dealing with a car that overheats and you could also store sand or ice melt in it in the trunk during the winter. Once they are cleaned out and disinfected they might also hold cereal, rice, etc.... Some people might not like the idea but once you take the label off and clean it well--who cares!
-- ddew (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 08, 2002.
Plastic grocery bags can be used as stuffing for decorative crafts. I used them to stuff snowmen as christmas presents this year. I also have a decorative christmas pillow that is stuffed with plastic grocery bags I didn't have batting at the time and have just never changed it. As for smelly stuff I have a corner in my chest freezer that I put things that are going to smell such as crab shells, fish parts and poultry, just put them into a double lined plastic grocery bags tie the top and freeze until garbage day no smell. Another trick I came up with this summer is to smash glass before discarding. We had some old windows to dispose of as we put new ones in the house, hubby commented that he could burn the woden frames in the woodstove but didn't no what to do with the glass, I made a huge bag out of canvas and lined it with that plastic tarp stuff we slid the windows down into this and broke the glass out of them. Worked great the bag didn't get cut by the glass I thought it might it is now hanging in our garage half full of disposed of glass.
-- ronda (email@example.com), January 10, 2002.