Turning our old garbage system upside down and inside out
Original post made by peter carpenter, Atherton: Lindenwood, on Jan 6, 2011
The new three container (black-garbage, blue - recycle and green-compost) waste collection system is both an opportunity and a challenge. The opportunity is to dramatically decrease the amount of our 'stuff' that goe to the landfill and to correspondingly increase the amount that we recycle and compost. The new sorting rules permit much more of what use to be garbage to go into both the recycle bin and the compost bin. The challenge is to change that way that we collect and manage our waste streams inside our homes. Most homes are configured to put a lot of stuff in the trash compactor which then goes into the black garbage bin. With the old system we had a compost pail on the sink, a trash compactor for garbage and bins for newspapers and other recyclables. Now that more of what use to be garbage is going into the recycle and compost b bins we have reconfigured our inside the house waste stream collection. We still use the compost pail and we have added another larger pail (technically the same design as the compost pail) as a garbage pail and now all of the recyclables go into the trash compactor. We still have to deal with the cardboard packaging material by taking it directly to the blue bin but all of the compressible recycling first goes into the trash compactor.
I have been able to REDUCE my cost from last year by 30% and I will increase the amount of material that I put into the recycle and compost streams - a true Win-Win. We actually put more stuff into our sink garbage disposal now than we put into the black garbage bin.
Old system - 1 96 gallon garbage and 3 compost bins (1 1/2 /week) at a monthly cost of $73.30
New system - I have determined that I will only need 32 gallons for garbage and I will add 1 more 64 gallon recycle and 1 more compost bin for a total of 1 - 32 gallon garbage, 2 - 64 gallon recycle and 3 compost bins for a total of $49.55/month.
Result - more recycling, more compost, weekly pickups and a LOWER total cost.
The key for me was to change the garbage compactor into a recycle compactor and add a garbage pail next to the compost pail on the sink.