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Victory: downsizing our garbage can

In this rampant era of super-sized everything (have you noticed lately you can buy a chocolate bunny as big as a preschooler?), our family enters a new era by downsizing our trash can and depositing less landfill waste.

We'd been using a 20-gallon garbage can for years, and filling it pretty much to the brim each week due to having kids in disposable diapers for the past 5 years. But the little one is now down to one nighttime diaper a day, and our garbage can has become so light I can lift it with one hand.

So I called the Troudt Brothers (our sanitary and recycling carriers here in Hillsdale), and asked if we could switch to a smaller size or less frequent pickups. And we can! We now will put out our trash can the first week of every month on our regular pickup day. We still get to put out recycle bins weekly, and the yard waste bins (bi-weekly, according to the schedule). I never thought such a thing would make me so happy! Funny what gives you a thrill as you get older.

In addition to getting rid of the diapers, here are the things we do to keep our trash to a minimum:

  • Compost food scraps (veggie and fruit peelings, coffee grounds, egg shells, etc.)
  • Compost yard waste
  • Recycle all the curbside pickup stuff (plastic bottles, glass, metal cans, foil, newsprint and mixed paper, cardboard, etc.)
  • Recycle non-curbside pickup items (all the rigid plastics, plastic bags, yogurt cups, etc.)

I don't want to sound like I'm bragging. I never even realized this was an option until Jen from our GreenGroup mentioned she had monthly pickup. Just food for thought. It's amazing how little garbage you can produce if you set your mind to it and change some habits. And it costs less each month, too.


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