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Old 02-13-2014, 01:13 PM
 
Location: The analog world
17,087 posts, read 9,757,380 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WindowsGuy View Post
I read an article about garbage dumps and all the air pollution they create. I never really recycled that much, maybe once or twice a month. Is recycling something I should start doing?
Most air pollution from a traditional landfill is a combination of gases, largely methane and carbon dioxide, that result from the anaerobic decomposition of organic waste that is buried deep inside the landfill. Recycling might help mitigate the production of these gases by removing materials from the landfill that encase organic waste. Alternatively, large-scale hot composting facilities keep organic waste out of landfills, also reducing these gases. Both are effective and can be used concurrently by communities to address the issue.

At home, kitchen and yard waste are easily handled by backyard composting, reducing or even eliminating the organic waste headed for the landfill from your home. Grass trimmings can be left in place to decompose, but dried leaves go into the compost pile. With proper care, this organic waste will soon become rich compost for your house plants or garden.

When purchasing household items, look for package-free goods and reuse bags and containers. Over the past few years, many people have adopted the practice of taking reusable bags with them to the grocery, which is great! To go even further, use washable mesh bags to contain loose produce, and check out the bulk bins for lots of package-free ingredients. Reusable bags work just fine there, too. Need some chili powder? Lots of stores now offer spices in bulk bins from which you can refill your own containers. They're a lot cheaper than buying a brand-new jar. Once you've gotten the hang of it, step it up a notch and take your own containers to the salad bar to load up on package-free shredded cheese, croutons, sunflower seeds, etc. Here's a little-known secret: some meat departments are happy to fill your own containers, too.

How about a trash-free lunch? Wash this morning's coffee out of your stainless steel travel mug, stop by the grocery's customer service desk for a tare weight, and ladle in some tomato bisque from the soup bar. Grab a roll from the deli, wrap it in a bandana or tuck it into a cloth bag, and you're all set. Or if a visit to a fast food joint is on the menu, keep a Kleen Kanteen handy, and fill it at the soda fountain rather than taking a non-recyclable disposable wax cup. Keep a bandana or cloth napkin handy, and you won't need to throw away a paper napkin.

Do this stuff everyday, and soon you'll see that there's very little left to haul to the curb on trash day, and you'll have done your part to reduce the problem of landfill pollution.

Last edited by randomparent; 02-13-2014 at 02:07 PM..
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Old 02-13-2014, 02:06 PM
 
4,718 posts, read 8,928,668 times
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RandomParent - How do the fast food places take to you filling up your Kleen Kanteen? Always thought about bringing in my own cups. Paying for whatever size they deem fit and going from there.

Unfortunately, I do not have an outdoor compost pile - open ones are against code (I know neighbors that got cited for it) and even with the barrel you turn that you can sorta hide, the amount of bugs it attracts is just too much to handle. I do use a mulching mower so I don't have any glass clippings to deal with.

I did feel good today as the only thing that went to the curb for trash day tomorrow was a trash can full of palm fronds that last nights storm knocked down. If it wasn't for that, I'd have nothing to "bring to the curb" - what little we had went into the recycle bin...
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Old 02-13-2014, 02:15 PM
 
Location: The analog world
17,087 posts, read 9,757,380 times
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Dakster, I haven't had any trouble filling a Kleen Kanteen at a restaurant. I've been doing it for years; I think it's one of the first things I did on my quest for trash-free living after adopting reusable shopping bags and dumping the paper towels. Give it a try. Chances are nobody will even quirk an eyebrow.

Composting works fairly well here. Sorry to hear that you're struggling with bugs. Might be that you need more brown waste, like shredded paper or dried leaves. In a mild climate, a worm composter is an alternative to a barrel composter, but I don't have any experience to share.

I'm impressed with your garbage tally. We had a bit more landfill than usual this week. Household maintenance is rarely trash-free. On the bright side, the cracked shower grout is good as new, a hole in the wallboard has been repaired and repainted, and a broken light switch has been replaced, along with the remaining incandescent light bulbs. Oh, and I also installed an under-counter recycling bin, which has been on my to-do list for months! I have a very small kitchen, and I tired of tripping over the large plastic trash can that partially blocked the doorway. It is now on its way to the recycling center.

Last edited by randomparent; 02-13-2014 at 02:55 PM..
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Old 02-13-2014, 02:35 PM
 
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It isn't all the time I get to say no trash to the curb... But it worked out that way this week.

For a family of 4, at least at the house, we do 'OK'. I have 2 - 96 Gal cans just because of the "yard" waste. Most of the time, just one can goes to the curb. (Recycling can not counted) The neighbors with '4' as well - have 4 cans that routinely make it to the curb full... (They have yard service and they remove the yard debris for them). We have pickup twice a week too...

BTW, I don't count your home remodel as being bad. You have to fix the house. When I get into the that mode, I end up taking trips to the dump and recycle whatever metals I can.
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Old 02-13-2014, 02:40 PM
 
Location: The analog world
17,087 posts, read 9,757,380 times
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Household maintenance is hard to do trash-free, but I can't let the house fall down around me! And letting that grout go would have created a much larger project -- and much more trash -- in the future.

On another note, I loved flyingsaucermom's recent post about looking for inspiration in the green living forum. There are so many ways to approach living with a smaller ecological footprint. I'm happy to see the turn toward a more positive environment for discussion. I love hearing about what other people are doing! Even if it's impossible for me to put an idea into action right now, I'm always making notes for future projects.
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:45 PM
 
Location: The analog world
17,087 posts, read 9,757,380 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakster View Post
The neighbors with '4' as well - have 4 cans that routinely make it to the curb full... (They have yard service and they remove the yard debris for them). We have pickup twice a week too...
Wait, what? Holy cow! That's a lot of garbage.
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Old 02-15-2014, 08:25 AM
 
4,718 posts, read 8,928,668 times
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It is - and I don't know how they generate that much trash.
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Old 02-15-2014, 08:48 PM
 
Location: Southeast Texas
747 posts, read 1,203,515 times
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Wow, that is a lot of trash! Did I understand that right? Four 96-gallon cans?
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Old 02-16-2014, 10:07 AM
 
4,718 posts, read 8,928,668 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pnc66 View Post
Wow, that is a lot of trash! Did I understand that right? Four 96-gallon cans?
yup. and most of the time it is twice a week.
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Milwaukee Ex-ex-ex-urbs
358 posts, read 413,157 times
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As recycling technology advances and it becomes possible to reduce materials to their separate elements, landfills in the future will become gold mines of raw materials. They will all be dug up and cleared.

Imagine how much gold and other precious metals are probably buried in landfills.
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