What do you do with your household trash?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by PA_MIKE, Apr 8, 2007.

  1. PA_MIKE

    PA_MIKE Well-Known Member

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    We have been seperating our metals from our "burnables". We burn our trash in a barrell and take the metals to town to dispose of. I still have alot of stuff that does not burn completly and I have been toying with the idea of making a natural gas incinerator out of a 50 gallon drum. What do you think? How do you get rid of your trash?
     
  2. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    Mike, welcome to HT. A very practical question, but beware some people on here are very against burning trash. I am not one of them. We ship junk cars and all the excess stuff goes there. Then at the scrap yard all the "fluff" as they call it shipped to landfills and garbage recycling centers.

    Oh, and where in NW PA are you?
     

  3. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    i burn paper and card board...sometimes outdoors in the summer, but mostly in the woodstoves in the winter. i don't burn plastics. really, when you recycle the recyclable plastics, glass and metals, how much true garbage is left? plastic wrap and such takes up very little space in a land fill compared to stuff like paper and such.
     
  4. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I got a trackhoe to dig me a hole some years back---about 15ft square and 6ft deep---I recycle alot of things and throw the rest into the hole and burn it. Burning in a 55 gallon barrel is where I started---but its hard to get it to completely burn and cleaning it out was a pain so I had the hole dug. Really if you get into recycling----you will not have alot to burn!! Randy
     
  5. Beltane

    Beltane Enjoying Four Seasons

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    Fortunately, our tax dollars here pay for a great transfer station where we can recycle anything. Most of the food stuffs either go to the chickens or to the compost. We are in the process of residing a portion of our barn so that 'stuff' we are going to burn....although we are probaby not supposto. :(
     
  6. travis91

    travis91 Formerly 4animals.

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    we burn any paper products. but here(geneva county) you are required too have a trash can from the county which is like 144 dollars a year but you can only have 1 can. but we pack it full.
     
  7. Aunt Elner

    Aunt Elner Well-Known Member

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    Food scraps are fed to critters or put in the compost pile. Heavy cardboard is used under wood chip mulch between the raised beds in the garden. Lighter weight cardboard (food boxes, egg cartons) are put in the compost pile. Newspapers, "tin" food cans, aluminum cans, glass, and plastic containers are recycled (drop off bins on my route to work.) Some newspapers are saved for gardening projects (paper pots, etc..) Safe junk mail and paper are shredded and used for mulching or as browns in the compost pile. Plastic bags that the newspaper comes in are saved and given to a friend with a dog and no newspaper prescription. I rarely accept plastic grocery or other store bags, preferring to bring my own cloth bags to the store, carry things in my hands, or push the items out in the cart and put them in containers that I keep in my trunk; but on the rare occasions that I do take a plastic bag, I use them to line bathroom and bedroom trash cans - which rarely get anything icky thrown in them, so generally just have the contents dumped into the main can - one bag can last a looong time. Plastic bags from other items - pet feed, bird seed, etc... - are saved and reused to hold compost/homemade potting soil; and to send produce home with other folks.

    So, what is left? A bit of plastic packaging materials, slick ad inserts, and the occasional piece of broken plastic stuff. We precycle - try to be choosy when purchasing items so that we don't have much garbage. We end up with maybe a grocery sized bag of trash every week or so. We do have a trash service; I keep trying to cancel it, and my husband keeps vetoing the idea. It's $72/3 months of weekly pick up, which comes to about $5.50 to dispose of that little bag of trash. I could probably take it to work with me, or drop it off at MIL's; but he thinks that's too much trouble. We only burn wood and other natural substances.
     
  8. RoseGarden

    RoseGarden Well-Known Member

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    I have started diligently recycling recently, and found I can do away with my trash service and still not have to burn anything.

    I'm not against burning trash per se, only against burning it when it is so close to my house I get to smell a burning garbage heap 24/7 for days on end. My neighbor illegally burns household garbage too close to my house, how very considerate of him. I mean, I *love* the smell of their burning baby diapers, styrofoam, plastic cereal bags, etc. It's so incredibly fragrant and oh so good for the lungs you know. :rolleyes: Around here it's illegal to burn household garbage within a certain distance of another home or on land below a certain size.

    So anyway I got tired of paying increasing costs for trash service and started separating my stuff. I find that after it's all separated, I have no trash that can't be taken to one of two recycle centers. The closest one takes most things, the other, further away, takes everything, and I mean everything, even paint, batteries, appliances. There is a small fee of like $1 for a can of paint if there's old paint still in it, $2 if you have a tire or car battery, etc. But I normally don't even have to pay because I use things up so completely. I do have to have several trash cans to store the recyclables in until I can take them to the centers, but they are just lined up neatly beside my shed and no one sees them. It takes some work on my part, but I really don't mind, and I like to keep the extra bit of money in my pocket every month.

    Just my input.
     
  9. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    Well, we burn what we can burn and what we can't burn we donate to my mother's garbage can which is included in her "utility cost", so she has to pay for it whether she has garbage or not. For really big stuff which we cannot burn or stick in her can, we save it up and take it to the dump a couple of times a year. Also, if we *can* recycle we do. (i.e. using old plastic milk jugs as mini-greenhouses in the spring, etc.) I am also working on a biomass project to recycle newspapers and magazines into fuel.

    donsgal
     
  10. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We recycle the newspaper, magazines, glass, and metal. We still wind up with a wastebasket full of STUFF about every other day.
    If your burn barrel is not open to the weather nearly everything will eventually burn. Wife throws wet paper towels in the waste basket. They won't burn when they are first taken out but they burn completely a couple days later when another fire is built.

    A 275 gallon fuel oil tank with a square hole in the middle of one end makes an excellent trash burner. No other holes are needed. Everything gets completely burned. If not today, it will be dry enough to burn the next time. Very few ashes collect in the tank. I have to shovel ours out about twice per year.
     
  11. mousebandit

    mousebandit Well-Known Member

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    Right now we're face to face with our trash issues. We've only got trash service every-other-week here, and we have completely grossed ourselves out by how much trash we're generating! We plan to start utilizing a burn barrel, and now that we've got chickens, we have a pretty good recycling system for the food scraps!

    But, I've been thinking about it every time I throw something in the trash, and I think that the further we get into the self-sufficiency cycle, the less disposable trash we'll have. A large portion of my kitchen trash is made up of cans and beverage containers. As we move to canning our own foods (in canning jars, of course!) and actually realizing some milk from those goats out there, that will eliminate a lot of my kitchen trash. (And as we crack down on the soda consumption, or come up with homemade alternatives!!)

    A lot of the rest could truthfully be composted (I REALLY need to get those bins set up!) or recycled. We do have a "dump transfer station" about 10 miles from here - I know they recycle some things there. I need to get a list and start making that happen. We also have multiple old trash cans that we could line up and use to store recycleables until it's time for a trip to the transfer station.

    So, I'm just hoping that as we progress in our efforts to provide for ourselves, that will include providing our own re-usable containers for stuff.

    I like the ideas of using my own tote bags at the grocery store, or containers in the car for the groceries.

    Tracey Mouse
     
  12. fantasymaker

    fantasymaker Well-Known Member

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    LOL we have this thread every sooften here. It seems like the last one had some pictures of great trashburners and alink or to to sites with plas on how they should be done.

    Personally I use a combination of things I used to save combustables for winter use in the wood stove ,now since im in the trailer I dont have that option so it goes in the burn barrel when thats full it goes into a 12X12 foot hole in 25 years here that hasnt filled up yet, Of course cans go get recycled and everso often some one will come along and dig thru the hole for metal.
    I think thats a good thing not only does it remove some things from the hole it opens up new surfaces to air and water.

    BURN BARREL
    put it up on 3 cement blocks in a triagle formation, take a steel bar and knock a hole in the middle of the bottom that not only lets in air but also allows drainage promoting longer barrel life. Poke 3 or 4 holes near the bottom rim around the sides,go up 6 inches and reapeat but split the spacing from the ones below , repeat till your 2 feet up when half full dump
     
  13. Rocky Fields

    Rocky Fields Failure is not an option.

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    Hey.

    Paper and cardboard should be recycled...save some trees.

    Burying waste on your property could lead to polluted ground water.

    Burning garbage may release chemical emissions which may be hazardous to breath.

    We recycle and dispose of our remaining refuse thru a county approved garbage service. Anything safe to compost goes on the compost heap. I live on a farm and prefer not to poison my land and the sky above.

    RF
     
  14. QuiltingLady2

    QuiltingLady2 Well-Known Member

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    WA state has very strict rules about recycling. We are asked not to burn garbage any longer in our area. We are very green motivated here.

    We just recieved a new, very large recycle only can. It's wonderful imo. All the burnables, paper, cardboard, flyers etc along with plastics, cans and other recycle matterials are just mixed in this container. I just wheel it down to the curb. It's part of the garbage p/u bill.

    Love it.
     
  15. Marilyn

    Marilyn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I can quite a bit of our food and I give my neighbor the used metal discs for her metal sales. We compost all fruit and vegetable scraps. We take #'s 1 and 2 plastics - clear, green and brown glass - newspaper, cardboard, etc to the recycling bins at the gradeschool. The occasional soft drink can and any other miscellaneous metal goes to said neighbor that scavenges metal for extra income.

    That leaves a total of a small plastic (Kroger-type) plastic bag of trash for the week.

    I should not be required to pay the same amount for trash pickup as the neighbors that have 5-6 trash cans and/or huge bags every week. Our trash service company didn't see it that way. So, a gracious neighbor across the road has offered to let me drop my little plastic grocery bag of trash into her can. I offered to share the cost of trash pickup, but she refused. Thank goodness for gracious neighbors.
     
  16. pancho

    pancho Well-Known Member

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    Where I live there is not any options. You pay the one garbage company to pick it up. It doesn't matter if you have any trash or not, you still pay. If you decide that you do not have trash and do not pay you are unable to get tags for your car. You can live far out in the country and burn or bury your trash but you still have to pay. The garbage bill has to be paid before you will be able to get a tag. No pay=no tag.
     
  17. fishhead

    fishhead Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Put me down on the side of being against converting trash to air pollution. The burning process makes some really nasty products like dioxin. It may not seem like much but when you add yours to someone elses and then someone elses it does matter.

    They go up in smoke and then come down in the rain.

    I recycle what I can and the rest gets buried in the county landfill. It costs me 2 trips to the landfill and about $30 a year for fees.
     
  18. kinderfeld

    kinderfeld Well-Known Member

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    That's nuts.
     
  19. green5acres

    green5acres Well-Known Member

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    We go to the dump once a week a few miles up the road.
     
  20. RoseGarden

    RoseGarden Well-Known Member

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    Too bad to hear about the trash payments being tied to your car registration. I guess they don't take into account someone like me who has found that I really don't need that trash service at all. Yet another example of our government at all levels making sure you pay for 'yours' and 'someone elses' too. :rolleyes: