Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17

Thread: 3 months, 3 questions

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    3,721

    3 months, 3 questions

    I signed up for three months of trash service so dh and I can clear out the studio barn. It starts tonight. When I cancelled the trash service almost two years ago, it was because we hardly used it and the provider kept annoying me by not actually stopping for the trash (the can wouldn’t be there for a couple of weeks, and then they wouldn’t notice it...)

    meanwhile, a surprising number of things that are larger than a bread bag have broken, and we have generated many medium sized construction scraps (two feet of crushed plastic, drainage pipe, 3 sq ft of wet and dirty fiberglass insulation, tattered plastic tarp....) we have also accumulated a lot of styrofoam packaging that I really wanted to transport to a recycling location, but I am trying really hard to believe that the trade off in time and gasoline (the closest one is over two hours from me) is not worth it. so, while the main thrust is to get rid of non-recyclable scrap, I have also become very aware of things that break and wear out.

    And so, along with the intended clean out, I am exploring my home, randomly today, but with an eye to being more systematic after this initial load, and asking the following questions:

    1) what is the ultimate destininy of this item?
    (trash, compost, recycling, burn)
    2) if trash, do I currently need/want it?
    3) if no - can it be donated and used by someone else? Yes - donate, no - throw away now.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    7,342
    That’s great CL. I throw away broken stuff immediately while DH keeps so he can fix it someday. That never happens. Yes sometimes it’s not worth it to recycle as you point out. We have a recycling bin as big as our garbage can. They pick it up every 2 weeks and it’s full and usually our garbage can is not.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    1,929
    Our former method was to put the broken thing in the attic with the strange idea that it might just fix itself! Obviously after many years we realized that is not a good plan, so I am much more ruthless about just throwing it away. I too would question the travel involved for recycling the odd items. I do have a few things for re-store at Habitat which I can take when I go to town, same with Goodwill but if it is farther than that it goes in the trash.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,044
    Great questions! I'll bet that's an eye-opening exercise, contemplating the eventual disposal of things. One of the benefits of moving house is that the question, Is this worth moving? comes up. But I know you haven't moved for many years.

    I've lived in apartments with big dumpsters where one could throw away absolutely anything. And I've lived where garbage was restricted to 2 small bags weekly. Where I currently live we have a pickup of a small garbage can weekly, and recycling and green waste, big cans, on alternate weeks. And we have one free Bulk Waste pickup per year- 2 cubic yards, it has to be very neatly stacked, and they measure it! (my neighbor invited others to help fill up her bulk waste pickup, she didn't have enough, but also didn't want to waste the opportunity). One can buy more bulk waste pickups for a $110 fee. They will pick up major appliances for $40 any time, though most people here buy from Lowe's now, because they deliver without an additional fee and take the old one away. There is cardboard recycling at the grocery store. I still think about disposal and packaging when I buy.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    3,721
    The styrofoam is not a few odd items. It is nearly a carload - all of our new kitchen cabinets and windows had styrofoam in the packaging. I will probably put it in the trash last, because I am still trying to find a way to avoid that.

    we replaced our roof and built a very large new room on our house, including a new kitchen with replacements for all but the fridge and dishwasher without a construction dumpster. I cancelled the regular trash service before we were done.

    another thing that won’t fit in the gas station or grocery store trash can (tied in a plastic grocery bag with our weekly trash) - used air filters from our hvac system. I put two of them in a trash can - they were sitting in the corner of our garage.

  6. #6
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Saint Paul, Minnesota
    Posts
    5,374
    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken lady View Post
    1) what is the ultimate destininy of this item?
    (trash, compost, recycling, burn)
    2) if trash, do I currently need/want it?
    3) if no - can it be donated and used by someone else? Yes - donate, no - throw away now.
    Around here, they won't take construction "debris" in the trash (if they can see it; can't judge what they can't see). Which either means donation or special collection (which happens a few times a year).

    Not to be a Donnie Downer, but my experience with donating items has been mixed at best. I think the final straw for me was bringing a pile of useful stuff to our citywide collection for "donation and reuse" -- stuff like a wood footstool, sealed cans of motor oil (wrong weight for us), a household fan that worked fine but had been replaced, etc. -- and finding out that they would take none of it. The only items they wanted apparently belonged on "American Pickers" and they weren't going to bother finding homes anything that didn't move. Even in this metro area, the effort involved in finding the right places to house or advertise such items, dealing with people who say they want it until it's time to actually time to get in a vehicle and pick it up (at a time they agreed to) -- or, alternately, getting to the organization that takes such items and then finding out they no longer want your particular non-junk item(s) -- has led me to just discard them unless I know they are hazardous waste or I know from cruising craigslist, Freecycle, etc., that there is a ready market for whatever it is (for example, pallets).

    I know it's serious demerits against my "green" card, but there's an energy that goes into trying to find a place to dispose of this stuff properly on a deadline that runs counter to decluttering and moving on. My suggestion is that, if you don't know there's a steady market for what you're giving away, you round it up and take it all to Goodwill or ReUse Center or just toss it from the get-go.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    3,721
    Oh yes, goodwill is my go to destination - i pass it in order to get to the library, the bank, the grocery store, or my job. I took a carload today. Based on what I see on the shelves, they are not too picky here, and, I see people buying things I would toss out. So....

    if the can weighs less than 40 lbs and the trash is closed in black plastic bags or feed sacks, they just dump it in the truck. There was one day they refused to take any of my trash because a broken plastic mop handle was sticking out of the top of one can (they didn’t even dump the other can) and they will not take “any item over three feet long” - but they took all the shingles, 20 lbs at a time in feed sacks. (I hit the mop handle with a hammer a couple of times and put the pieces back in the trash)

    today’s three question items - 5 pairs of shoes that were still “good enough” to wear when it is really muddy. Let’s face it, i’m going to wear my barn boots. Guests can bring their own boots, get their shoes muddy, or stay inside. Also a nasty plastic shower curtain. - no, I am not going to wash it, use it for a drop cloth, or need it in the barn. It’s been sitting around for a year and I have done none of those things.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    1,929
    This sounds like good progress.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Phoenix
    Posts
    2,082
    I love my working class neighborhood. We put things in the alley and they disappear before trash day. People take them home for reuse or haul them to the metal recyclers. They are happy to get the stuff and I’m happy to give it away.

    We renovated our bathroom over the holidays. Last week our 50 plus year old bathtub and several decade old water heater disappeared in less than 36 hours.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Phoenix
    Posts
    2,082
    Idea for donation - around here, habitat fur humanity accepts any amount of home improvement stuff left over from new projects, or reusable older stuff from the what is removed from a house.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •