How many garbage bags do you go through in an avergae week? - Mothering Forums
View Poll Results: How many garbage bags do you use in an average week?
less than one garbage bag a week 15 10.79%
one 27 19.42%
two 45 32.37%
three 19 13.67%
four 7 5.04%
five or more 26 18.71%
Voters: 139. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 63 Old 05-25-2007, 11:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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(Edited to add: Can you specify the number of people in your household - that might make a big difference! There's five of us)

The number of garbage bags we throw out just seems ridiculous to me!

It's usually about one regular size bag kitchen bag a day!

And our recycling bin is always full (that is picked up once a week) and I use cloth for almost everything!

Most of our waste is food, which is really sad but I don't know what more we can do about it: we get some of our food for free (foodbanks) or cheap and lots of it goes bad before we can eat it; we eat at home a lot and cook from scratch but then there's always lots of fruit and vegetable waste (peeling, etc.)

Also, we do tons of crafts, etc and I feel like we always have lots of little bits of stuff to throw away: paper bits that are too small for any use I can think of, etc.

I have thought of composting but we live in an apartment and I'm not sure what I would do with the compost or where I would keep it???

What is your experience and what tips have helped you reduce your waste?

Thanks!
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#2 of 63 Old 05-25-2007, 11:54 PM
 
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We only throw out one or two grocery bags a week, so maybe one kitchen sized bag.

But we have curbside composting, so any food or organic waste goes in there, and we can recycle a lot compared to a lot of cities.

The only thing we usually throw out is kitty litter and the occasional disposable diaper.

I know some people do vermicomposting in apartments.

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#3 of 63 Old 05-26-2007, 12:07 AM
 
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Usually one very full kitchen trash a week for our family of three. We recycle paper, glass, cans, and plastic which helps. We have to drive the paper and plastic someplace but have curbside for glass and cans.

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#4 of 63 Old 05-26-2007, 12:19 AM
 
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We usually have one green garbage bag per week, which is kitchen and three bathrooms worth. Our recycling is always overflowing. Usually just DS and I here, and DH doesn't increase things any...well, actually maybe he does create another bag in the garage when he's home.
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#5 of 63 Old 05-26-2007, 12:50 AM
 
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About 3 grocery bags a week for 2 people. And we recycle.
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#6 of 63 Old 05-26-2007, 12:53 AM
 
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Four people, usually between 2-3 kitchen sized garbage bags a week. We recycle all glass, cans, plastic bottles and paper

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
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#7 of 63 Old 05-26-2007, 01:00 AM
 
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There are five of us. I voted two bags per week.

Why is most of your garbage food? You don't have a garbage disposal?

We can recycle glass, plastic (1s and 2s), cans, paper of all varieties. I reuse or recycle both plastic and paper bags. I only buy eggs that come in cartons I can recycle. We can recycle milk jugs, milk cartons, juice boxes and bottles, every type of box as long as we break it down.

My dp calls me the recycle queen. I make the man recycle the price tags from shirts.... I really do!

We still have the small round garbage can; everyone else I know uses the larger square ones. Only at Xmas does it not fit. Since dd potty trained, it is really easy to make it fit.
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#8 of 63 Old 05-26-2007, 01:13 AM
 
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I voted for 2 bags weekly. However, I must admit that includes a few bags within bags. We have small bags for our bathrooms, and DD's daiper pail uses a tall kitchen bag. We try to dump the smaller bags into the larger bags, but if they're icky they get tossed, too.

Regardless, we put 1 bag of trash at the curb twice weekly. DH is really proud of the household changes I've made in the past year. :

This is for two adults and 1 toddler.
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#9 of 63 Old 05-26-2007, 01:18 AM
 
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1 kitchen sized for a family of 4

we used to not use bags at all but we now have a private company collecting our trash and they require it be bagged.
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#10 of 63 Old 05-26-2007, 01:21 AM
 
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4 kitchen size a week, for whole house, for family of 3, plus pregnant mom using way too many mini pads. But, our recycling does not take plastic containers like yogurt, etc. Only plastic bottles. So we have to trash all that plastic. Makes me sad. I am writing to City as soon as I figure out what to write. But, we do compost a lot so that cuts down.
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#11 of 63 Old 05-26-2007, 07:58 AM
 
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1-2 per week, sometimes three, for a family of five (two adults, three young children). That includes bathroom trash dumped into kitchen trash then taken out to garbage.

We recycle quite a bit of paper and plastic, otherwise it'd probably be another half a bag full.
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#12 of 63 Old 05-26-2007, 11:01 AM
 
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We definitely go through more than 5 most weeks. We've just started recycling some- our newspapers at least. We need to start doing more but are working on it.

When it's just our family- 2 adults and a 2 yo we don't go through too much, but I have a home daycare so we have a bag of dipes every other day. and tons of food trash- they rarely eat what is on their plate but I'm on the food program and have to serve it to them even if they won't eat it. I want to start composting this summer though. Also wanting to start recycling other things.. I'm thinking I may buy some big rubbermaid bins with lids that I can put on the porch to put recycling in. I have no room in the house for recycling and racoons get into any open containers outside.

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#13 of 63 Old 05-26-2007, 03:52 PM
 
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It's just me in my house and I use one bag a week. Then I have a bag of plastic, a bag of glass, 2 bags of paper usually (I get it delivered daily, plus junk mail, envelopes, tissue boxes, etc.) I throw garbage and left overfood into the way back of the yard, in the chicken coop foundation that serves as sort of a compost.
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#14 of 63 Old 05-26-2007, 03:56 PM
 
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You can compost indoors!!
http://journeytoforever.org/compost_indoor.html

modern-mama to DS (5.16.05) and DD (9.11.08) and one more (GIRL!) coming in December
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#15 of 63 Old 05-26-2007, 04:15 PM
 
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We are a family of 3.5 (DSS is here part time). We have two cats and a dog, also.

We recycle plastic (#1 and #2), aluminum, glass, and paper. We live in MI, where we return pop and beer bottles/cans. Our (stupid) city regulation requires us to use brown paper bags for this.

We are still learning the art of composting, so we don't do as well as we can, but we are learning more all the time. We have two compost piles, one for food and one for non edibles (houseplants, flowers). In the food goes vegetable and fruit scraps and eggshells, as well as leaves and peat moss. In the non food goes dog poop, the alfalfa pellets that we use as cat litter, meat/dairy leftovers, dirt, and lawn clippings. We have a municipal compost heap, so sometimes we take the non food compost to the municipal heap when it gets to big and/or smelly. I use a brown paper bag to empty the cat boxes. I just rake the dog poop, but we take plastic sandwich bags with us on our walks to pick up our dog's poop.

We have a very small undersink kitchen trash can, a bathroom trash can, and a basement trash can. The bathroom and basement use regular tall kitchen bags, and the kitchen uses plastic grocery store bags. The kitchen trash gets changed every day or every other day, the bathroom once a week, the basement once a month.

So our total weekly use breaks down like this:

Brown Paper Bags: ~8
Plastic Grocery Bags: ~6
Tall Trash Bags: ~1.25
Plastic Sandwich Bags to Scoop Poop: ~15

I'm always trying to go lower, but we've been stalled out here for a while now.

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#16 of 63 Old 05-26-2007, 04:35 PM
 
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i voted 2, but that is a guess. We use plastic grocery sacks, so they are smaller than garbage bags. Probably 3-4 of those a week for a family of four. We additionally fill our huge recycle bin every two weeks (that's when it's picked up) that includes all paper, glass, aluminum/stell cans and most plastic bottles.
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#17 of 63 Old 05-26-2007, 04:51 PM
 
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We probably use 3-4 actual bags (13 gal kitchen size) but they're not full. I usually make DH take change them out because something (meat wrapper usually) is starting to smell up my kitchen.
We can't compost in the apartment, and there is no handy recycling system here either.

Sometimes I get smart and take all the meat out of the wrapper and put it in the fridge in some better container, that way all the wrappings go out the trash at once. But sometimes I just don't do it.
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#18 of 63 Old 05-26-2007, 04:59 PM
 
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We use 1 a day right now, but thats cause its mainly full of sposies (severe diarhea in the kiddos and not enough dipes in thier size right now). On average its is more like 3-4 a week rather than 7.
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#19 of 63 Old 05-26-2007, 05:06 PM
 
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Sadly enough, we use 5.....we CD, recycle everything from platic to steel to paper...though I believe a lot of trash is still paper dh doesnt feel comfortable recycling and we have to get a shredder. If anyone has anymore suggesions I am open! I hate it!
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#20 of 63 Old 05-26-2007, 05:18 PM
 
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Usually one full kitchen bag a week - occasionally we'll have two. That's for 4 people, and we recycle paper, cardboard, glass, and plastic, so those are not included. We can't recycle plastic bags or styrofoam, though. I carry my own bags (when I remember) to minimize the numbe of plastic bags we get, and I take styrofoam peanuts to the mailing place down the street, where they are happy to reuse them. We do end up throwing out a lot of plastic food packaging.
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#21 of 63 Old 05-26-2007, 05:22 PM
 
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We throw out less than one a week unless I'm decluttering for a family of 4. Some weeks we don't even put it out and when we're good, we could put out a garbage bag once a month. We recycle tons, plus compost.
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#22 of 63 Old 05-26-2007, 05:51 PM
 
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Wow, are we bad. We have a smallish kitchen garbage can right now, and there are 6 of us and I would say we go through about 10 a week. Yikes!
We are also moving so I have been decluttering, and not recycling as much as ususal. When we are recycling a lot, I would say more like 7 bags, but again that is kitchen bags, but gosh, I guess still to many.

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#23 of 63 Old 05-26-2007, 06:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moderngal View Post
Thank you for the link; I'm going to see if I can dig up some supplies for starting this inside or on our tiny balcony. We're in a condo now and I miss composting terribly.

BTW, I voted less than 1 for our family of 4. We recycle a lot and don't throw too much away really. We seem to average 2 grocery bags of trash a week, so I was guessing that's less than 1 of the larger ones, but maybe it's closer to 1?
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#24 of 63 Old 05-26-2007, 06:27 PM
 
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I voted two, but really it's barely more than one a week. It probably averages to 1.25 a week. I don't compost my food yet, but I've moved into a place with a backyard, so I just have to get my act together and do it. Then it'll definitely be less than one a week.

As it is, I get minimal garbage pickup service. They don't offer a lower level, and I have yet to fill up my container more than halfway.
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#25 of 63 Old 05-26-2007, 10:18 PM
 
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I think we are averaging about 3 a week for a family of 4. We recycle plastics #1 & 2, and cans. Unfortunately our city doesn't do the glass, I have no idea why. After we first moved here I forgot and put a jar in and the guy threw it into the bottom of our trash can so hard it shattered. : We were doing more, but I've tried being really conscious of packaging lately; getting meat at the counter wrapped in butcher paper rather than on the styrofoam trays, buying stuff in bulk at the coop and bringing my own containers, etc. It seems to me like its been making a difference.
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#26 of 63 Old 05-26-2007, 10:29 PM
 
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less than one for a family of 4.
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#27 of 63 Old 05-26-2007, 10:30 PM
 
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We throw out 1, maybe 2 (if we have company) kitchen sized bags of garbage a week. We don't compost, but we do recycle. We're also a family of four.
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#28 of 63 Old 05-26-2007, 10:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firstwomantomars View Post
(Edited to add: Can you specify the number of people in your household - that might make a big difference! There's five of us)

The number of garbage bags we throw out just seems ridiculous to me!

It's usually about one regular size bag kitchen bag a day!

And our recycling bin is always full (that is picked up once a week) and I use cloth for almost everything!

Most of our waste is food, which is really sad but I don't know what more we can do about it: we get some of our food for free (foodbanks) or cheap and lots of it goes bad before we can eat it; we eat at home a lot and cook from scratch but then there's always lots of fruit and vegetable waste (peeling, etc.)

Also, we do tons of crafts, etc and I feel like we always have lots of little bits of stuff to throw away: paper bits that are too small for any use I can think of, etc.

I have thought of composting but we live in an apartment and I'm not sure what I would do with the compost or where I would keep it???

What is your experience and what tips have helped you reduce your waste?

Thanks!
There's 6 of us and we pretty much go through a bag a day, plus I recycle anything I can. I also use cloth diapers most of the time w/dd. It's crazy, but that's just how it is.

Sabrina , mom to 4 fab kids!

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#29 of 63 Old 05-27-2007, 11:35 AM
 
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Two kitchen sized bags a week for a composting family of three.

Jenny, proud maker of red things
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#30 of 63 Old 05-27-2007, 06:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow! Thanks for all the replies!

We're a family of five (with a newborn).

We only have curbside trash and recycling pickup and only one recycling bin per family. Without a car, I don't really know how we could recycle more.

I'll look into composting in our apartment.

It's just so much trash it's depressing (at least five bags a week, sometimes six or seven)!
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