What CAN'T be recycled/composted/etc. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 03-03-2010, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK so we currently end up with about 1 bag of trash each week. We want to start composting, which will take care of about 1/3 of that bag??? Not sure but anyway. So what's left in the bag is random trash. Maybe I need to go through the trash next week to figure it out (ewww) but maybe you all can help me too... We recycle all the cans, bottles, cardboard boxes, papers, glass or plastic containers.... I think most of what we're not recycling are things like the plastic wrappers on packages, dead batteries, scooped kitty litter, random strings & dustballs from sweeping, stuff like that. I should check the recycling guidelines for my town again too. Anyway... so is there anything we CAN'T recycle? We have a 2-bin trash thing in the kitchen, & I'd like to keep 1 as the "recycle" bin and make the other one the "compost" bin and just not have a trash bin... but where we would put all that random stuff? sorry if this is confusing, I'm trying to think it through as I type...

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#2 of 12 Old 03-03-2010, 03:18 PM
 
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Our municipal compost program accepts kitty litter.

Dead batteries are toxic waste and should be disposed of accordingly, NOT in landfill trash. There are return programs at some large chain stores.

Random strings, dryer lint etc. can be put out for nesting birds - I have a decorative wire basket that I hang in the garden and keep it filled up for them in the spring.

Hey - it sounds like you are doing an awesome job already, BTW. Good on ya!
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#3 of 12 Old 03-04-2010, 01:47 AM
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hmm. i don't know about kitty litter. never thought about it. LOL

i agree with the PP that dead batteries have to be properly disposed of, there are usually special days for this managed by you municipality.

i agree about random strings, dust, and dryer lint. you can also put it into compost if it is natural fiber (if you know it is), otherwise, ours also just goes out the window.

as for food composting, may i make a recommendation? do a regular compost bin and a bokashi bin. bokashi is essentially fermenting trash, but you can put meat into it if you have meat scraps. we are doing bokashi inside and regular outside. we also use a lot of paper in our compost--cardboard, paper, toilet paper rolls and the like.

we also have very little trash--right now it's about 1 bag per two weeks? and that's about a grocery-store shopping bag size. it's just plastic wrappers that can't be recycled (to our knowledge, we need to double check) that come off of food packaging. i rinse them thoroughly, reuse when i can, and then when i have a large enough collection of them unused, i put them out to trash.

i'd like to get down to less than one trash bag per month. i look forward to it!
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#4 of 12 Old 03-09-2010, 08:01 PM
 
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Sounds like you are doing great! To be honest...better than me! We have 6 people in our family and have at least two full size bags a week I absolutely HATE it. I recycle everything I can but unfortunately we have a lot of paper towels used and food packaging. I recycle the non-cellophane packaging. To my knowledge the cellophane can not be recycled. Food scraps I through outside to feed my pet raccoon that lives under my porch. All stuff we vacuum up goes back outside where it came from! I don't know of any place that recycles normal batteries. I wish I did though....I HATE throwing them away! But I also try to only use rechargeable for the most part anymore. So I don't have that many to throw away anyway.
I do not know much about kitty litter but couldn't it just be put outside (out of the way) or composted? I may be way off there!
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#5 of 12 Old 03-09-2010, 09:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Apparently composting kitty litter is a no-no (but cow dung is ok?? ) Oh and we used to go through tons of paper towels (even with cutting them in thirds!) but a few months back we bought about 2 dozen large washcloths and we just use them like disposable (I can't stand seeing dirty rags so they go straight in the wash!)

I love the idea of putting strings, dryer lint, etc. out for the birds!! DH loves the idea too!!

Zoebird, are there any other advantages to a bokashi bin? We don't have meat scraps but I'm intrigued!

I do remember hearing the battery thing but I've never found anywhere to recycle/dispose of them! I'll have to check into that. We use mostly rechargeable too but somehow we still go through tons...

Thanks for all the input. So I guess there is no way around throwing out the plastic wrappings from food etc.? I feel like that's such a huge part of our trash!!!

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#6 of 12 Old 03-09-2010, 09:55 PM
 
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the biggest paper towel usage is from my hubby blowing his nose! He insists on using a full size paper towel and he blows his nose SEVERAL times a day!! lol

A lot of our cleaning is done with old socks.
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#7 of 12 Old 03-10-2010, 01:20 AM
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well, you can look up bokashi on the internet and see if there are other advantages that speak to you.

in general, composting bins are for vegetable waste only, and so things like meat, dairy, or what have you cannot go. but with bokashi, some of those things can, and then they go into the compost once fermented and take a while longer.

also, the "liquor" from the bokashi bin can be watered down to use as liquid fertilizer or poured directly into drains around the house to clean them.
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#8 of 12 Old 03-11-2010, 12:35 AM
 
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batteries

http://www.batteryrecycling.com/Prod...Recycle+Kit+12

http://www.call2recycle.org/drop-off...142&w=9100&r=Y

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#9 of 12 Old 03-28-2010, 09:30 AM
 
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You can compost your kitty litter if you buy a compostable brand. There are several ways to do it. The poop needs to go in a separate container from your normal compost because it needs more intense composting to break down the possible pathogens. You can use a worm bin and use it for only paper and poop or you can use an underground methods for composting the poop. The urine would need to go in a different compost pile.

Meat and dairy scraps can go in a normal compost and will break down eventually. I keep my compost covered with leaves to keep the flys away. We don't have a problem with oder or flys or animals getting into it.

Natural-fiber strings and dustballs from the house can be composted.

I agree with the PPs that you should save your batteries and drop them off at a battery collection place. I have a bag hanging in my cleaning closet that all of the dead batteries go in. We drop them off once every year or so.
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#10 of 12 Old 04-16-2010, 08:53 AM
 
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Interesting info on battery recycling...I always thought recycling every battery was very important and I never throw them in the trash.
Today I read this article after thinking about this post.
http://www.ehso.com/ehshome/batteries.php#Hazards

Any thoughts?

Deb, Mom to Madeleine 8/2005 and Maia 11/2009 Nick: and Chris
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#11 of 12 Old 04-16-2010, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmm see I had never heard of needing to recycle normal batteries (I knew some types did need to be though, but we never really used those types and our rechargables have never died)... All of our non-rechargable batteries are alkaline (minus the car battery etc.) The chart says to just toss them... so now I'm really confused. If they are going to end up in the landfill anyway... I don't really get why any place would collect them like that. Maybe I'm just too sleepy still to think this through, but it's making my head hurt!!

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#12 of 12 Old 09-09-2010, 02:09 AM
 
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I have since found out that Staples recycles batteries.
And in regards to food bags such as bags that frozen veggies come in....I recycle those with my other bags at the normal recycling center.....just make sure they are clean.
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