Friday, June 3, 2011

Eliminating costs

I have this whole other post that I have been trying to write for days, but I just haven't been able to finish because it keeps getting interrupted by all of my other growing thoughts. Oh well, I'll get to it soon enough. Consider it something for my growing followers to look forward to (you guys rock!).

(Can someone tell me - can I put a period after the parenthesis if there is an exclamation point inside of the parenthesis?)

Meanwhile, I wanted to just report that I canceled my trash service yesterday, eliminating yet another monthly cost that we just weren't really utilizing anyway. Before our change to eliminate waste from our home, we had issues paying this bill - mostly because we wouldn't need pick up that much so I never wanted to pay. It was a bit of a struggle and the company would get mad at me and then 2 months later our trash can would be filled and I'd call them up and pay the bill and get another pick up. We were paying for pick up every other week, but we never needed it that much. I'm happy about this... however, now I couldn't even imagine filling up that trash can every 2 months. If we have one or two garbage bags a month, it could take 6 months at least to fill that thing (and I don't even want this much trash). Yesterday I asked the woman from our trash company if they could just pick up our trash  twice a year and she kind of laughed. She was not laughing at me, but the thought of there being a need for that kind of service. In the end we agreed to have one more final pick up on Tuesday and they would haul away the trash can with the trash.

And then that will be it, no more trash can.

I have to say, in a way this is so relieving... but in way I'm a tad nervous. It's not about the trash (or lack thereof) that we are currently producing - it's when I look around the house and see how much more we have to do and get rid of. When we finally get around to purging this house (meaning: when I finally get some time away from work to focus on this), where will we put all of that stuff that ends up being trash?

The woman on the phone genuinely told me that she hoped this worked out for me, but I could hear the twinge of doubt in her voice. She reassured me that we could get a one time pick up as needed down the line. This is something that we might have to do later... but for now I'm focusing on the here and now. We will purge what we can before Tuesday morning when the trash can goes bye bye and go from there.

It's really not that big of a deal when I think about it because in our town we have a transfer station. Long ago we switched to taking our recycling here every Saturday instead of having it picked up by our trash and recycling company (that we paid for).  It was that one time that I saw our carefully sorted recycling be thrown in the trash truck that did it for us. Every town in our home state of MA has some sort of recycling or transfer station that is accessible and free for it's town residents. Some of the ones around here have swap shops where you can take things that you don't want any more for others to take and you can take something that you might need if you find it. I really wish our town had this... but I can always find someone in a neighboring town to help me out if I want to get rid of stuff down the line.

Anyway, in our town you can buy tags at the town hall if you want to take your trash to the transfer station. I think it's like $2 or $3 per bag, depending on the size (more for bigger ones). Since we use small 13 gallon biodegradable trash bags, we are looking at really just spending a few dollars a month if we take our trash bags there. Quite a savings compared to paying for a trash service - ours wasn't super expensive, just $26/month, but still!

And you know what else? Without that big ugly trash can outside of our house, there will be nothing for the neighborhood bear to get into at night! Oh yeah, except our compost pile... oh well, it's still better than trash all over the yard.


  1. That is awesome! Congrats on the savings and reduced waste! Please keep us updated on how it goes. We have trash pickup here twice a week and recycling once a week; I've often thought we could use two recycling and one trash pickup each week. We barely fill a trash bag most weeks. I'm going to get those biodegradable bags next time we need trash bags, and I put in an inquiry to get an account for my office since we are a certified green business.

    About the grammar question...Part of my job is copy editing, so I looked this up recently for something I was reviewing. Punctuation goes inside the parenthesis only if what's inside the parenthesis could stand alone as a full sentence. I would probably edit that sentence to become two, to read like this:

    Consider it something for my growing followers to look forward to. (You guys rock!)

  2. I wish we had a transfer station we could take our trash to. We pay a yearly fee ($110) and then we have to buy the town's garbage bags (which are definitely NOT recyclable) for $1 each. Trash pickup is once a week, recycling is picked up every 2 weeks.

    On the bright side, if we don't have enough garbage to fill a town bag, we don't have to put one out. We can hoard our trash as long as we want.

  3. Allie, thanks for the grammar answer - that one always confuses me.
    As for trash bags - I'll give you some biodegradable ones next time we see you! We have soooo many because I bought a case to save money, but at this rate the case will last us at least 10 years.

    ML, that's not such a bad rate but too bad it's not negotiable.

    I would like our recycling to be picked up at the end of our driveway but I just don't trust them. In fact, after having a meeting with the waste removal company for the co-op that I work at, he encouraged us to make sure we ask for documentation from the company that picks our stuff up at home to verify that they are following correct environmental practices and procedures. I'm not sure how it is outside of MA, but I would highly recommend that everybody follow up with their waste removal company for proof that they are doing the right thing!

    I also came across this, which I hope to see at some point:

  4. Thanks for linking to as a source for biodegradable trash bags. Just wanted to let you and your readers know that if you use coupon code FRIEND at checkout, you'll get a 25% discount on your order. Every little bit helps, especially when you're trying to eliminate costs!

  5. Awesome discount for - thanks! I just found you through this blog!