Author Topic: On track for a $40/yr garbage "bill"  (Read 1517 times)

Syonyk

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On track for a $40/yr garbage "bill"
« on: May 11, 2018, 11:39:37 PM »
Last year, I did some math on our trash service and realized we were paying $222/yr for trash service - which wasn't very good service, in that I had to haul a can uphill 1/8 mile each week to have them, maybe, come pick it up.  Pickup wasn't terribly reliable for some reason, and hauling a heavy can, with small wheels, up a good gravel driveway slope just wasn't fun.

So I built a trash trailer.  https://syonyk.blogspot.com/2017/10/building-trash-hauler-from-old-parts.html  It's a 1964 pickup bed trailer with a 1973 topper on it, free from a relative who lives nearby - he wasn't using them, and I had a use.  About $200 in tires, plywood, and urethane to protect things, plus some bolts and a can of foam.



This has been working wonderfully.  I hauled the first load after 3 months, not because the trailer was full, but because I had some other stuff to haul (banquet trash, which... I'm not sure why I volunteered for that, but I had a trashed couch to haul too).



Current trends are that we have to haul trash about once every 4 months, plus or minus a bit (I may be able to stretch it to 6 months, but it's likely in the 3-5 range most of the time).  Hauling trash to the dump is a 26 mile round trip, or about 2 gallons of diesel.  Since the weight of a full load is under the minimum (annoyingly), it's $5 to unload, plus the fuel for the round trip (about $7.50), and a tiny bit of truck maintenance (mostly time based, since I don't drive it much).  Or, for three trips, $37.50/yr.

It's more convenient than hauling trash every week, we buffer our trash, and I've diverted a lot out of our waste stream already.  I'm looking into compressing the stuff more before tossing it in the trailer to extend the trip time out, but this project, so far, is a big win!  Saving $180/yr, and having a better quality of life in the process!

#RuralLife ;)
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Miss Prim

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Re: On track for a $40/yr garbage "bill"
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2018, 07:21:37 AM »
Haha!  I love it!  We live on 4.5 acres and I could see my husband totally doing this to save money!  My sister-in-law lives on 3.5 acres next door and she pays us 1/2 of the trash bill and puts her small amount of trash with ours, so we only pay 1/2 for the garbage bill.  Been doing that for 20 years!  At our cottage, we don't have trash service because we haul it home with us.  Now if I could just lower our sewer bill at our cottage.  We have a well, but they put in sewers a few years ago and everyone is charged the same amount no matter how much you do or don't use it! 

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Syonyk

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Re: On track for a $40/yr garbage "bill"
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2018, 09:46:53 PM »
Haha!  I love it!  We live on 4.5 acres and I could see my husband totally doing this to save money!

It's not a huge savings, but it's a very real quality of life improvement compared to hauling a big garbage can with tiny wheels up a 1/8 mile hill of road mix every week!  And then hauling it back down.  Actually, I usually just left it at the top until I had my truck, and then tossed it in the back... or hooked it on the hitch.  There's a bit of an art to getting down the driveway with a garbage can hanging loosely on the hitch, but I'd gotten decent at it.

This is also a very real way to keep an eye on our trash production.  I see it when I'm tossing trash in, and see it when I'm pulling it out.  Some of it is reasonable, some of it... eh.

I've been diverting cardboard out for use in sheet mulching and other garden-ish projects, and that's helped a lot.  An awful lot of our trash volume was cardboard, but it's building in one of our sheds now (flattened).
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nereo

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Re: On track for a $40/yr garbage "bill"
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2018, 09:35:26 AM »
very useful solution.

How does it work in the summer when you've got a bunch of trash-bags baking in a tin can for several weeks? Does the trash ever turn into rotting goop?

Also - trailer registration costs?

Also also - why are those PVs in hte photo not out harvesting electricity for your office-shed?
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patchyfacialhair

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Re: On track for a $40/yr garbage "bill"
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2018, 10:43:31 AM »
I'd worry about critters getting into a trash pile, but that's just me. Great job saving a few bucks though!

robartsd

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Re: On track for a $40/yr garbage "bill"
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2018, 11:05:14 AM »
Waste bills are the worst! I would probably have figured out a way to install a composting toilet (from either ACS or Clivus Multrum) and grey water system rather than repairing the sewer line if there were a way to opt out of the sewer bill (my state requires grey water systems have the option to switch to sewer and prohibits kitchen sinks on grey water systems). My trash pickup is the smallest service allowed and is regularly less than 25% full on pick-up day. Combined these bills are over $160 every other month (about 75% wastewater/25% solid waste).

MilesTeg

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Re: On track for a $40/yr garbage "bill"
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2018, 12:23:30 PM »
Current trends are that we have to haul trash about once every 4 months, plus or minus a bit (I may be able to stretch it to 6 months, but it's likely in the 3-5 range most of the time).  Hauling trash to the dump is a 26 mile round trip, or about 2 gallons of diesel.  Since the weight of a full load is under the minimum (annoyingly), it's $5 to unload, plus the fuel for the round trip (about $7.50), and a tiny bit of truck maintenance (mostly time based, since I don't drive it much).  Or, for three trips, $37.50/yr.

It's more convenient than hauling trash every week, we buffer our trash, and I've diverted a lot out of our waste stream already.  I'm looking into compressing the stuff more before tossing it in the trailer to extend the trip time out, but this project, so far, is a big win!  Saving $180/yr, and having a better quality of life in the process!

#RuralLife ;)

Hopefully you aren't forgetting:

* registration fees for the trailer
* inevitable pest infestations/cleanup time & cost and health hazard
* protection for the tires and/or frequent replacement (UV, dry rot/etc.)
* the inevitability of having a major problem with the trailer that is that old and likely not well maintained (rusted out lugs, seized bearings, rusted out bed bolts, rusted out suspension components, etc.)
* having a rotting, stinking pile of trash on your property for months at a time ;)

Glad you have a quality of life improvement, but I would have just held the trash company to account and made it easier to haul the 1/8 mile (say a home made hitch mounted platform). I'd rather do that than deal with the problems above =) Sadly, it would cost about $25 to unload a trailer like that where we live so it wouldn't even be a cost savings (though oddly, if it were a truck bed still attached to the truck, it would be only $9 hah).

Syonyk

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Re: On track for a $40/yr garbage "bill"
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2018, 02:12:01 PM »
How does it work in the summer when you've got a bunch of trash-bags baking in a tin can for several weeks? Does the trash ever turn into rotting goop?

We're pretty careful about what goes into the trash, so there's not much in the way of food waste.  It'll smell a bit in the summer, but there isn't really anything that can rot in it.  That stuff goes into the compost bin.  It's almost entirely dry waste, with the occasional disposable diaper, but those are just for overnight, so they're rarely messy.

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Also - trailer registration costs?

Idaho has permanent trailer registration - pay once, you're good forever, and this already had a plate.

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Also also - why are those PVs in hte photo not out harvesting electricity for your office-shed?

Which ones?  The ones hinged to the east wall of my office connected through a PWM controller to my battery bank?  They're not just leaning against the wall, they gather the morning sun as it comes over the road and make a big difference in time to "fully charged" during the morning.  https://syonyk.blogspot.com/2016/10/solar-shed-part-13-morning-panels.html

I'd worry about critters getting into a trash pile, but that's just me. Great job saving a few bucks though!

It's up high enough off the ground, and it's fairly well sealed around the bottom, so I'm not that worried about it.  Plus, I'm pretty sure our property cat spends a lot of time under there, so any sort of critter would rapidly turn into a playtoy/snack.  More the first than the second lately, based on the stuff I'm finding laying around other parts of the property...

My inlaws have outdoor trash storage in burn barrels that aren't exactly well sealed at the bottom after a few years of burning and sitting, and they don't have a problem, so I'm assuming that with nothing much to eat in there, they're not going to bother it.  There are far tastier places on the property than a trash trailer without food in it.

* protection for the tires and/or frequent replacement (UV, dry rot/etc.)

It's in a decently shaded area, and I've since tossed some scrap OSB up against the tires to shield them.

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the inevitability of having a major problem with the trailer that is that old and likely not well maintained (rusted out lugs, seized bearings, rusted out bed bolts, rusted out suspension components, etc.)

We don't get much in the way of rust here.  The trailer doesn't roll many miles a year, and a round trip isn't that far (30 miles).  So I'm just not that concerned about it.  Worst case I transfer the trash into my truck bed and haul it while I fix the trailer, but if I need another axle or something, old truck axles are a dime a dozen out here.

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having a rotting, stinking pile of trash on your property for months at a time ;)

If there's no food in the trash stream, what is there to rot and stink, really?  Our trash can we had previously stunk an awful lot more than this does, because we weren't as careful about what went into it.

Quote
Glad you have a quality of life improvement, but I would have just held the trash company to account and made it easier to haul the 1/8 mile (say a home made hitch mounted platform). I'd rather do that than deal with the problems above =) Sadly, it would cost about $25 to unload a trailer like that where we live so it wouldn't even be a cost savings (though oddly, if it were a truck bed still attached to the truck, it would be only $9 hah).

My initial attempt involved dragging it behind an ebike, and I destroyed a perfectly good frame that way.  Starting the truck to haul a trash can to the top of the driveway is silly as well - I try not to short start it that often.

But, fortunately, I don't have your silly landfill prices. ;)
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Gone Fishing

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Re: On track for a $40/yr garbage "bill"
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2018, 03:02:27 PM »
We went from $160 yr for pickup to $0 for drop off (not including the taxes we pay) when I retired.  We were taking recycling anyway (no pickup offered) and we can fit nearly a month's worth in the trunk of our car for drop off.  We have a no food in the trash rule (the chickens get most food scraps) so odor/pests are not much of an issue. Most of the time the trash run can be coupled with other errands, so the additional fuel and wear are negligible.

Syonyk

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Re: On track for a $40/yr garbage "bill"
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2018, 09:45:04 PM »
We went from $160 yr for pickup to $0 for drop off (not including the taxes we pay) when I retired.  We were taking recycling anyway (no pickup offered) and we can fit nearly a month's worth in the trunk of our car for drop off.  We have a no food in the trash rule (the chickens get most food scraps) so odor/pests are not much of an issue. Most of the time the trash run can be coupled with other errands, so the additional fuel and wear are negligible.

Nice!  There's not much out towards the landfill but a shooting range, so it's not a direction I go regularly, but it sounds like you're doing something similar.  Free drop off?  Jealous!

Eventually I plan to have some worm bins and chickens to deal with food scraps.  One project at a time, though.
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PhrugalPhan

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Re: On track for a $40/yr garbage "bill"
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2018, 12:30:52 PM »
We went from $160 yr for pickup to $0 for drop off (not including the taxes we pay) when I retired.  We were taking recycling anyway (no pickup offered) and we can fit nearly a month's worth in the trunk of our car for drop off.  We have a no food in the trash rule (the chickens get most food scraps) so odor/pests are not much of an issue. Most of the time the trash run can be coupled with other errands, so the additional fuel and wear are negligible.
Like you I have a $0 trash system.  Where I live maybe 90% of the county is forced to have county trash pickup paid as an extra fee on the property tax bill.  The area where I live you don't have that - instead you have to pay for private pick up.  I was paying $35 / mo. yet had very very little trash which really irritated me.  So back in 2007 I decided to cut it off entirely.  Like you I compost, recycle, donate, resell, etc... and don't put any food wastes in the trash.  This leaves me with almost no trash.  Recycling is right on the way to work, and my daily trash can be compacted into the size of a softball which I throw in one of the trash cans on my way from the parking lot to my office.

I wanted to make sure to keep this up, so I made myself an incentive.  I started investing my saved trash fees into a DRIP program back in 2007 and will keep it up as long as I don't pay for trash service.  So far I am up to about $7,000 in the stock, and the last dividend (in March) was $48.

Cassie

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Re: On track for a $40/yr garbage "bill"
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2018, 02:09:57 PM »
Here you must pay for trash whether you use it or not. We had to pay for months when our house was empty.

Ottoford

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Re: On track for a $40/yr garbage "bill"
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2018, 05:41:52 AM »
In our previous home we paid $78 every two months for trash/recycle pick up. $468 per year.

When we moved I almost went back into that cycle. Instead I realized there were county transfer stations. You pre-pay for the county bags. Recycling is free. We started composting. Now between  two people we have maybe a bag per week.  I buy the larger county bags which are cheaper per gallon and cram them as full as I can. I know we should probably be producing less trash, thatís a work in progress.

Once year I buy around $70 in county bags and it is plenty. The transfer station is right outside of town so I try to combine trips with other errands.

When were were renovating a rental property we bought I was going to rent a large dumpster but our contractor told me about a dump with a scale that just weighs the pick up before and after drop off.  To renovate the 900 square foot house I had four pickup truck trips of junk. Each were around $15-20. So less than $80 overall. Given Iíve always been an office worker, I was proud of the sweat equity I put into the rental.

Syonyk

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Re: On track for a $40/yr garbage "bill"
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2018, 09:24:33 AM »
Once year I buy around $70 in county bags and it is plenty.

Nice!  $400/yr is a good chunk of change to save for thinking about trash a bit!

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...a dump with a scale that just weighs the pick up before and after drop off.

How else do they work?  That's literally all I've ever seen.  I eagerly await the first dump trip with a new vehicle because it's the easiest (and most legal) way I've found to weight a vehicle.  Full tanks, I know what I weight, check the slip on the way out and you've got a vehicle weight. :D
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Ottoford

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Re: On track for a $40/yr garbage "bill"
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2018, 01:45:18 PM »
Once year I buy around $70 in county bags and it is plenty.

Nice!  $400/yr is a good chunk of change to save for thinking about trash a bit!

Quote
...a dump with a scale that just weighs the pick up before and after drop off.

How else do they work?  That's literally all I've ever seen.  I eagerly await the first dump trip with a new vehicle because it's the easiest (and most legal) way I've found to weight a vehicle.  Full tanks, I know what I weight, check the slip on the way out and you've got a vehicle weight. :D

Excuse my newness. I didnít even know about the weighing thing. I grew up in suburbia that had town junk pick up weeks. So this luxury was new to me!

Syonyk

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Re: On track for a $40/yr garbage "bill"
« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2018, 04:59:48 PM »
Huh.  Yeah, all I've ever seen for dumps and transfer stations ($$$ ouch) are weight based.  Usually with some minimum.  I'm annoyed if I don't hit the minimum weight on a dump run (you pay the same if it's 1lb or 500lb, up to... I think 600lb is the base fee), but my trailer tends to run light and not make minimum.
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Gone Fishing

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Re: On track for a $40/yr garbage "bill"
« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2018, 08:53:18 PM »
Huh.  Yeah, all I've ever seen for dumps and transfer stations ($$$ ouch) are weight based.  Usually with some minimum.  I'm annoyed if I don't hit the minimum weight on a dump run (you pay the same if it's 1lb or 500lb, up to... I think 600lb is the base fee), but my trailer tends to run light and not make minimum.

How far under do you tend to run?

Syonyk

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Re: On track for a $40/yr garbage "bill"
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2018, 09:22:31 PM »
How far under do you tend to run?

Still working out averages, but I think a trailer load is about 400lb, against the minimum of 600lb.  The minimum charge is only $5, so it's not like it's costing me more than a few pennies, but I just like to optimize my loads to the dump.  I can always see if my neighbors have anything that needs hauling when I go for a couple bucks (I can toss it in the truck bed before I hook up the trailer).
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Syonyk

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Re: On track for a $40/yr garbage "bill"
« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2018, 11:51:15 AM »
I hauled a full trailer today, 360lb.  I need to work on increasing the density of trash in there - I noticed that there were a lot of empty milk jugs and the like that hadn't been squashed down.  Plus a lot of the trash bags aren't really packed that well.  I'm going to work on that, because if I can improve density by 50%, I can get up to the minimum weight, and add another 2-3 months as well.

This time was almost exactly 4 months, but there was a lot of ferret room debris in there from when we tore the old one apart and created a new area for them.  So, I think 6 months is doable with some compression.

I'd like to find a use for paper waste.  I'm half thinking about building compressed logs out of them, but I'd have to use them in campfires and such, as I don't (yet) have a wood burner.
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