Author Topic: Contemplating getting rid of our trash/recycling pick-up...Thoughts?  (Read 4253 times)

Lady Fordragon

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 172
  • Location: Midwest
Ok so my husband and I have had several conversations this year about possibly getting rid of our trash/recycling pick-up.  Before I go into any further details, let me first say that curbside waste pick-up in my city is privately owned so we get to pick our trash collector based on availability in our neighborhood and cost.  From the little research that I've done, there are 3 options in our area.  When we bought our house back in 2009, I was only aware of 2 options and chose the cheaper one.  At that time, our cost was about $50 every 3 months for both trash and recycling curbside pick-up.  Due to increasing fuel surcharges, we now pay about $67/68.

Now the main reason for my question is that over the last couple of years, my husband and I have decreased our garbage production by recycling as much as possible and composting a good portion of our food related trash.  As a result, we really don't produce much trash.  We fill a plastic grocery bag worth of trash maybe every two weeks.  The trash can provided by our trash collector can hold 96 gallons of trash!  It's been at least 2-3 months since I last put it out on the curb and it still wasn't full.  We do however put out our recycling bin every week.

 So what to do?

 Some possible solutions:

 - Call around to the 3 trash collectors and see if they can offer a lower rate
(my husband called our provider last year and they weren't willing to offer us a reduced cost for a reduction in frequency)

 - Get rid of both services and start using the local recycling center for our recycling needs and find a local landfill/transfer station to drop off trash
(recycling center is about 9 miles away while the closest landfill & transfer station are 12 and 10 miles, respectively; would try and make these trips only a few times per year so as not to use too much gas)

 - Get rid of both services and ask our friends who live several houses down from us if we could combine trash/recycling pick-up costs
(we would bring our trash/recycling down to their house every so often and pay them a small fee to do so, which would be much less than what we're paying now; what we pay them would help reduce their costs as well so it would be a win-win solution for all)

Thoughts?

SomedayStache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 761
  • Live Long and Prosper
Re: Contemplating getting rid of our trash/recycling pick-up...Thoughts?
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2015, 07:42:25 AM »
Is saving $22/month worth the extra effort?

The best option seems to be the friends down the street - but it is possible that they are typical Americans with overflowing bins every week and no room for extra.  We take our recycling to my parent's house as they have curbside recycling and we do not. There have been some instances where it's been a few weeks since we made the trip and so we have a lot to deliver and there  just isn't room for our recyclables combined with theirs.  Then I have to take the recyclables into town and sort everything myself.  Plus I feel like I'm imposing on them - though offering to pay a few dollars would help with this feeling (but also reduces your already meager $22/month savings).

When I first got into this website I was looking for ways to save, realized that my family only takes our trash to the curb about once a month, and contemplated cancelling service.  But I held off for a few months and the waiting period made me realize that I do use the trash service.  This is for things like XMAS (the only week in the whole year that we actually fill our bin up) or household projects (construction debris fills up a bin pretty fast).  We have the option to take loads to our local dump, but they charge $10 a pop to do so.  Taking trash to the dump a few times a year would eat into the measly savings of cancelling our trash service.  Plus there's the hassle of collecting trash for a long period of time and having it stink the place up before delivering it somewhere.

I vote for selecting a best option and giving it a test run for a few weeks.  I'd do a test run because if we cancel our service and later decide we want it back we have to shell out an initial fee for the trash bin that is equal to about 3 months of service...so I wouldn't want to change my mind.  If you don't have any fees for restarting service YMMV.

skunkfunk

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1057
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Oklahoma City
Re: Contemplating getting rid of our trash/recycling pick-up...Thoughts?
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2015, 08:08:23 AM »
Is there a dumpster where you work? You could just take your trash to the office every few months.

Retired To Win

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1494
  • Age: 71
  • Location: Virginia
  • making the most of my time and my money
    • Retired To Win
Re: Contemplating getting rid of our trash/recycling pick-up...Thoughts?
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2015, 08:33:41 AM »
...
 - Get rid of both services and start using the local recycling center for our recycling needs and find a local landfill/transfer station to drop off trash
(recycling center is about 9 miles away while the closest landfill & transfer station are 12 and 10 miles, respectively; would try and make these trips only a few times per year so as not to use too much gas)... Thoughts?

This.  I opted for this alternative myself for years.  I did one trip a month (spent kitty litter can really pile up) to a facility about 10 miles away and found that it worked really well for me.  From our current home, the dump station is 40 miles (!!) away, so at present we're using a private weekly pick-up service that costs us $27 a month because I would consider an 80-mile round trip to the dump to be a royal pain in the you-know-what.

Good luck.

Lady Fordragon

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 172
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Contemplating getting rid of our trash/recycling pick-up...Thoughts?
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2015, 02:32:47 PM »
Thanks for the responses! 

Yeah, $22/month savings is fairly small in the grand scheme of things, but I guess that for me it's more of the idea that we're paying this money for something that we rarely use.  The service charge for the recycling (what we use the most) is only $2.50/month with the fuel surcharge being about $2/month, thus making the trash the majority of the cost.  I like the idea of doing a test run before fully committing to one of the options.

I'll have to see if there's a dumpster near my building.


La Bibliotecaria Feroz

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4535
Re: Contemplating getting rid of our trash/recycling pick-up...Thoughts?
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2015, 02:40:58 PM »
Taking it to the friends' house seems like fraud--they are paying for service for 1 family! Even if you could fit it in, still doesn't seem quite right.

We have some friends that take their own trash to the dump. They compost, which cuts down on waste. They put meat scraps and other bits of nastiness in the freezer so they don't stink. Eventually they load it all into a Prius. I used to feel really guilty every time I visited them, back when we had kids but they did not yet, and I put a disposable diaper in their trash, knowing they would have to haul it away!

SomedayStache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 761
  • Live Long and Prosper
Re: Contemplating getting rid of our trash/recycling pick-up...Thoughts?
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2015, 02:48:08 PM »
Taking it to the friends' house seems like fraud--they are paying for service for 1 family! Even if you could fit it in, still doesn't seem quite right.

I don't see it as fraud at all.  They are paying for a truck to come along and empty out the trash bin outside their house.  The  bin gets emptied whether it is 1/10 full or overflowing.  If a few families combine to use only one bin then the truck has to stop fewer times and is more efficient over all.

AZDude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1298
Re: Contemplating getting rid of our trash/recycling pick-up...Thoughts?
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2015, 03:01:29 PM »
I would go with combining with a neighbor who has a similar problem. Same service, half the cost. Dont see it as fraud either, since the company is not providing any additional services for free.

Greg

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1449
  • Location: Olympia, WA, USA
Re: Contemplating getting rid of our trash/recycling pick-up...Thoughts?
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2015, 03:42:57 PM »
I assume your pickup is weekly.  I guess I'd consider how often you need service and how much service. Maybe go halvesies with a neighbor.  For me, the cost works out to about $7 week, including recycling.  At that price it doesn't make sense for me to drive to the transfer station.

But, I go there a lot for work anyway so maybe I should revisit that.  Again though, it's a convenience thing, $7 a week to drive by and pick up my trash and recycling isn't much.

Lady Fordragon

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 172
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Contemplating getting rid of our trash/recycling pick-up...Thoughts?
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2015, 11:57:00 AM »
Taking it to the friends' house seems like fraud--they are paying for service for 1 family! Even if you could fit it in, still doesn't seem quite right.

I don't see it as fraud at all.  They are paying for a truck to come along and empty out the trash bin outside their house.  The  bin gets emptied whether it is 1/10 full or overflowing.  If a few families combine to use only one bin then the truck has to stop fewer times and is more efficient over all.

Yeah, I'm looking at it as being more efficient as well.  Currently, we only put out our trash can when it is at least half full, but usually we wait until it's closer to being 3/4 full, which takes us 4-6 months to reach.  The provided trash can is huge, which is why on trash day I'm always surprised (yet not really)/disgusted at the number of overflowing cans that we pass on our way into work.  A few houses even have two of these behemoth cans overflowing!  It's ridiculous!

I assume your pickup is weekly.  I guess I'd consider how often you need service and how much service. Maybe go halvesies with a neighbor.  For me, the cost works out to about $7 week, including recycling.  At that price it doesn't make sense for me to drive to the transfer station.

But, I go there a lot for work anyway so maybe I should revisit that.  Again though, it's a convenience thing, $7 a week to drive by and pick up my trash and recycling isn't much.

Yes, our pickup is weekly and definitely more convenient.  If we could get our service provider to agree to a reduced frequency pickup schedule (we heard that a neighboring city offers this) for a decrease in cost, then I'd be okay with that.  Since my husband tried doing this last year, I'm not confident that they would agree, but it's worth trying again.

Greg

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1449
  • Location: Olympia, WA, USA
Re: Contemplating getting rid of our trash/recycling pick-up...Thoughts?
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2015, 12:34:42 PM »
If we could get our service provider to agree to a reduced frequency pickup schedule (we heard that a neighboring city offers this) for a decrease in cost, then I'd be okay with that.  Since my husband tried doing this last year, I'm not confident that they would agree, but it's worth trying again.

Our trash service offers this, but it's a difference of about $2/month and the service goes from weekly to monthly pickup.  I have friends who do this and they occasionally forget, and 2 month's trash for them doesn't sometimes fit in the large can.

We have reduced can service, 20 gallon, and it costs a little less than the SUV sized cans most people have, and we hardly ever fill it for the same reasons as you.

Sayonara925

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 131
  • Location: Point B
Re: Contemplating getting rid of our trash/recycling pick-up...Thoughts?
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2015, 01:18:22 PM »
We paid about $23/mo for 7 years of trash p/u service and put an average of one 13gal kitchen bag into the giant trash can per wk. 

Then one day (forehead slap) I realized, why am I paying for this when I visit my parents several times a week to check on them and take food...and they have "free" pickup in the nearby city (included as part of their property taxes)?  So now I just add my trash to their can a day before pickup day.

OP, if you're interested in a trial run (I did that), you should be able to call the trash co. and tell them you want to temporarily suspend service (like when you go on a long trip).  They'll stop charging you and you can turn the service back on later as wanted.

I wish a neighbor would approach me and ask to split the trash cost.  I'd do that deal over hauling my trash around in my car.

Lady Fordragon

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 172
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Contemplating getting rid of our trash/recycling pick-up...Thoughts?
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2015, 01:53:16 PM »
We paid about $23/mo for 7 years of trash p/u service and put an average of one 13gal kitchen bag into the giant trash can per wk. 

Then one day (forehead slap) I realized, why am I paying for this when I visit my parents several times a week to check on them and take food...and they have "free" pickup in the nearby city (included as part of their property taxes)?  So now I just add my trash to their can a day before pickup day.

OP, if you're interested in a trial run (I did that), you should be able to call the trash co. and tell them you want to temporarily suspend service (like when you go on a long trip).  They'll stop charging you and you can turn the service back on later as wanted.

I wish a neighbor would approach me and ask to split the trash cost.  I'd do that deal over hauling my trash around in my car.

Thanks for the advice, Sayonara925! 

Catbert

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1713
  • Location: Southern California
Re: Contemplating getting rid of our trash/recycling pick-up...Thoughts?
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2015, 11:17:35 AM »
Can you get recycling service only for $4 a month?  Your actual trash could be easily gotten rid of by taking small amounts (week's worth??) to work, gas station, public trash cans without causing anyone a problem.

SomedayStache has a good point though.  One off things like Christmas, parties and small construction projects can generate amounts of trash that can't be dealt with in the above ways.

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5753
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: Contemplating getting rid of our trash/recycling pick-up...Thoughts?
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2015, 11:31:06 AM »
Taking it to the friends' house seems like fraud--they are paying for service for 1 family! Even if you could fit it in, still doesn't seem quite right.

I don't see it as fraud at all.  They are paying for a truck to come along and empty out the trash bin outside their house.  The  bin gets emptied whether it is 1/10 full or overflowing.  If a few families combine to use only one bin then the truck has to stop fewer times and is more efficient over all.

I don't know about your service... but ours gets picked up whether it is 1/10th full or 300% full.  They've never complained about overages, even during pretty massive construction times where overages were common..  In our case it certainly is service for 1 address.

DocSteve

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Contemplating getting rid of our trash/recycling pick-up...Thoughts?
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2015, 01:05:59 PM »
Where we live (East Lansing, MI), our trash service goes through a private company. (Granger). I think we were paying nearly $20 a month which was okay when the house was full of kids, but now it's the two of us and we recycle and compost most everything. Granger still does pick up our recycling every two weeks, and if we have a lot of stuff they don't handle (glass, f'rinstance), we take it over to MSU's recycling center. They'll take just about everything, and do it for free!

As far as trash and the little bit of foodstuff remnants we don't compost, we pay $1.50 per big bag for curbside pickup. I think we fill up a bag every three or four weeks, so I figure we're saving at least $200/year.