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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: Will on May 28, 2013, 10:32:33 PM

Title: Mustachian waste management/garbage removal
Post by: Will on May 28, 2013, 10:32:33 PM
This will probably sound complainypants, but it kind of ticks me off that garbage removal is so damn expensive and there really doesn't seem to be anything I can do about it.  Whether we throw away a ton of stuff or just a little, every month the garbage bill is unchanged and (since there is no competition as it is a monopoly) rather pricey (over $50!).  This is for a small can and alternating weeks of recycling and yard debris.  Does anyone have any ideas on how to reduce this cost?  I'd love to be able to throw nothing away and tell Waste Connections to fuck off, but I don't see that as realistic for us.  The neighbors on either side of us are either new or non-existent (waiting for new renters) and probably wouldn't be in to a "garbage can share" anyway.  Anyhow, like I said, probably nothing that can be done about it, so this is just a post to gripe and moan I guess.
Title: Re: Mustachian waste management/garbage removal
Post by: cerberusss on May 29, 2013, 02:01:33 AM
Whether we throw away a ton of stuff or just a little, every month the garbage bill is unchanged and (since there is no competition as it is a monopoly) rather pricey (over $50!)
I think it's a flat rate to prevent people dumping their garbage elsewhere. But then, that's probably the party line.
Title: Re: Mustachian waste management/garbage removal
Post by: Rural on May 29, 2013, 06:08:00 AM
We have several private services to choose from out here in the sticks. Are you sure it's a monopoly? Maybe check the phone book to be sure.
Title: Re: Mustachian waste management/garbage removal
Post by: jenstill on May 29, 2013, 08:21:20 AM
I was really surprised to find out that my trash people had other options than the every week pick up that started when I moved here & signed up. They had everything from every other day to every other month pickup, and numerous container sizes. They even offer an "as call" option. I cut my bill by 75% and felt good about less driving/gas guzzling for them by cutting down to an option that made much better sense for my family. I don't know if your company offers as many options but maybe they offer something else. Also, I cut our need for waste disposal dramatically by 1) composting and 2) buying a trash compactor from a guy on Craigslist for cheap. I now take one 10 gallon bag PER WEEK out to the curb where I used to empty a 13-gallon bag every night, for my family of 5 + 3 extra teenagers that live here every weekend + very large dog. Maybe one or both of those options could hep you too?
Title: Re: Mustachian waste management/garbage removal
Post by: jat9449 on May 29, 2013, 08:48:41 AM
Is there a landfill near where you live? You could always haul it yourself. We used to do this and it was quite a bit cheaper.
Title: Re: Mustachian waste management/garbage removal
Post by: tomk2 on May 29, 2013, 09:13:34 AM
I was really surprised to find out that my trash people had other options than the every week pick up that started when I moved here & signed up. They had everything from every other day to every other month pickup, and numerous container sizes.

Yup. We have bi-weekly trash&recycling service. I still don't fill the giant container over two weeks, and that included diapers for my 2 year old. 
Yard waste is optional for me, and of course I don't buy it. Make yourself a nice compost bin. It should pay for itself in a month or so. I used to not buy recycling service, since I could just bring it to drop-off bins where I work, but now it is a mandatory service in the state of Delaware.

I also pay for the full year upfront for a 5% discount.
If your trash removal is privatized, I would have a hard time believing there isn't competition available, unless you're in some sort of deed-restricted community contract.
Title: Re: Mustachian waste management/garbage removal
Post by: hybrid on May 29, 2013, 10:15:31 AM
Shop around.

See if your service has a different plan.

Go introduce yourself to the neighbors - they probably hate $50 as much as you do.

Haul to the dump.

Ask your boss if you can use the dumpster at work in exchange for, say, bringing doughnuts in on Friday.
Title: Re: Mustachian waste management/garbage removal
Post by: Dynasty on May 29, 2013, 10:34:09 AM
Unless you're living somewhere rural, there's going to be be mandatory garbage pickup.

The alternative is people dumping their trash everywhere except the dump.  This is as much a public health initiative as it is not having dirtbags dumping crap everywhere.

Or go move to a third world country where the streets are filled with garbage.
Title: Re: Mustachian waste management/garbage removal
Post by: AJ on May 29, 2013, 11:08:35 AM
Unless you're living somewhere rural, there's going to be be mandatory garbage pickup.

This isn't true everywhere. We don't have mandatory service in our city (population ~150k). I don't believe any of the surrounding cities mandate it either.

Our provider offers a once-a-month service with recycling (but without yard debris) for about $5 a month. If that hadn't been available, we would have kept doing what we did at our old place - haul the trash manually to the dump. It cost $8 to dump three large garbage cans, which we did every couple of months. We also had to make in-between trips to drop off recycling, but that's free. It was literally cheaper to insure and maintain a beater truck for this purpose than to pay what garbage service cost at our old house (which, like you OP, was about $50 regardless of quantity). We compost kitchen scraps, so our household garbage consists almost entirely of the plastic packaging that isn't recyclable.
Title: Re: Mustachian waste management/garbage removal
Post by: hybrid on May 29, 2013, 06:20:16 PM
Unless you're living somewhere rural, there's going to be be mandatory garbage pickup.

This isn't true everywhere. We don't have mandatory service in our city (population ~150k). I don't believe any of the surrounding cities mandate it either.


Mandatory in Richmond VA, but optional in the larger neighboring county (Chesterfield, pop. 310,000) I live in.  I pay $13 a month, caught a dirt cheap service trying to score new customers.  My buddy Mustachian neighbor goes to the dump occasionally.  At $7 a load, I think I come out ahead, mileage to and from has a physical cost as well as a time cost.
Title: Re: Mustachian waste management/garbage removal
Post by: Sweet Betsy on May 30, 2013, 07:10:49 AM
I have to agree with the other posters that you may or may not have other options depending on your town and state.  In my town in MA garbage is privatized but there is only one company to buy service through.  They do have a couple of options as far a size of cans though.  We also have the option to buy a dump pass which is about 1/4 the price of garbage service (a recycling only pass is free).  Ask around and see what, if any, options you have. Maybe you'll be pleasantly surprised.