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Honored Advisor

Trash management ?

The thread on grading your farm has brought up the subject of junk. Linda has a " saved for recycling" problem this morning. I am sure we have all been there. Essentially, anything we stop using and save for some reason...recycling, a rainy day, etc., has the potential to fit into the category of " junk".

It is better today than 20 years ago. You used to have a choice of either loading a spent stove into a pickup truck, and hauling it to the county's central landfill, or setting it on the side of he road, for the trash collection crew to haul, at a fee of $10. Probably cost less to let them do it, but for some reason, we never did.

Our NC county has a system of " curbside collection" ( although there is hardly a curb anywhere in it outside of town) of super-cans and small open recycling bins. The truck rolls by one day a week. Some crews will pick up the occasional overflow bag, while others will not. It's a crapshoot. They tend to be more generous with taking off a big box from a new flatscreen, for example; but, that is really advertising to the wrong element. I am glad we burn the boiler or hot water year-round, so all of our cartons go up in smoke.

Here on VA, the county used to have open dumpster sites scattered everywhere. They were eyesores, and non-residents tended to get by collection fees across the county line by slipping in and tossing trash here for free. Over the past few years, they have shifted to five manned sites. They are supposed to be checking residency status, but we have dumped with an out-of-state license plate for a year now.

Honestly, you would think the collection system would be more convenient...but, it's really not. It takes a lot of muscle to wrestle that big can to the ditch-bank every Wednesday for pickup the next morning. We are a quarter-mile from the road, so it had to be loaded on a golf cart or in the truck, and it usually was too heavy for one person to lift. I have finally convinced Mike to just leave it out, and take bags to is as we generate them..

Here, we accumulate bags in the garage or pickup bed, and drop them at the manned dumpsters every so often. Will be more often in hot weather than it was this winter.

The old burn barrel is illegal wherever we live. It had to be hauled and the glass and metal fragments dumped every so often anyway. Every farm had its dumping place for that.

Made me wonder this morning :What is your household and farm solid waste management system? Does it work well,or do you wish you had different options?
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5 Replies
Senior Contributor

Re: Trash management ?

We burn our trash.  When it is burnt down to a crisp and the tire rim is full, I think he hauls it to the local landfill collector.  My mom has the recycling people come to her house. She lives in the country and has  green yardy to put her stuff in.  I just have to make sure it is out by the road on a certain day.  Some days I remember to put some of our stuff in it like cans, jars, magazines, stuff that don't burn.  I really have a hard time with landfills.  I know that paper will burn and I know that smoke "pollutes" the air, but I would rather burn than see the big landfills keep piling up.  I don't recycle unless I get a wild hair.  Here in the town I work, there is a place I can take cans, jars, papers, magazines, books, etc.  I just can't stand to see it pile up at home to get to the point where I need to make the big haul besides washing them out and taking the paper off ect.   DH takes farm trash and our cans to the landfill collector place.  SIL has taken some appliances to his local recylcer and gets some small cash for things.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Trash management ?

  We used to burn both here and down state.  Down state the unburnables went to the "pile" at hubby's home farm.  We only lived about 2 miles from it.   We of course created our own "pile" here.

Now trash pick up it part of our Township taxes.  They pick up once a week.  We used to put the trash from the parlor out also.  Most of the time no problem but every now and then the driver would say it was too many bags (this was when we were milking quite a bit fewer cows).  Only wanted 3.  So the guy who owns the place we run the bull and heifers brought us these really really huge bags, bigger than the contractor bags you can buy in the stores.  Kind of made me laugh because he works for the trash hauling company.  In fact the land fill was built on the farm he grew up on.  That's how he got the "life time job", it was part of the deal.

Anyway that company lost the township contract so another company picks up weekly now.  They use a wheeled can that is picked up by an arm on the truck and will also take extra bags as long as it isn't all the time.  If you always have extra they say ask for a second can.

We generate a lot of paper trash in the milking parlor.  Use paper towels to wipe udders with.  Hubby just hasn't decided yet to put a washer in down there and go to clothe towels.  So we rent a small dumpster that gets emptied every other week.

They tried to get a recycling center going in town but it just didn't fly.  Although there is talk that they might try again.

Don't really have much junk around right now.  There is a guy that will haul just about anything away very reasonably.  In fact he the one that helped hubby get the wagon with the broken spindle off the roadway.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Trash management ?

We burn a lot of our feed bags and some paper mail with our name on it-my shredder in the office needs to be replaced, it's groaning on a single piece of paper.  But we have a burn pile where we do an occasional burn and we also pay for weekly garbage dumpster pickup.  We take our plastic jugs & newspapers to the local recycling center.

 

Even so there are things we don't know how to dispose of like paint cans.  What do you do with paint cans with dried or yucky paint left in them?  Someone I know said you are supposed to burn the paint out of them and then you can dispose of them.  Really?  Sounds like a lot of work and I'm not sure it would burn.  Aren't you poluting the air with this system?  And those florescent tube lights.  The only place we've heard of to dispose of them (unless you pay for city recycling) is 40 m. away.  Long trip for a few bulbs.  I do want to try & save the planet for our future generations but this is quite a bit of work.

 

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Senior Contributor

Re: Trash management ?

 

We have a county wide recycling place in the center of the county. We take all of our metal cans, glass jars, newspapers and magazines. They have a small room where items can be left is they are still useable and many people use this. We have brought good egg cartons for our grandson who sells eggs. DH picked up some pretty wine bottles for a bottle tree.

 

I thought paint could either be left to dry in the container or taken to a recycling center to be used again or deposed of safety. Some of these places mix the paint together and give it out for use where the color doesn't matter.

 

Once or twice a year the center will take electronics and such.  I was just given some bags for plants made out of recycled water bottles. The plants are suppose to get more air to the roots and grow better.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Trash management ?

If your county has a solid waste department, the staff can advise you as to how to handle different questions like what to recycle and how. There are guides online, but some pretty much require that you live near a center that handles what you are disposing of, or you burn more gas than the recycled resource is worth.

Some guides give you ideas of how to re-use things like the leftover paint. Remember that there are three strategies for reducing waste: reduce ( buy products that require less packaging, compost, etc.), re-use ( taking a new look at something that doesn't need recycling to be useful in a secondary purpose), and recycle ( carry the waste to a place where it can be changed by a processor into another useful product. The energy and other resources are best conserved in that order...recyclng is your third-best option.
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