Saving money is important to everyone in today’s trying economy. One place to explore cutting costs is the monthly garbage bill. Hey, it’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it!
Fortunately, you most likely have a few options to help defray garbage collection costs. Each option offers benefits and negatives and depends on your specific situation. While some can be implemented by the individual household, others require a community consensus and cooperation.
Here are a few simple ways to save money on your garbage bill…
#1. Create Less Garbage
Some municipality and private refuse collection companies charge per bag, or they charge a flat rate for a certain number of bags. If you put out any extra bags over this limit, additional fees are added to you garbage bill. If this is the case for you, one simple way to save on your garbage bill is by creating less garbage. Recycle absolutely everything that can be recycled, and upcycle or reuse some items and compost food waste. Another great way to create less trash is by buying and using fewer packaged items and buying items without excess packaging. Buy fresh items instead of boxed goods, for instance, and buy in bulk to help cut down on packaging. Opt for reusable products, instead of disposable products as well.
#2. Use Bigger Bags
If your garbage collection service charges per bag, buy bigger bags. Instead of the small white 13 gallon kitchen bags, opt for the larger 30 gallon black bags. They’re twice as big, but most trash collection companies still only count them as one bag.
#3. Haul Away the Trash Yourself
If you generate a small amount of trash each week, you might even be able to completely eliminate your monthly garbage bill by taking your garbage to the dump yourself! Some refuse collection centers charge per bag, while others charge by the truckload. Call around and ask about the different options. You may find that the small inconvenience of dropping trash off yourself can save you a bundle!
#4. Shop Around
If you have to pay a private company to pick up your trash, shop around! Some companies will match a competitor’s price in order to win business. Also, ask if the company offers different collection choices. It may be possible to get on a less expensive trash collection plan.
#5. Split the Bill
If you live in a close knit community, sharing the monthly garbage bill might be a great option! A neighbor or two might be interested in splitting the cost of the bill, for instance. Designate one house as the pickup point and take everyone’s household trash to that curb for pickup.
#6. Get On Board
Even if your neighbors aren’t interested in sharing the garbage bill, you may still be able to save with a community effort. Trash companies will sometimes offer lower group rates if an entire community or subdivision will commit to using that company exclusively for their trash collection. This option not only saves on collection cost, but can help prevent road damage by reducing the number of heavy vehicles using the road.
#7. Get a Dumpster
No, not just for yourself — a community dumpster. The dumpster would need to be placed in a central, easy to reach location that offers enough room for users to drive up and park if necessary. The group would then split the cost of the dumpster, and the amount each household pitches in will usually be less than a monthly garbage bill. This option also makes it easy to discard large items that the trash collector would normally refuse.
#8. Burn It
In rural areas, it may be possible to burn trash. This is a basically a free option, so you can actually almost eliminate your garbage bill, but not all types of refuge will burn so a backup method is still required. Also, make sure to check local ordinances to make sure it is possible to burn trash. Some municipalities will only allow burning at set times so it is imperative to check the dates that burning is allowed before proceeding with this option.