A new approach to reducing garbage

Last month, Recycla read an interesting article about the city of Seattle’s plans to cut back on the amount of trash going into municipal landfills. The city has already banned foam take-out containers and plastic bags, established mandatory cardboard recycling and food composting, and set up a registry for people to opt-out of getting phone books. But city management thinks they can do even more.

AP photo

Seattle officials are considering reducing weekly trash pickups to every other week. This would save the city around $6 million annually, as well as reduce truck traffic in neighborhoods. The initiative could potentially keep an additional 1,400 tons of waste out landfills every year, as well as help push the city towards a 60% recycling rate. At this point, approximately 53% of Seattle’s trash is recycled.

While this idea is still in the early theoretical phases, it could be tested in a limited number of homes this summer. Concerns that need to be allayed include whether or not trash cans will develop odors from being full for so long and if vermin will proliferate in these conditions.

While Recycla likes the idea in theory and knows that her family could easily get by on just two trash pick-ups a month, she knows this change could be difficult for other families.

What do you think, fellow Eco Warriors? Could you manage with just two trash collections a month? If not, where do you think you could make improvements to get you to that goal?

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5 thoughts on “A new approach to reducing garbage

  1. Yes. My paper and plastic is collected once a month, the garbage that can not be recycled every two months, but I usually forget to bring this container to the main road, so it goes every 4th or 6th month. No problem..

  2. Heck, we manage one time a month! We could totally do this. There’s a town south of us that wants to charge by volume to reduce trash, but most people fear this will lead to random dumping–not reduced trash. I will watch this story to see how it plays out!

  3. We only need to take our trash out once and month and it all fits into one of those bags inside a cereal box. We are a family of four plus I have a candle and soap biz!!
    I love the idea that Seattle is banning styroafoam-nasty stuff! Our local market lets me bring our own pyrex container for the occasion when we want a prepared dinner from the deli!!
    Thank you so much for highlighting this subject lately-it is great to get folks thinking about what gets thrown away!
    Now if we can just get people from throwing cans along the road–ugg!!!

  4. Lots of councils in England, including ours, have alternate collections, one week recycling, the next week landfill. There was a lot of fuss when they were bringing it in, but it seems to work OK.

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