Confession: I judge you (and me) by the size of your garbage can

I notice. On garbage collection day, I see those big orange cans in front of some super-sized homes, and I think, “Consumers. Victims. Wasters.” And then I see those smaller green cans and think “Oh, you’re better than I am.”

You see, we have a medium-sized gray can. We don’t always fill it up, though, so John and I have been thinking of downsizing. I worry about the weeks we have company or just seem to have more trash for some reason. I could buy the extra bags for $2 for those occasions.

But now that the City of Austin has delivered my beautiful, clean, blue 40 GALLON single-stream recycling bin, I may be ready to make the leap to the smaller garbage can. This single-stream recycling deal blows my mind. They just can’t make it any easier. Pick-up is every other week. All recycling goes in there — no need to sort. Cardboard, aluminum, paper, even paperboard (cereal boxes and soda boxes.) And plastics #1-#7 now! The paperboard and some of the plastics are new additions, and I think those items might be just enough to move us up to the smallest can!

And while I’m cutting the waste in my home, I’ll work on reducing the wasted energy of judgmentalism, too.

5 thoughts on “Confession: I judge you (and me) by the size of your garbage can

  1. Hi I saw your comment on Frugal Hacks about beans and rice, using a ham bone. Do you simmer the beans with the ham bone? I’m curious about how you use it. Can you e-mail me and let me know?

  2. MMSmith — I didn’t get an email with your comment, so I’ll post my reply here and on
    Frugal Hacks.

    Follow the same instructions as above, but add in the bacon or ham bone or whatever you want to use (any salt pork will work) while the beans simmer (usually about three hours). I take the bone out when I smush the beans against the side. Enough meat has usually fallen off the bone to add some great yum! If it’s bacon, the bacon just sort of falls apart and adds some meat and flavor to the beans.

  3. does this mean I can re-start glass recycling at your house since the cost of me driving it downtown was not worth it?? 🙂

  4. OK, our recycling can and our trash can are the same size. I had to look them up, and they’re 65 gallons. We have trash and recycling pick up once a week. Both bins are about equally full each week (which is not quite full, there is room for extras when we have holidays or guests). We pay for both though. We pay a flat rate for the trash pick up and we pay a flat rate for the recycling pick up. The 65 gallon seems to be the standard around here. I haven’t seen any bigger ones and the people who have the smaller (the 40 gallon) trash cans are houses with only two people (we have some elderly couples on our block).

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