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Second year with only one bag of garbage!

This is the second year running where I’ve been able to keep my garbage (non-divertible waste) down to only a single container for one year. Granted, it’s just myself and there are no pets – yet.

What was in the garbage?

About a quarter of the garbage came from the built-in vacuum cleaner with 3 years’ worth of contents. Hamilton’s Green Bin program no longer accepts vacuum contents or dryer lint. Both contain microplastics which should not be in the compost that is spread on farmers’ fields.

The majority of the remaining garbage was laminated film, largely junk food bags. With the start of the new “waste year”, which for me follows our Victoria Day weekend, I resolved to reduce the junk food bags. The plan to replace chips with air-popped, bulk popcorn is working so far!

All smelly waste was hand washed with the dishes. As a result the garbage, collected in the basement, did not smell. Chip bags collected small, lightweight garbage. This prevented the wind picking them up and spreading them throughout the neighbourhood, from the open-top container.

How did I cut down on waste?

  • Followed the municipal diversion programs vigilantly, both curbside and those available at our Community Recycling Centres.
  • Searched out other sources to recycle select waste (more information on this in future posts).
  • Donated goods no longer needed but still in good shape.
  • Collected tattered clothing and fabric scraps for textile recycling.
  • Shopped mindfully to avoid excess and non-recyclable packaging. Thrift store shopping made this so much easier.
  • Used reusable shopping bags and my own cheesecloth produce bags.
  • Shopped at bulk stores and the farmers’ market with my own reusable containers.

Zero waste, which is the ultimate goal, will not happen overnight. Baby steps are fine as you learn what does and doesn’t work for you. Adjust as needed.