A Nearly No-Landfill Waste System


| 9/5/2017 1:04:00 PM


Tags: recycling, garbage, off grid, sustainability, Holly Chiantaretto,

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The guilt that comes with modern man’s daily garbage is equal to taking responsibility for a lifetime of natural disasters. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, each American is responsible for 4.4 pounds of solid waste per day. As you can imagine further computations about the impact of each person’s garbage multiplied by the number of individuals in the United States is enough to make any globally aware person cringe. While you cannot be completely free from the cycle of waste, after all we are human, you can greatly reduce your participation the landfill system.

Take a Break

When we moved out to our farm we made a break from as many amenities as we could manage. As we are not wealthy this was a challenge and continues to be. A certain amount of money will get you off the grid rapidly, the rest of us have to figure it out on our own. While we could not afford solar panels when we first started to move off grid, we could decide how to dispose of our garbage. For most trying to avert the commercial garbage system it is about cost; for us it was a matter of pride.

Of course the first step to a globally conscience method of waste disposal is refuse. If you are personally handling each piece of trash that needs disposed of it changes your perspective on the new “refusal” step in recycling. Even if you purchase most of your goods, there are vendors that will sell you their wares without packaging. For example we purchase our coffee beans from a local coffee shop and they accommodate my no waste needs by filling my mason jars with coffee rather than giving me paper bags. There are all sorts of ways you can get stores to work around your need for less waste; all you must to do is ask.

Recycling does not have to be an expensive venture. First find out if there is a recycling facility that you can take your recyclables to without being charged. We keep our metal and sell it to the scrap yard so we actually make some money recycling. There are always ways to get rid of your recyclables before you take them to the recycling facilities. Ask around your local schools if there are any garbage items that they use for craft projects such as plastic milk jugs, egg cartons, and plastic bags. You can use some of your cardboard for no till gardens. If you can squeeze a little more life out of your trash that is a beautiful thing. Ultimately we separate our recyclables into plastic tubs with lids making them much easier to haul to the recycling center. We take out the recyclables every few weeks when we are making a trip into town for other things so the fuel is not wasted.  

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