Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A bit about our trash

Since we started house hunting way back in the fall Kyle and I have been talking about our trash.  Well, more specifically how we couldn't wait to start recycling again and to try composting.  At almost the same time we moved into our house, Gulfstream (the company Kyle works for), began offering single-stream recycling!! This means we can throw all of our recycles into one bag with no sorting and Kyle can just drop it off in the parking lot at his work!  Our town STILL doesn't have curbside recycling which I think is sad.  My parents live out of city limits and have just this week received their new recycling trash cans and we are sooo jealous.  But really, our way is easy and convenient and it feels like a luxury compared to driving 15 minutes to a recycling dump spot like we had to do when we lived in Atlanta. 

After lots of searching, and trying out a weird futuristic trashcan for a few days and realizing it was too much, we finally found trash cans we liked.  We decided the easiest thing would be to have two cans, one for trash and the other for recycles.   So it's worked out well and we end up taking out our recycling waaaay more often than the trash.
This is not a glamorous picture, but I wanted to give a visual.. and I DO plan to make some cute labels...even if it takes a few more months :)
Shortly after moving into our house, Kyle started researching how to compost.  We wanted to start composting for two reasons- 1) to use our organic waste instead of just throwing it into a landfill and 2) to (hopefully) make some great stuff we could use for our garden (post about the garden soon).  I can't really take any credit for this compost initiative because Kyle has done all the researching, ordering of supplies, and all the dirty "dirt" work.  He used a composting method found on the blog young house love (this is an awesome blog for anyone interested in "home" anything).  Instead of buying an expensive compost barrel Kyle just bought a large plastic storage bin and drilled holes in the top and the bottom.  I'm going to show you the process in the next few pictures. 
This little compost trashcan sits underneath our sink.  We fill it with all our organic waste.  Here's a list of things you can and cannot compost, in case you're wondering.  The list surprised me!! 

Simple and easy, with a lid that neutralizes the odor.

Bags that we can compost.

Compost in the making.

Kyle moving everything around before he pours the new stuff in.

Adding all that....goodness!

Kyle then turns everything around again.  It's hard and stinky work.

He then levels it out and makes sure everything is covered.  He usually adds more soil and leaves. 

This finished product.

It's resting spot underneath our deck.
Hopefully our bin will produce some rich compost that we will be able to use in our yard and garden!  It's amazing how little trash we produce after recycling and composting.  We only need to put our trash can out every 3 or 4 weeks. 
Look how empty our can was after 2 weeks! I love it.
I love recycling and am really beginning to love composting too..It makes me feel good doing a little something nice for our precious Mother Earth. 


  1. Brandie,
    We use the same compost method, gotta love those Youngsters :) We definitely have a lot of organic waste, and composting is a great way to put it to use! I really want to build a large compost heap area so that we can put even more into the pile, yard waste, etc. Can't wait to see you garden!

  2. Wow! That does look like a lot of work, but the pay off will be worth it!

    The U is a green mapping site, so we had one huge recycling bin (that was literally outside our door pretty much) that people drove from all over to put their recycling in. Lately, it has become apparent that the capacity was far too small, so last week they came out and replaced HALF of the dumpsters in our apartment complex (which has over 1500 apartments!) with recycling bins! It is so exciting to realize that so many people are recycling that we need more bins!

    I remember how Richmond Hill was...there was a huge scandal once they finally did put recycling bins out (tiny ones, I may add) back when I was living there- they were dumping the recycling in with the regular trash!!! Apparently is was "cheaper"; it's far more expensive in the long run, to be sure!

    Take pride in the work you are doing to make your planet and lives healthier :)