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Saving on Trash Removal...

Brent Rickenbacker


Joined: Jun 13, 2011
Posts: 23
I recently started saving almost 30 bucks a month. I discovered the folks who were doing our trash pickup were rummaging through our garbage... Kinda creepy... Especially when one of their employees tells you they have pictures of your family in their house. (Ok... Real creepy.)... So... Yeah... I no longer allow these folks to do trash pickup... In fact... I no longer pay for trash pickup. I built an incinerator in my back yard and I burn the paper and cardboard stuff... The incinerator burns it very cleanly. We recycle our plastics, and we compost our food wastes whenever we can. Anything we can't dispose of gets taken to the dump (Or maybe thrown in the trash can at the gas station up the road. LOL)

I know... this isn't huge savings, but it's 30 bucks back in my pocket that I didn't have before. Its a start.

I'm also looking at the possibility of starting to convert the paper wastes into heat for my house during the winter months. That could prove to be exponentially more money saved.
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 5811
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
  85
Many areas now prohibit incinerators. I don't believe you can use them in any of the west coast states (except Alaska?)

Take that first $30 savings, and buy a paper shredder. Dump the shredded paper in your compost pile.
Better to feed your soil microbes than to put more smoke into the air.
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5318
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
I hate it when my neighbors burn their trash. Here whenever it rains a bunch of folks run out to set their burn piles on fire, stinking up the entire valley.


Idle dreamer

Marla Kacey


Joined: Jul 07, 2011
Posts: 37
Location: Wyoming Zone 4
Congrats on saving $30/month! Though I agree that burning is probably not the best choice for paper products. Mulch or compost would be far more ecologically sound.

Deb Stephens


Joined: Dec 03, 2011
Posts: 177
Location: SW Missouri
    
    2
You mean there are people who actually have trash service? Haven't seen that since we left the city (going on 20 years now). If we can't compost it, burn it, or recycle it, we save it until we get a pick-up load and then haul it all to the local landfill. Fortunately we only get the equivalent of about 1 standard garbage bag of stuff that has to be discarded every month (sometimes not for two months) so it only means one or two trips a year for us.

I heartily agree about the trash burning neighbors too!!! It seems every time we have a nice day or want to spend a few hours enjoying the stars on a summer night, some idiot decides to burn all his garbage (including tires, plastic, mattresses, whatever!) and we get to smell all that for hours. I have tried to see if anything can be done about it, but here in Missouri the rules only apply if you live in the city limits. Otherwise -- if you want to burn your house down, they don't care unless it burns the neighbor's house in the process.
Brent Rickenbacker


Joined: Jun 13, 2011
Posts: 23
When I say burn my trash... I mean I burn it. The combustion is truly something to behold. I "engineered" a steel barrel with holes cut in the bottom and a 4 inch diameter smoke stack. It is designed to burn intensely... So intensely in fact that everything is reduced to ash and there really isn't much smoldering going on afterwards. The flames do this really cool cyclonic pattern and it sometimes will even speak to you. The smoke stack output is usually clear. The stinky smoke everyone is mentioning here comes from smoldering plastic, etc.

Here's my incinerator...
http://streetjesus.blogspot.com/2011/05/diy-55-gallon-drum-incinerator.html

Works for me. In the future I might try to build one out of concrete and block.

Cheers!
Eric Thompson


Joined: Apr 23, 2011
Posts: 204
Location: Bothell, WA - USA
I would agree that composting is an improvement over burning, even if you don't bother to shred it. If you're already composting food, all the better - they go together nicely - yard clippings too! When you're ready to take that up a notch, add some household urine on top a few times a week! If you have a space for 2 piles (or pallet frame bins) you can continually alternate filling and composting, keeping them both a little wet.
When you're ready to take that up another notch, start processing other people's waste too - scraps, leaves, wood chips...we all have a cornucopia of waste around us ready to re-purpose!
Deb Stephens


Joined: Dec 03, 2011
Posts: 177
Location: SW Missouri
    
    2
Brent Rickenbacker wrote:

Works for me. In the future I might try to build one out of concrete and block.



When you do your next one, you might want to try making a fire clay mix instead of concrete. Concrete will spall after a few hot fires and probably won't work out in the long run.

I made a pretty nifty furnace once for melting bronze by drilling a regular pattern of holes in a large metal trash can then inserting bolts through the holes to hold a network of wire about 1/2 inch away from the inside walls. I plastered the refractory mix against the inside -- incorporating the wires and the ends of the bolts to keep the wet clay from slumping. There was also a 2" hole as an inlet at the bottom for inserting a metal pipe. I could build a charcoal fire inside the furnace and get it hot enough to melt a crucible of bronze by using a vacumn cleaner as a blower (reverse the suction and place the hose at the opening of the pipe at the bottom). Did the lid the same way and installed a hole for inserting the crucible and watching the fire. That thing got HOT! But the metal on the outside was barely warm. I'm sure you could do something along those lines with your 55 gallon drum to make a nice burner for your trash. (I'm thinking about building one myself now that I think about it.) You can get powdered clay and other ingredients to make refractory material at any pottery supply place and mix it yourself. It is surprisingly cheap and easy to do.
diane askin


Joined: Feb 06, 2012
Posts: 1
As a junk removal business owner, the real costs come from the heavy items. If you can get rid of stuff like old stoves and laundry machines on your own, you'll save yourself a good chunk of change. Unlike many trades workers who charge by the hour, we tend to charge by the load, specifically the weight. It may take us an hour to go through and clean up your home or business with the stuff you want out, but you're not paying for that time (for most business models in the junk removal business). If you can find a junk removal business who works by the hour, consider getting everything tidied up and prepped for their arrival and leave the heavy stuff for them. Just understand what their business model is and adjust accordingly.
Brad Smith


Joined: Mar 08, 2012
Posts: 1
Yes, if you can handle getting rid of stuff like gravel, rocks and dirt on your own, that will save you a lot of money. Most people need a junk removal service for bigger, bulkier items like old refrigerators, TV units and mattresses.

Brad
Brad's Junk Removal Vancouver
M Turf


Joined: Sep 16, 2013
Posts: 12
Location: Southeast Michigan
"Especially when one of their employees tells you they have pictures of your family in their house. (Ok... Real creepy.)"

Why were you throwing out pictures of your family?
Adam Klaus
pollinator

Joined: Apr 16, 2013
Posts: 790
Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
    
  39
Tyler Ludens wrote:I hate it when my neighbors burn their trash. Here whenever it rains a bunch of folks run out to set their burn piles on fire, stinking up the entire valley.


Seriously. Burning trash is absolutely classless. You might be saving a little cash, but you are outsourcing the expense to the entire community that has to deal with your air pollution.

Please, new-to-country-living folks, dont consider burning trash a solution to anything. It is a problem. Thanks in advance for your cooperation!


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Jocelyn Campbell
steward

Joined: Nov 09, 2008
Posts: 2213
Location: Missoula, MT
    
  37
I'm glad the OP said he doesn't burn plastics - that is noxious. And heck, saving $30/month is awesome!

This video from 2011 still inspires me about reducing trash.



This family composts their paper waste, which is not something we'll be doing here are paul's project, but we do use paper and cardboard waste for lighting the new RMHs.

We just had the Farmstead Meatsmith workshops and the meat that is not currently hanging in the kitchen was wrapped in plastic wrap and butcher paper before putting in the chest freezer. We would love alternatives to plastic and paper in the future. I imagine we might can some meat in the future, though for a freezer - whether on or off grid or wofati - what's a good alternative wrap?


Hands-on workshops in all shades of green - Cascadia & Seattle Eco Events Calendar | QuickBooks Consulting and Accounting Services - www.jocelyncampbell.com
Jocelyn Campbell
steward

Joined: Nov 09, 2008
Posts: 2213
Location: Missoula, MT
    
  37
Brent Rickenbacker wrote:I'm also looking at the possibility of starting to convert the paper wastes into heat for my house during the winter months. That could prove to be exponentially more money saved.


Paul talks about how Ianto Evans used junk mail in a RMH (http://www.richsoil.com/rocket-stove-mass-heater.jsp) to heat his place one year. Junk mail only - no wood.
R Scott


Joined: Apr 13, 2012
Posts: 1811
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
    
  19
Jocelyn Campbell wrote:
We just had the Farmstead Meatsmith workshops and the meat that is not currently hanging in the kitchen was wrapped in plastic wrap and butcher paper before putting in the chest freezer. We would love alternatives to plastic and paper in the future. I imagine we might can some meat in the future, though for a freezer - whether on or off grid or wofati - what's a good alternative wrap?


You can used waxed cotton/muslin. Or hides. OLD SCHOOL. sort, of--as old school as refrigeration, anyway.


"You must be the change you want to see in the world." "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." --Mahatma Gandhi
"Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words." --Francis of Assisi. "Family farms work when the whole family works the farm." -- Adam Klaus
Jocelyn Campbell
steward

Joined: Nov 09, 2008
Posts: 2213
Location: Missoula, MT
    
  37
Perfect R Scott - will look at acquiring those. Might not protect from freezer burn as well plastic, but would rather salt-cure, dry or can for longer-term storage any way.
Alder Burns
pollinator

Joined: Feb 25, 2012
Posts: 784
Location: northern California
    
  20
When I was making biochar in Georgia I found that paper made better char than woodchips or sticks, so I would use these in the outer barrel of my double-barrel system, and put paper of all sorts in the char barrel. The result was easy to crumble into fine flakes that would absorb a lot of urine and blend into the soil easily....


Alder Burns (adiantum)
 
 
subject: Saving on Trash Removal...
 
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