Reader Survey: How Many Bags of Trash Do You Throw Out Weekly?

Reader Survey: How Many Bags of Trash Do You Throw Out Weekly?

Gregory Han
Dec 11, 2008

This morning we sprung out of bed early and made it a plan to get our home in order. Vacuuming, cleaning, and putting away things and placing them in their appropriate spots. We'd say we're about 60% done (oh, the closet), but we came away wondering about how much waste we produce on average after taking out the trash and recyclables. Since switching to disposing our non-meat leftovers to a compost bin and mostly avoiding shopping at big box stores, we think our weekly trash total has dropped to about 1.5 bags of garbage and 1 bag of recyclable packaging material (mostly from items sent to us for review), compared to about 2-3 bags per week for 2 people and 2 cats in our household....

How about yourselves? Abby asked a similar question earlier this year, but we don't normally weigh our trash output and mostly measure by total bags that hit curbside. And be sure to mention how many are in your household, since we understand this corresponds directly with the total.

We've consider going plastic trash bagless, but this isn't such a great idea when you have to dispose of cat litter regularly, so we just try to keep it in check and stick to paper bags for our recyclable collection (and yes, we bring reusable canvas bags when we shop). Donating instead of throwing out, throwing a yard sale, and just offering our friends extraneous items has culled our total possessions and waste output quite a bit too (trust us, let it'll feel better after the initial discomfort of giving "it" up).

Beth put together an excellent list of ways to cull back your weekly trash output here. The one we're battling is the ongoing delivery of junk mail, despite contacting a million junk mail lists to stop the insanity (yet another reason to shop local). We've also given up on bottled water except in exceptional circumstances while traveling (Kleen Kanteens are excellent replacements). We guess our next step is do a trash audit and break down exactly what and where the bulk of our waste is coming from and make necessary changes. But perhaps after the holidays, since the amount of trash during the holidays is always exceptionally more than normal.

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