The Garbage Project – April 20, 2016

blog garbage 1This is week one of tracking our garbage, compost and recyclables. We started this project after the City of Red Deer proposed a change in waste limits, a change where no matter how many people reside in your household the limit is the same. Personally we think garbage output limits should be based on occupancy. If scaling back what goes in the landfill is the goal,  the limits per household need to be based proportionately on the number of people residing in the dwelling (after all a census is done each year to provide that very information!).

So in order to see what we produce for garbage, recycling and compost we have decided to track for a few weeks what goes out on collection day.

This week we produced:

2 – 75L bags of garbage

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1/3 bucket of compost

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3 large bins of recycling

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……plus refundable cans and bottles plus a significant amount of yard waste

So this is quite interesting coming in at 150L of garbage for a family of seven. I will admit we were out of town one day, and with school interviews and other commitments probably ate dinner out a couple of times which of course put dinner “garbage” in someone else’s bin not ours.

We also decided to walk around the block late this evening to see what others put out.

Garbage around the block:

House 1 – 2 occupants – 2 regular sized garbage cans (75-77L), one garden waste bin

House 2 – 3 occupants – 1 regular sized garbage can , one large bin of recycling

House 3 – 2 occupants – 1 regular sized garbage can , one large bin of recycling

House 4 – 2 occupants – 2 regular sized garbage cans (75-77L), one garden waste bin, one large bin of recycling

House 5 – 1 occupant – 1 garbage bag , one garden waste bin

House 6 – 1 occupant – 1 garbage bag , one garden waste bin

***the rest of the occupied homes had not put garbage out yet

So this is quite interesting, if the City of Red Deer is bringing in new waste restrictions of 300L per week in order to reduce landfill amounts, according to garbage from around our block, exactly the same amount of garbage will reach the landfill as everyone is under the 300L volume. A few more weeks of tracking will give a clearer picture of what people average putting out.

The other thing I kept an eye on was what went in the “garbage”. Wrappers, cellophane, plastic wrap, paper towels, coffee cups, tissues, drier lint, debris from vacuuming. Only one food item, off carrot cake, hit the bin as I watched (seriously how does cake go off in a house with 5 kids?) which again makes me question the panic in BC over food scraps.

Stay tuned for next weeks’ findings. This is quite intriguing.

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