The New Old American Dream

Recycling, or trash on the Homestead

In homesteading, sustainable living on August 14, 2012 at 9:17 pm

When we left the city, we thought we’d try and reduce our carbon footprint by not getting a trash service. No service and we would be forced to deal with our trash more responsibly–as in not generate trash in the first place.

HMMMMM. Let me tell you, this has been much harder than I imagined.

We set up a system of recycling by building the bins you see above (one was a well house that covered our well but was very unfriendly for that purpose so we recycled it for a recycling bin!)

The first line of defense is to try and NOT bring home or make trash. That’s the tough part. Once it gets here, we have small bins strategically placed around the farm in all the living areas so that a person can stash a recyclable easily.

Once the small bins are full, they get dragged out to the big recyclable area and divided up into “kinds”–metal, tin, cans, plastic, paper, cardboard, etc. Once these bins are full, we’ll take them to a recycling center. I have a feeling that the nearest center might be an hour away but we will deal with that when the time comes.

A pretty descent system. Only real hang up is the amount of trash we bring onto the farm in the first place. Everything is packaged out to the max. I bought 2 small printer cartridges this weekend, for example, and they came in this huge package. I guess the company thinks the buyer will accept the huge price if they feel like they are getting something “big.” I just think of it as a waste of resources and now I have to deal with all that post-purchase trash. Ugh.

How do you deal with this in your home? I’d love to hear ideas! I loved this house-hold system I found on Pinterest. Maybe someday when I have a kitchen again. Sigh.

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