Monday, February 16, 2009
One area where I haven't given up plastic is for taking out the trash. Right now we use shopping bags to line the kitchen can, for wet non-compostable waste. We don't use liner bags in the bedrooms or bathroom unless one of us is sick. We empty those cans into the kitchen bag to take it out. We recycle and compost, so there isn't a lot of trash.
Eventually our supply of bags may run out. I can probably get more from friends or Freecycle after that. Occasionally one of us will bring home a paper bag from a store; I generally use those to take out loose paper recycling.
We could just put the waste in our bin and empty it into the larger bin outside, foregoing any plastic bag, but I have a couple reasons why we don't. One, we eat fish and meat, which can't be put in the compost. Sometimes there is waste from that, and having it in the bin with no bag would mean cleaning and sanitizing it frequently- requiring extra water and (mostly) labor. I claim laziness here.
The other reason is we live in an apartment building. I worry that I would get reprimanded by neighbors or the landlord for not using a bag. The outside cans fill up fast- I can place a bag of trash on top, but can only empty loose trash into them when they aren't full. Around my neighborhood there is often trash in the gutters and on the sidewalk that got loose from spending time on the curb, and the sight makes me wary of putting out trash that isn't secured in a bag.
Is there an option I am missing? Is it possible to avoid plastic trash bags as an apartment dweller?
Posted by Juli at 6:57 PM