Monday, January 3, 2011

Is this your 3/4 ton of trash?

A few years ago when we were still living in Florida, I was visiting a museum with the kids, and I was amazed at how much trash the average family throws out. On average each person generates 4.5 lbs of trash each day. That means 31.5 lbs of trash a week, 126 lbs a month, and a staggering 1,512 lbs (or ¾ ton) of trash a year. Multiply that by how many are in your family.

In Florida trash pick-up is twice a week due to the hot climate. My family of 5 were recycling as much as we could. All we had left was one small bag for collection. No curb-side pickup for us. We had to drive to a recycling center. It was worth it when we thought what we were saving from a landfill.

We have recycled our trash for years, but since we have moved to Ontario we have noticed that Ontarians take recycling to a whole new level and there are many more categories for recycling trash. We put our trash out in different colour bags, pre-sorted. The garbage collectors will not collect your bag if you have the wrong trash in it, and you can be fined up to $150.00 for not sorting your trash properly.

We have 3 containers under our kitchen sink, each with a different colour bag. Green for compost, consisting of items that could be broken down like leftover vegetables, or paper towels (surprisingly). Blue for recyclable, ie: any plastic containers, papers, the lot. White was for anything that could not be recycled. The white bags (trash) are collected once every other week.

It seemed very strange at first, to start to throw something away, and look under the kitchen sink and see 3 containers with the coloured bags and then find the list to see what gets put where. It doesn’t take long to get used to it. We’ll have even less trash than we did before, and all our recyclables are now collected from our front door.

Recycling is really very easy to do once you get used to it.

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