Man leaves behind an impressive amount of garbage, which threatens to bury large areas of soil, and pollute surface waters and groundwater. As long as the human population was reduced in number, this problem did not threaten human health in a significant way, but in the last hundred years, the situation has become much worse. Because of this, environmental protection specialists have proposed that the waste be collected not as a whole, but in fractions, to facilitate the recycling of those materials useful to man and which would be lost forever if they ended up in the landfill.
Selective collection involves dividing the waste by the one who produces it into separate containers or bags, which will be collected by specialized companies and then processed at the recycling centers in the respective area.
What is and how many types of household waste can there be?
It is very difficult to define exactly what residues we are talking about when we talk about household waste because these two words include a multitude of materials. It is certain that they can be divided into two categories, depending on the place of origin: household or street. And then, they can be divided into two subcategories: recyclable household waste and residual household waste.
- recyclable household waste – those items and materials that can be divided into the categories indicated on the trash cans (glass, plastic/metal, and paper/cardboard).
- residual household waste – is those items and materials that are considered garbage in the true sense of the word, such as waste from pets, dirty packaging, used napkins, cigarette butts, diapers, disposable tableware, sanitary pads, the contents of the bag from the vacuum cleaner.
Categories of household waste
- Food waste – is the waste, that, as its name suggests, comes from a flow of food.
- Organic waste – plants, animals, and food scraps that require safe recycling are included here.
- Woody waste – any waste that is mostly composed of any type of wood.
- Metal – here we find any type of ferrous or non-ferrous metal and most of the time in the case of household waste we’re talking about boxes or cans.
- Paper and cardboard – this category is quite comprehensive because most objects are packed in cardboard, and paper is an extremely common element in any household in various forms.
- Plastic – in this category are included all things made of plastic, from bags to toys or chairs.
How Much is a Monthly Garbage Bill?
Customers are charged on a monthly basis by the majority of trash collection services, but some charge on a quarterly basis, as well. Regardless of how you are billed, you should be prepared to spend anywhere between $25 and $95 per month, depending on the place where you are living. The expenses will be higher in rural areas because the providers will have to travel a longer distance to get to your property and this requires more man-hours and fuel.
However, if you live in a major city the costs will not be lower. On the contrary, the costs might even increase due to the excessive traffic. Clients living in residential neighborhoods from metropolitan areas tend to have the lowest trash bills.
Your monthly garbage bill will be affected by the number of such providers in an area. The higher the competition, the lower the prices. The costs will also be influenced by gas prices, dumping charges, and local taxes.
Also, the size of your trash container will impact these expenses. There are multiple sizes offered by these companies, such as 32-gallon containers which can hold two trash bags, 64-gallon containers which can hold three trash bags and 96-gallon containers which can hold seven bags. For instance, in San Jose a 32-gallon container costs around $40, while a 64-gallon container is almost $80, and a 96-gallon container is priced at $120 per month.
Keep in mind that when you sign up for this service, you will have to pay a one-time setup fee which will be anywhere between $38 and $65.
How do Garbage Collection Services work?
In general, larger towns and cities offer garbage collection services for their communities. But there are also areas that rely on providers such as Republic Services or Waste Management. You may even have to choose between multiple collection services, depending on the place where you live. The lowest prices will be in the areas with competing services.
The majority of the collection services have a specific day in the week when they come to pick up the regular household garbage. In case the yard waste and recyclables are available they can be picked up on the same day or another specific day. There are some collection services that let clients set out large junk items for bulk pickup for free on a designated day. Though usually, you must schedule hazardous and bulk waste pick up for a fee.
The cost of the disposal of these specific items can be a little high. For instance, you will have to pay around $20 for a small bulb kit from Republic Services for disposing of lightbulbs, while the costs for a medium box that can hold up to 18 pounds of electronics for recycling are around $125. Also, you should be prepared to pay $620 to dispose of a 10-yard dumpster of construction debris for nine days. The prices may vary from one geographic area to another.
How can I save money?
Here is a list of habits that will reduce the amount of household waste and help you save hundreds of dollars, annually, from the family budget:
Properly separate household waste from recyclables, because the latter will be rewarded, and a larger amount, compared to that of mixed residual waste, will reduce the tax/family. Choose foods that are stored in as little non-recyclable plastic as possible or not packaged at all, such as vegetables and fruits.
Use a reusable bottle or cup for drinks on the go to save money and reduce waste! By taking your own water from home, you’ll reduce the chances of buying more expensive drinks on the go, and you won’t be adding yet another disposable container to street containers.
Limit your use of paper by using e-mail, opting for e-invoices, and browsing hypermarket catalogs online.
Compost vegetable waste, if you live in a house with a yard, and the space allows you to place a composter! Up to 25% of household waste content could be composted in your backyard. Fruit and vegetable scraps, eggshells, coffee grounds, grass clippings, and leaves can be composted to make the best natural garden fertilizer. Sure, composting takes more effort, but it’s cost-effective.