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8 Ways To Save Money On Your Garbage Bill

Some of the best ways to save money are by making slight changes in your daily habits.  Little things can really add up and make a big difference at the end of the year.  It’s even better when you can save money AND be a good steward at the same time!  In my attempt to cut back on waste, I have also saved some money.  

Back when we had only four kids we used to set our garbage can out to be picked up as needed for $5 a pickup.  It only needed to go every month or two as it’s mostly plastic food film.  Everything else either goes to the dog, the chickens, or the backyard compost bin.

Can you save money on your garbage bill? Here are some ways we cut down expenses with our garbage pickup.

We also switched to a smaller recycling cart and cut our remaining garbage bill in half.  We produced so little recycling at that point in our lives that the large roll cart was only heading out to the curb every couple of months.  I had called Waste Management before and asked if they had on call recycling pickup but they didn’t offer it.  I had noticed some homes with smaller cans so we called again and asked about them and sure enough, it was cheaper!

Even with the smaller roll cart we didn’t set it out every week.  It’s really encouraging to be producing less waste, and it certainly is helpful to save on the household expenses. Plus, I like not having huge roll carts to drag around my yard. 

Now that we have 6 kids, two home based businesses, and home renovations going on we do have weekly garbage, recycling, and yard waste pick up again, but we use the smallest garbage can available.

Here are some ways that you may be able to save a few dollars on your garbage bill as well!

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How To Save Money on Your Garbage Bill

  • Read the statement!  You need to be clear on how your charges are being broken down and how much you are being charged for most elements.  In our town recycling and yard waste/compost are free, but garbage is expensive!  It’s even more expensive if you set out an extra bag, or have a larger bin.
  • Call your garbage provider.  Ask if they offer once a month pick up, or a smaller can.  Price check!
  • Reduce your waste.  You can’t save money if you really do need the largest can available.  Sometimes it’s unavoidable, such as medical supplies.  But do what you can to minimize your waste.   I really like Zero Waste Home for ideas on how to cut back on garbage in the home.
  • Recycle!  Make sure you read the papers sent from the garbage company or city and find out what you can and can’t recycle.  It’s really easy to set up a separate bin next to your garbage and toss the recyclables into it.  Even if you don’t have curbside recycling there may be a drop off location nearby.
  • Burn carbon based trash.  If you have a wood burning stove you can burn scrap untreated lumber, paper, and anything flammable that won’t release toxic fumes.
  • Compost your kitchen waste.  If you have chickens you can feed them your kitchen scraps, and even if you don’t, you can still have a small compost bin set up to reduce the amount you need to toss in the expensive can.
  • Make food from scratch.  Homemade food is going to have less packaging, plus it tastes better!
  • Buy in bulk.  My homemade animal feed mix comes in 25-50 pound paper bags.  We can recycle, compost, burn, or reuse these for art projects for the kids.  Usually you can find a bulk item that comes with less packaging, and that means less garbage you pay to haul away!

It can be a slight lifestyle change to reduce your garbage bill and waste production, but it’s a pretty painless way to save money and make the world a little nicer all at the same time.  What’s your favorite way to reduce garbage?

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Thursday 13th of September 2018

I used this company and they got me a 22% reduction for my business: www.lowermytrashbill.com. I just emailed them a copy of my contract and they somehow lowered the bill. Don't know how, but it worked.


Friday 14th of September 2018

Interesting! Thanks for sharing.


Sunday 28th of February 2016

We don't get pickup where we live, but there is a recycling center in town. You can only go when someone is on duty, and their schedule doesn't always match my town trips. Wish they would make it easier to do the right thing. - Margy


Tuesday 9th of February 2016

Great tips! I'm from Portland, so this is a little bit of home.


Thursday 24th of April 2014

Beverly that's awesome! We are actually making more trash now (bummer!) because my two oldest kids outgrew even the biggest cloth diapers, but aren't 100 percent reliable at night. So we're back to twice a month pick up for trash and recycling, but still using the small cans. It's definitely exciting when you can see how all the little choices add up into big impacts.


Thursday 24th of April 2014

When our water utilities switched, trash pickup was no longer included in our monthly utility bill - bonus. So, now we take it ourselves. We go every few weeks with about three trash bags. Three bags a trip are free at our local dump. And we recycle a lot as well......

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