Tra$h Talk

My wife, Ann, came in from walking the dogs with a big idea. “Maybe you should start taking our garbage to the dump.”

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to wait a minute before opening my mouth so I waited a minute before opening my mouth.

It turns out some of our dog walking neighbors told her how they started going to the dump to save money. Now, rather than paying to have the garbage truck come on Thursday morning, they stuff their car with bags of trash once a week head to the town landfill. Instead of forking over $7.50 a week, they pay $1 for each 30 gallon bag.

Let’s do the math. In my neighborhood you’ll pay about $30 per month, or $360 per year, for trash pickup. If you go DIY and take three bags of garbage a week at the dump it will run you $12 a month. That’s $18 less, or $216 a year. Hmmm… I could have saved over $3000 if I’d been going to the dump for the last 15 years. If I’d taken that money and saved it in a jar I could go on a great vacation. Or put it toward tuition or something.

I actually like the dump. I’ve gone there lots of times after cleaning out the basement or ripping up a carpet or whatnot. If you find other people’s trash interesting, the dump is like going to a museum. But here’s the bottom line: do you really want to fill up your car with crap once a week and drag it down to the dump?

“Maybe you can start taking our garbage to the dump. And you can spend the money we save on whatever you want.”

Next year I’ll try waiting two minutes before opening my mouth.

10 thoughts on “Tra$h Talk

  1. If I had a trailer or a pick up, it’s a great idea. With a car… not so great.

    That said, I am tired of paying so much each month and I can bet with the County bulding a new facility, buying new trucks, etc the rates will go up again. They say no, but they will.

    Time to start re-pricing the area services.

  2. I would rather pay to get my trash picked up than take it to the dump. Garbage smells, bags rip and I don’t need another inconvenient thing to worry about. How often would you go to the dump? How long would you have the garbage building up and where would you put it?Paying for garbage pick-up is money well spent. The money you think you would save by going to the dump is your time and effort that you don’t get paid for.

  3. The trick here is to not make much garbage. My husband takes our trash to the dump because he got tired of watching Robert Wright throw away all the recyclables. Since we don’t buy a lot of stuff and we compost (thus virtually eliminating smelly garbage), he only ends up going four times a year with five cans of garbage (and a whole lotta recycling).

    This was more complicated when we had little baggies of dog poop to deal with. 🙂

  4. My dad says being a garbage man is the most secure job there is: people always make garbage..

    ..” and it’s all you can eat !”

    Funny guy, my Dad…

  5. Paul: My dad said EXACTLY the same thing. We could be related…

    Sarah: If I did pay for the dump I’d become a master of trash consolidation and separation. Sooner or later they’re going to make us be responsible with recyclables. I’m amazed it hasn’t happened already.

  6. Don’t forget to add fuel, air freshners, car wash(sometimes it’s muddy at the land fill) and other hidden costs.

    Plus sides – sceanic ride, meet new people, a few minutes alone, “pick this up, while you’re out, honey” list, a few moments to reflect on the give and take of marriage — some one *gives* you the trash to *take* to the dump, no more dogs or raccoons quality controlling your trash.

    Cutting in on Dear Abbey’s terratory a bit, There’s nothing wrong with opening your mouth, in fact it’s even healthy, provided no flys hitched a ride back from the dump. The secret is to *not say anything*! 😉

    Anna, I hope your boyfriend doesn’ bring his work home with him. lol

  7. One of my favorite childhood memories was going to the dump Saturday mornings with my dad. We’d stop at Stewart’s to get sodas on the way(my family’s version of daily coffee). My dad knows everyone, so we’d always see one of his coworkers or a neighbor and we’d chat for a while. As kid it was also fun seeing the big machines working there. As an adult, Schenectady County does not have a garbage dump, but I do still take my recyclables and yard waste to the recycyling facility.

  8. It doesn’t help the fact that the Bethlehem Transfer Station is located all the way over on Rupert Road. That said, it’s usually really fast, you just pay the toll collector, and drive right in. As I always clean out my trash, and compost the food scraps, and are really good with recycling, I go maybe once every two months, and pay for $1 for the bag of trash, and the recycling is free.

  9. $30 per month!!!! That’s outrageous.

    No wonder people show up at our apartment complex to dump trash in our containers.

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