Tips from your garbage collector on how to be less trashy

Originally published at: Tips from your garbage collector on how to be less trashy | Boing Boing


So I moved from an apt to a very small house. I had to get trash service for the fist time in like 7 years. Everyone now has service issued cans on wheels. I am one person. I have one bag of trash and one tub of recyclables per week, but these giant cans to put them in. Then I have to find a place to store the cans. They are huge! It makes sense a family of 4 to have such cans, but I wish they had smaller ones for little ol’ me.


Interesting that the collection is so automated now that if your wheelie bin is the wrong way round the machine cannot handle it properly.

Where we are (and I suspect this applies to the whole UK - we tend not to have standardised street layouts that would lend themselves to this ‘no need to get out of the cab, one driver can do it from his seat’ approach) proper bin men still take the bins from the front of your property or from the side of the road to the truck and put them in place so they get lifted and tipped out, and then return them (sometimes in a disorderly fashion) back to the front of your property.

Paper and card goes in a box. Not even a wheelie bin, in our council area, though my offspring’s council does it in bins.

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Well, that’s bullshit. If my trash service did this I’d be furious. I understand if a dog or bear drags it out, but if you make the mess, you clean it up!

Of course, we have to pay a private service, so I assume complaining to a municipality would be like screaming into the void.

Our service has cans that are about 15 gals. I wonder if you could request one? It’s still big, but not like the standard monster.

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Respect your sanitation workers, people—they’re the reason you don’t have to wade through your own filth and detritus all day. Making sure you put your bins out in a way that best facilitates collection is a small price to pay for a garbage-free environment.


Have you double checked that your sanitation company doesn’t offer different sized bins? Many do offer smaller ones, even for use with automated trash trucks, but will just give you the standard size unless you specifically request otherwise.

In my current city most people have standard 90 gallon bins but 30 and 60 gallon ones are an option.


Check your local trash collection rules, but here in Seattle you can put a brown bag or cardboard box with recyclables next to any recycle bin and the recycle people will take it if it’s legit recycling. Extra recycling doesn’t cost anything here, but extra trash does. Our recycling people are super strict too, so they will put stuff back in your bin if they catch it. If this works for you and your recycling co., you might be able to get rid of that recycle bin.

I heartily co-sign w/ you on this!



That seemed weird to me too, as in my town, the collectors roll the trash cans from the curb and then put them up against the lever. The only way for them to go on backward is if the trash collector put them on backward.

But many cities are using automated trash collection, where all the cans are placed out on the street and the truck just drives by and robotically picks up one after the other. In that case, it’s up to the residents to put the cans the right way around. If the driver has to get our and rotate each can, it completely removes the purpose of the automatic truck.

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