We received an update from our waste/recycling company that recycling in the Boise area has skyrocketed since they began no-sort recycling. I'd like to quote that pamphlet directly, but we recycled it.
From the Allied Waste website: "In the first month of the new no-sort program Boiseans recycled a whopping 50% more than in months-past. Residents who struggled to fill their old blue bin now report (with smiles!) that their 95-gallon blue carts (equivalent to 3 garbage cans) are not big enough to hold their recyclables. Many folks who didn't buy in to the blue bin program have signed-up for blue carts and are now recycling advocates.
As we passed our one year anniversary of "Curbit" we are pleased to announce that residents are recycling 100% more than last year (36 pounds per household per month)."
Treehugger today has a good article on "Pay as you throw" waste management. I think this could be a great system. People would be thinking about packaging more, and wasting less. The cynic in me wonders if people would just start driving their junk into the woods and dumping it...or stashing their trash in a neighbor's can in the middle of the night...or in a nearby dumpster. Still, I think it's a good concept.
As far as the trash battle here, we're making progress. On July 21st, when I started this blog, we were filling our trash cart to the point where it wouldn't close, every Wednesday. Over the last five weeks, our waste has dropped considerably. Yesterday my husband came back in from taking a trash bag to the can. He asked if I'd seen the garbage this week. I hadn't. Turns out we are making noticeable progress:
Half empty. (from this optimist's POV)
I'm pretty flippin' excited about that. And, I know we can do better. I'm inching closer to the composting thing, we're going to do it, we just have to agree on where in the yard to put it, and we have to get the pallets to make it. Still, I'm hoping to start that in the next week or two. We're still reducing packaging, buying as much from the bulk bins as possible, buying more fruits & veggies, and fewer individually wrapped snacks. So I think we can reduce that waste even more. I'm pretty pleased.
On a side note, the kids are responding. They are currently cleaning the playroom and Boy 2 just came upstairs with a broken flip flop. He asked, "Mom, should I throw this away, or can it be recycled?" I don't think he would have asked that a month ago. We can't recycle it, but we're looking for a way to reuse/repurpose the pair.
It's coming together.