I grew up throwing everything away in a plastic garbage "can" lined with plastic garbage bags. Every week my Dad would make a "dump run" and pitch it all in the green box to go to the landfill. This is not a finger pointing slam on my parents; it's just the way it was.
But I didn't want to do that anymore when I got my own place; so for a while now I have been:
A. Composting kitchen waste - that is, veggie and food waste.
B. Recycling plastic, glass, paper, metal, and cardboard.
(Mostly. I still throw away some stuff; like really gross and slimy wrappers, and nasty things I don't want to clean and sort into my recycling bins.)
This takes a lot of space, however. I have to keep a container on my counter for the kitchen scraps. I had a great one, and it started leaking, and I had gross compost juice all over the place. So now I use a plastic container with a loose fitting lid. I collect bits of food waste in it and every few days, dump it in this spot in my garden.
For the recycling, I have this plastic laundry hamper that I throw all the bottles and cans in. I rinse them all out and take off the labels and in they go. Then I sort it into boxes and bags on recycling day.
Then I had my wooden trash receptacle with a hinged lid that I stick my paper horse feed bags into for "trash" trash. I never buy plastic garbage can liners anymore. Ever.
So this system worked great - until summer.
Now the weather is warm. We have no central air in this house yet. Just fans and an ac unit in our bedroom.
The "trash" stinks.
The compost stinks and grows fungi and attracts flies.
And....... I found a maggot - a maggot! - crawling on my kitchen sub-flooring the other day.
I called Kevin in and we had a conference on the waste policy in our household.
1. Recycling of plastics, metal, paper, cardboard, and glass will continue as usual - as long as the items are washed and contain no food particles.
2. Composting kitchen waste will continue, with this exception: The lid be kept firmly on the bucket and be dumped daily in the garden, then washed thoroughly.
3. The "trash" can has to go. Has.To.Go. Because of the composting and recycling, we generally only take out the trash about once a week - or once every ten days or so. That is how drastically we've reduced our "trash". So It just sits there; in the horse feed bags, in that wooden trash receptacle. So if you throw away a chicken bone; it stinks the next day. You know. So we got rid of the trash can altogether.
Instead, I keep a five gallon bucket under my sink, with a lid; and at the end of each day, it will have to be emptied outdoors into a bigger can.
As it is, we take the recycling to the recycling center about 2 times a month. And I know some people insist that recycling is not effective; that the stuff isn't really recycled and what not; but this is my system, and I'm sticking to it!
I almost have enough green beans to can a batch - can't wait!
I have taken to going bare foot to weed in the garden. These are my thriving pickling cucumber vines! So, soon I will be making dill pickles!