7 Ways to Decrease Trash and Make Trash Management Easier

Reduce Trash, Improve Trash Day

Brightly painted trash bins

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Trash isn't simple. More trash can lead to a larger carbon footprint and faster climate change. Improper recycling can lead to more landfills. And there's no reason why you should have to live with smelly, messy trashcans. To lessen your trash load and increase the life of your trash cans, follow a few basic tips.

  • 01 of 07

    Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

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    Less trash means less waste going into landfills and fewer trash cans to manage. One simple way to reduce your trash load is to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

    You can reduce the amount of trash you create by choosing products with minimal packaging, saying "no thanks" to paper and plastic bags you don't need, and choosing fresh meats and veggies rather than packaged products.

    Reusing means bringing along your own bags and containers when you shop. You're doing the environment a favor while also reducing the amount of trash you'll need to toss at the end of the week.

    Have a separate recycling bin for items that your community recycles. In our town, we can drop off recyclables at different places in the community. Many towns have curbside recycling pick up. Break down cardboard boxes. Rinse out plastic containers. You'll be amazed at how much less trash you really have.

  • 02 of 07

    Compost Organic Waste

    Compost heap

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    Rotten food in our trash accounts for most of the spills, sloshes, and messes that we have to clean out of our trash cans. Reduce the amount of food waste by utilizing your garbage disposal and/or a compost pile for items that can be composted. Any form of vegetable or fruit can be composted, as can coffee grounds, tea, etc. Use a composter and follow the instructions to produce rich fertilizer for your garden each year.

    For items that must be thrown in the trash but may present a problem for your trash can, you can double bag. Use plastic grocery bags to wrap up meat trimmings or other items that need to be trashed but could make a mess.

  • 03 of 07

    Prevent Trash Can Odors

    Wheelie bin full of trash

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    One of the worst things about trash cans can be the odor. There are quite a few things you can do to actually prevent trash can odors. You may have known that sprinkling baking soda in your trash can could help absorb those smelly smells. But did you know that kitty litter and dryer sheets could be used with the same results? Be creative and you'll be able to make that trash can smell like it doesn't even exist.

  • 04 of 07

    Drill Some Holes in Outdoor Cans

    Garbage can by plant against wooden fence

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    For your outdoor cans, drilling holes in the bottom of your trash cans can actually be a great help. You'll be able to wash out the inside of a nasty trash can without dumping the dirty water out. This is also helpful for allowing rainwater to drain out of the trash can if it has been rained in. Just rinse using an outdoor hose. For really dirty jobs, mild dish soap will work wonders. Then all you have to do is allow the can to dry out. It will be good as new.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Pay Attention to Where Trash Is Stored

    Racoon in garbage

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    Where you prefer to store your garbage cans is really is a matter of preference and may even be determined by city codes or a homeowners association. Outdoor trash cans can attract bugs and animals so that will have to be a consideration. It's always a good idea to try to prevent insects from being attracted to your house. Unfortunately, trash cans are a likely culprit. Of course, the bugs and animals could be attracted to your garage if that is where they are stored.

  • 06 of 07

    Don't Miss a Trash Day

    Trash collector

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    It's frustrating to see the garbage truck drive away when you know you have multiple bags of trash in your cans that need to be on that truck. To keep yourself from having trash around longer than necessary, set a reminder on your phone or computer to alert you to each trash day or use sticky notes. If you do miss a trash day, it may be worth it to try to take the trash to your city dump yourself if your city allows this. It's important to make note of weeks when the day changes, as it may due to holidays or weather-related incidents.

  • 07 of 07

    Clean out the Can on Trash Days

    Recycle bins on curb

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    Before you haul your trash cans back up to the house after trash day, take a moment to clean them out. All it really takes for most trash cans is a water hose. Rinsing out your cans and allowing them to dry will go a long way towards preventing issues from happening. if you have a bigger mess in your can, using a mild ​dish soap can work wonders.