Thrifty Thursday: Eliminating the Trash Bill

recycle2I know it’s not Thursday yet, but I had some extra time today (Henry”s been napping extra the last two days), so this week’s tip is early. 

This week, I’m starting a new section in my Thrifty Thursday tips… Bills and Budgets.  Since it’s the beginning of the year, it’s a good time to get finances in order.  I’m hoping to have my first-ever guest author on the blog this month… she’s a banking whiz, a financial planner, former VP of a bank, and now a full time mommy.  I’m very excited to see what she has in store for my lovely readers!   More to come on that later!

One way to stretch that paycheck is to eliminate and reduce unnecessary bills.  Genny had a great tip a couple weeks ago on Budgeting Household Utilities.  In that same vein, I’ll tell you how we first reduced and then eliminated our trash bill. 

When we moved into our home, we immediately became friends with our next door neighbor, Doug.  One day, he asked us if he could piggy back on our trash service and in exchange, he would haul away any of our large trash items for us.  “Sure!” we said.  He’s a single guy, who really didn’t have a ton of trash anyway, and he saved us from ever having to pay for someone to haul away our big junk. 

Over the years, our trash service bill went up and up (and they were tacking on all kinds of fuel surcharges to boot!).  It was getting ridiculous.  So we decided to 1) shop around for another trash company, and 2) ask our neighbor to split the bill with us.  That would reduce our bill  by half at least! 

That was about six months ago, and at that time I really started feeling the “green guilt” of not recycling.  Our city doesn’t offer a recycling program, and our trash service at the time (Waste Management) charged extra to pick it up.  I noticed that our neighbor across the street put out weekly recycling bins for pick up, and decided to ask them if we could piggy back with them, and split that portion of their bill with them.  I figured half price recycling was better than full price. 

However, when we asked, they informed us that they had discontinued their recycling service because the Shriner’s had big dumpsters for recycling behind the Safeway (across the street).  For FREE.  Wahoo! 

bhg_recyclebinsSo, we started recycling for free, and along with composting (another TT tip in the making), we soon noticed that we were only coming up with a bag of trash per week.  Was one bag of trash per week enough to justify even half of a trash bill (with fuel surcharges)??  Rick decided that he could take one bag of trash per week to his work to dump in the dumpster there. 

We cancelled the trash service the next week.  Our next door neighbor didn’t mind.  He hadn’t yet split the first bill with us, and he had gotten free trash service (by piggy backing on ours) for more than 4 years. 

Although it’s not the biggest bill, for us, every little bit counts.  So by finding a local place to recycle for free, composting, and being conscience of the kind of containers you buy products in (buying things in glass, paper or recyclable plastic instead of Styrofoam and other non-recyclable materials), we were able to eliminate a whole bill, and a lot of waste in the landfills.

Find a recycling center near you at: or

Visit  Genny, Katie Jean & Tracy this Thursday for more ways to save.

*logos “recycled” from Google Image search.

Categories: Thrift | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Thrifty Thursday: Eliminating the Trash Bill

  1. I do this too! We stopped our trash pick-up over a year ago when the cost just kept climbing. We take in our own recycling, and we make about one bag of garbage per week, which my husband also takes to the dumpster at his work. And we compost. I keep trying to reduce the amount of stuff we throw away all the time. I am glad to hear I am not the only one doing all this stuff 🙂

  2. Anisa

    Hi Jennifer! Thanks for commenting! I just checked the first post on your blog and I SO could have used that sloppy joe recipe on Saturday! I made Sloppy Joes for the first time ever!

    Glad to hear I’m not the only person trying to reduce the trash! Yay!

  3. Tracy

    Hrm…that’s interesting. Here in Iowa City your trash bill (our recycling program is included in this and it’s all priced as one) is automatically included in your water bill, and I don’t believe there is any way to discontinue one with out discontinuing the other. It’s pretty convenient really. I’ll have to look more closely at our bill next time we get one.

  4. Anisa

    The city Rick & I grew up in provided ginormus containers that were for a trash truck with an arm. One container was black and one was green (for recycling). It’s a cool program because it really encouraged recycling (this was in the 80’s & 90’s). What’s sad though, is that my family of three filled that huge black container every week. Yikes!

  5. This is a really good tip. It’s unfortunate for those who live HOA communities where the trash is included in their monthly HOA fee. It’s been a while since we’ve paid an HOA fee (b/c we aren’t responsible for them – not b/c we’re skipping out on them!) so I wonder if those folks have an option of eliminating the charge by piggy backing or by following your example.

    I’ll have to see if there’s a free place to recycle near CR. My only concern as of now is where to put the stuff until we go to the recycling center. Maybe the deck will suffice…condo living is sometimes tough!

  6. Anisa

    We keep our recycling bin in the same closet where we keep the dog food. The nice thing about recyclables is that they don’t stink like garbage. 🙂
    What about a second bin next to your trash… one can for trash, one for recycling?

  7. Pingback: Frugal Friday: Composting « Schell Urban Homestead

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