How much trash?

We are fortunate (?) to live in a town with weekly trash pickup. Each house is provided one of those big wheeled trash bins that we put out on the curb once a week and the big trash truck comes and the automated arms lifts it up and dumps it into the trash area of the truck and it motors away to wherever trash goes once we leave it out there and forget about it.

Today is our trash day. The house across the street from us has a very similar family living in it: single mom with two kids. Every week they have trash bags literally overflowing the town provided bin. In contrast, there are some weeks I almost feel like not putting our trash out to be picked up because there is so little in there. (But I always do because I worry about the smell.)

I don’t know why we generate so much less trash than our neighbors (for the record, the neighbor kids are 10 and 13, not diaper-wearing kids in case you might have thought that). I don’t do anything special to keep our waste low. We do participate in the town recycling program, but that only gets picked up every other week and the volume is relatively small. I could easily put our recyclables in with our regular trash and not increase the amount by very much.

How much trash do you generate? Is it more or less than families of a similar size? Have you done anything to reduce your waste output? Aside from recycling, what can you do to generate less waste?

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