What are Some Options for Household Waste Disposal?

Tess C. Taylor
Tess C. Taylor
A bag of garbage.
A bag of garbage.

Around the world, households in developed nations produce many thousands of tons of trash, which often fills up landfills and adds to environmental damage. The average consumer creates approximately 4.39 pounds (1.99 kilograms) of household trash daily according to the Clean Air Council in 2010. There are some easy ways, however, to cope with all of this household waste disposal that are kinder to the environment and have less of an economic impact.

Scavengers can get into household trash.
Scavengers can get into household trash.

The largest amount of household waste comes in the form of food products. Food is the largest purchase for most households, yet goes to waste about half of the time. Food is organic material that can easily be reused by many households as fertilizer for plants once it is broken down by using a composting or rotting process. Compost units can be purchased or assembled and placed in an inconspicuous area of the home or property to be used as a very nutrient-rich fertilizer which will help produce more food for family consumption. This can cut down on waste and provide an economical means for feeding a family throughout the year.

Trash is transported to a landfill, but much waste can be recycled or used in composting.
Trash is transported to a landfill, but much waste can be recycled or used in composting.

Another household waste disposal solution is recycling many common products such as plastic, glass, cardboard, paper, and metal. In most communities there are recycling facilities that accept recycled goods. Using these can reduce household trash. Carefully inspect containers and look for special industry codes that indicate what to do with each item. Place the cleaned recyclable items into large bins or containers and leave them out for recycling crews to pick up or take them to recycling centers for processing to cut down on household waste disposal.

Cardboard can be recycled.
Cardboard can be recycled.

Consumers also can cut their household waste disposal by reusing containers for new purposes. For example, when purchasing retail items that are usually packaged in plastic bags or boxes, try to consider ways in which the containers can be used around the house to store other items. Plastic shopping bags can double as trash bags, shoe boxes make excellent storage holders for small household items, and paper bags can line the bottoms of cat litter boxes.

Recycling turns waste into reusable materials.
Recycling turns waste into reusable materials.

Shoppers can help cut their household waste by taking reusable shopping bags to the store. Many shoppers buy a collection of bags made of cloth or other reusable material and tuck them inside the family car so that they are available when it's time to go to the store. Buying commonly used products in bulk not only saves money, but it also cuts down on household waste disposal as it takes longer to throw the containers away.

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    • A bag of garbage.
      A bag of garbage.
    • Scavengers can get into household trash.
      Scavengers can get into household trash.
    • Trash is transported to a landfill, but much waste can be recycled or used in composting.
      Trash is transported to a landfill, but much waste can be recycled or used in composting.
    • Cardboard can be recycled.
      Cardboard can be recycled.
    • Recycling turns waste into reusable materials.
      Recycling turns waste into reusable materials.