We all have one of "those" neighbors. You know the ones. Their neat, nearly empty garbage cans and recycling bins make your overflowing ones look ridiculous when placed curbside on garbage collection day. If you have ever wondered what type of waste management magic goes on in these homes, the following tips are just what you need to trim down your curbside image and help you earn the honor of becoming one of "those" neighbors!

Less In, Less Out

If you are trying to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle and reduce the amount of garbage you send to landfills each week, one of the most important strategies is to learn to bring less potential waste into the home. According to information compiled by the Duke University Center for Sustainability and Commerce, an average person currently produces more than 4 pounds of waste each day. Using these numbers, the average family of four will produce more than 112 pounds of garbage for sites like http://www.bptrucking.com/ each week.

Successfully reducing the amount of garbage is best accomplished by learning new habits, such as being super-vigilant about the items that are purchased, delivered or acquired in some manner. Use these simple tips to get started.

  • Look at all the items your family uses each day and choose to buy the largest possible package of these items when you shop. For example, purchase the large, economy size bag of cereal and store the rest in tightly sealed jars or containers. Instead of throwing out two or three cardboard boxes each week, you will only add one plastic bag to your garbage can. As an added bonus, most bulk packages of cereal, flour, sugar, oil and other staples are often cheaper per serving than smaller sizes.
  • Forego fast food and home delivered pizza and take the family out to dinner instead. You will get the added bonus of a relaxed dining experience, without accumulating a mountain of foam burger boxes, greasy fry containers and bulky pizza boxes.  
  • Cook from scratch as often as possible to avoid purchasing boxed convenience foods that have bulky packaging.
  • Purchase and prepare fresh fruits and vegetables, instead of canned or bottled. Fresh produce will have far less packaging than bulky cans and jars. If fresh is unavailable, opt for bags of frozen to reap similar benefits.
  • If there is an infant in the household, choosing to breastfeed instead of purchasing formula, making your own baby food from healthy ingredients and using cloth diapers or a diaper service will greatly reduce waste.
  • Stop buying paper towels and paper napkins and instead opt for good quality, long lasting cleaning cloths to reduce waste.

Manage Waste Wisely in the Kitchen

Being vigilant about the amount of packaging and potential waste that comes into the home is only half the battle. Carefully managing kitchen waste plays a critical role in reducing the amount of actual garbage that ends up on the curb each week.

Citrus Peels

  • Add fresh citrus peels to the garbage disposal to freshen it
  • Fill a quart jar with citrus peels and then cover them with white vinegar and let steep in a dark place for two weeks to make an excellent, economical household cleaner that is excellent for wiping down hard surfaces or cleaning greasy stoves and counters.

Food Waste Recycling Tips

Much of the waste in the average garbage results from the daily eating habits of the average family. Here are some ways to repurpose many of these food scraps and keep them off the curb.

  • Coffee grounds, eggshells and banana peels are all excellent for fertilizing and amending the soil for gardening. If you do not have a garden, offer these items to a gardening friend, neighbor or your local community gardening project.
  • Potato peelings and veggie scraps can become excellent food sources for birds in your backyard. To make them palatable, simmer them in a bit of water until they become soft. Once they are cool, place them on the ground near at the base of a bush or tree where birds can enjoy them. If you have your own backyard chicken flock, these cooked vegetable and the water they simmer in are tasty treats for your feathered friends.