Homeowner Tips for Reducing Garbage
On average, each single-family home in Miami-Dade County generates eight pounds of garbage per day! Not only do we have to build trash dumps and incinerators to handle all of this trash, but some of it never makes it into a garbage can. Instead, it winds up littering our streets, parks and waterways. Besides creating an unsightly nuisance, garbage can be harmful to plants and animals, too. Here are a few things you can do to reduce your garbage.
Give a hoot, don't litter
OK, so it doesn't rhyme, but you get the idea. Litter is an unsightly nuisance in our communities, and what's more, during rainstorms, trash can be washed into our stormdrains, clogging them and causing flooding. Also, when garbage goes into our stormdrains, it can end up in our rivers, canals, Biscayne Bay or other waterways, harming our environment and animals such as birds, turtles, fish and other aquatic life.
Snip six pack rings
These nasty little things find their way into waterways and often drown or suffocate birds, fish and sea mammals. Always remember to throw away six pack rings in the garbage or eliminate them completely by buying drinks in cardboard packaging instead.
Reduce and reuse
Buy products that are longer lasting or that can be reused or refilled several times. For example, try a lunch box and reusable plastic containers instead of a paper bag and plastic wrap. Shop for products with a minimum of packaging. Wouldn't you rather pick out those oranges yourself instead of taking a bunch wrapped in unnecessary plastic?
After reducing and reusing, be sure to separate and recycle empty products as much as you can. Recyclables can then be manufactured into new products.
Paper or plastic?
Neither, thank you. If you're only picking up one or two items, do you really need a bag? Or even better, take your own reusable bags to the store. Buy your own canvas shopping bags and cut down on waste every time you go grocery shopping.
Stop junk mail!
A surprising amount of household garbage first arrives through the mail. To stop most of your junk mail, write to: Mail Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association, Attn: Department 11630860, P.O. Box 282 Carmel, NY 10512.
Most companies now offer you the option to receive your monthly statements via email. You can even make your payments online. Not only does this cut down on the paper mail you receive, but also saves you money on checks and postage stamps!
Why buy batteries that you can only use once? Rechargeable alkaline batteries work just as well and can be recharged 20 or more times. Nickel-cadmium (NiCad) batteries can be recharged several hundred times. Yes, they cost more at first, but think of all those batteries you won't have to buy in the future. Note that it is illegal to put NiCad and similar rechargeable batteries in the garbage. Read more about proper battery disposal.
- Recycle old electronics for free
Drop off your used electronic equipment at either of the Permanent Home Chemical Collection Centers at 8831 NW 58th St. or 23707 SW 97th Ave., Gate-B every Wednesday-Sunday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
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