What do you use for garbage bags???

gayle0000(zone 5-Normal IL)June 1, 2008

I've always used the plastic store bags for garbage bags.

I do have 1 roll of "proper" store-bought garbage bags that I keep around only for major once-in-a-while needs (parties, major purging, etc.) I only use these garbage bags once in a blue moon.

I've significantly reduced the amount of plastic store bags by carrying my own bags to stores. I recycle as much as I can, but I'm stumped on how to bag my garbage. My city rules say the garbage for collection has to be bagged.

For what it's worth, my garbage is generally 1, sometimes 2 of the plastic store bags each week. Not a lot, but I still have to bag it.

I don't want to get in the habit of buying garbage bags...even recycled ones. I just don't want to spend the money on them. It's an old habit and I'm not seeing the alternative solution.

Does anyone else have the same dillema? I really don't want to buy bags for my garbage...even the recycled ones.

For the moment, I mostly carry my own bags to the stores...but when I'm needing the plastic bags, I just get let them bag me up in plastic so I can replenish my stash for garbage.

Is anyone totally off the plastic bags? What do you use for your garbage?


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City rules don't generally dictate that garbage has to be bagged in plastic - especially if your cartage company has supplied you with the appropriate garbage cans for their service. I generate so little real garbage, I tend to bag it in paper grocery bags and throw it in the supplied container.

I will use plastic bags as trash can liners or if I have some messy garbage. It's great to be green and all - to a point - but sometimes you just need a plastic bag! If it was a crime to get and use one, they'd surely disappear from every retail outlet.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 2:40PM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

I was using paper grocery bags for trash, but then I started to use canvas bags so I rarely got paper bags anymore. I'm now using any stray plastic bag that comes my way. I save all of them since I don't get many anymore. I've even been known to use a potato chip bag for trash. When it's full I just tape it shut and toss.


    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 3:59PM
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jamie_mt(z4/5 MT)

I buy mine - but I always have, as the plastic grocery bags always had holes in them or were too small for my kitchen garbage can. Once I'm done with what I have on hand, I'm switching to biodegradable, compostable bags - the same ones I use for collecting compostables. They won't break down as fast in the anerobic landfill, but at least they will eventually break down all the way, unlike the normal plastic bags.

I figure if no one spends the money on them, the price won't ever drop, and they won't really become popular. If I can help by spending on them now, maybe they'll be more affordable & popular for others later, and perhaps companies will do more research and development on other similar products to replace non-compostable plastics. That's my reasoning, anyways.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 11:53AM
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I use biodegradable/compostable and/or bags made from recycled plastic. With all the composting and recycling we do, we put out about one bag a week for a family of four. I almost gasped when I was at my SIL's last week and overheard her say that they empty their garbage almost every day. That's at least five bags a week, maybe more. What a waste.

I agree Jamie - if we buy them, they will make more!


    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 9:27PM
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jamie_mt(z4/5 MT)

Wow, I would have been shocked too, Dee. There's two of us, and it takes a full 7 days to fill one 13 gal. bag of actual garbage (sometimes longer, now that most of the plastics are out of the equation too, for recycling). That's a lot of garbage!

Sorry for the thread drift, Gayle. Too bad you have to bag it...when I was a kid, we didn't use bags at all, just rinsed out the garbage can whenever we dumped it.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 11:01AM
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other people's trash bags...

1. Starbucks often gives me "Grounds for the Garden" in a big trash bag instead of a bunch of small silver bags.

2. When I pull out from Starbucks, I drive through the alleys of a nearby residential subdivision to pick up the bagged leaves the homeowners have set out for trash pick-up.

Once I've emptied the coffee grounds & leaves, I still have a perfectly good trash bag!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 1:18PM
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gayle0000(zone 5-Normal IL)

Thanks for the ideas folks! Your responses and ideas have helped me open my eyes more to the garbage bag options already available within my house and what packaging is already around that I can re-purpose for garbage.

This is do-able for me...I just needed some redirection in my thought process!

I am attempting to go "all or nothing" with this garbage bag thing because of the small amount of garbage I generate. As I said in my original post, I only generate 1 free store bag...sometimes 2...per week. It's just me and my 2½ yr old DD in our household. DD is potty training, and half the garbage is her pullups...hopefully soon that will go away, but she is still only 2½ & is not totally there yet. Some weeks are better than others. Probably wont be for another 6 months at least.

When I bought & moved into my house from an apartment (3rd floor treck to the community dumpster), I was so excited about having curbside garbage pickup again, and I bought a garbage can for curbside. I laugh because I was hauling that can to the street with only 1 or 2 store bags bouncing around at the bottom of the can. Now, I just place the bag(s) by themselves on the curb and use my big honkin' garbage can to collect and hold rainwater for my plants & various outdoor uses.

I'm going to ramble now...I moved out of the evil marital home a year ago. The ex-house, ex-H, and ex-lifestyle was so wasteful. It was textbook suburban-subdivivion-McMansion. I was never wasteful when I was single & was never taught to be that way.

It was amazing how getting into "the McLifestyle" just eased into daily life. My ex-inlaws were wasteful, my neighbors were wasteful. My ex-H was wasteful. They (spouse & IL's...not neighbors) made fun of me wanting to compost, line-dry clothes, recycle, turn off lights, etc. They called me names for being that way (hillbilly, ghetto, low-class, etc.) I cut way back on the greener side of living because it was easier to not have the fights and blend in with the spouse & his personal views.

I was amazed when I moved out with my DD...and getting back to my normal ways how much simpler everything is again. Less stuff around to covet & show off. Line dried yummy-smelling laundry, back to my gardening hobby with a pile of compost cooking up for next year, a crop of tomatoes in the ground fed with rainwater & fish emulsion.

Ahhhhh. It sure is nice to take a breath of fresh air again. Thanks for letting me ramble.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 7:17AM
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jamie_mt(z4/5 MT)

Just wanted to say - congrats on getting back to the "simple life". Unbelieveable that people would make fun of you for wanting to be a responsible inhabitant! I wonder how many other people stuck in that lifestyle secretly agreed with you, but were too afraid of the ridicule to do anything about it...

I wonder if they make a cloth-type pull-up? Cloth diapers and pads are easily available, and if you could find cloth to replace the pull-ups, that would be even less garbage, and something you could reuse as rags or whatever when your daughter is done with them. Just a thought... :-)

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 11:44AM
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Gayle, I forgot to add something else. In the garage, I save any bags I have from compost, manure, potting soil, etc. I use these for garbage bags for outside stuff and any clean-up in the garage. If you have any of these bags, perhaps you can use them for house garbage, maybe after a quick rinse or two.


    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 3:52PM
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I use store bought bags. The cheapest I can get for the kitchen (usually160 for $3 last around a year). Paper bag for paper recycles (usually from dh's take out), store free bags for bathroom garbage and cat litter. I have just switch cat litter to the pineshavings so that will get dumped in the woods (1 less bag a week). OUr town has just updated the recycling program to include almost all plastics so we have been using around 1 13 gallon bag a week.

I have just convinced inlaws to recycle plastics, cans and paper. MIL drives me crazy she uses store bought bags with a paper and plastic free store bags inside of it for the kitchen garbage. She tosses it all out as soon as the paper bag fills up.

I am proud though because we as a family were putting out at least 4 garbage cans out every week (Inlaws and our family of 4). Lately it is only 2, but tons of recycling.

They make cloth pull ups. They call them trainers. I have bought some from www.snapez.com she has very good customer service. There are tons of other places just do a quick. search.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 5:07PM
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I am sort of lucky - we buy all our feeds in 50 lb bags . The 52 pound bag of dogfood gets recycled as do all the brown paper 50 pound cattle feed bags .
Anything plastic gets recycled as a container and as others have said - I even re-use bags that I find caught in our barbed-wire fencing .
I use and re-use trashcan size liner bags until they are falling apart .
We put out curbside trash so seldom that the trash guys have gorgotten us and I usually have to call it in . I think that's a good thing ?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 7:01AM
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Reuse,recycle,compost and what is left if any
goes to the fire pit(here we are aloud to burn
outside )the ashes are then returned to the
compost pile.I really have no garbage.


    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 8:44AM
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lisatx04(z9 TX)

I use garbage bags in my can in the kitchen. However, I am glad to say, our garbage output had decreased since I started composting back in April. In my kitchen crock I use compostable bags that I bought online. I use plastic grocery bags if I need something small, but now that I am using canvas bags for shopping, I don't have many of those left.

Question: where do you buy your biodegradable kitchen garbage bags? I can't find them in stores.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 10:11AM
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AYE the PUllups! Been there done that. ! LOL! For what its worth, We didnt succeed at potty training until we gave up the pullups. Target has cotton underwear with thick padding and use rubber pants. Pullups are too comfy!

It shouldnt take six months if you do it that way.


    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 11:41AM
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I am also one waiting to hear more about the compostable bags, and I will start scanning the store shelves for them. I also use the canvas shopping bags, until I realized I was running out of the plastic grocery bags I use to line the bathroom garbages with, so occasionally I will let the store bag my stuff, or usually they bag up the raw meats with plastic anyway. Plus, we did a lot of painting in our home a while back and went through a lot, since we'd use one to wrap our roller(s) and paintbrushes in after the 1st coat, so we don't have to wash out our painting tools, and then reuse the brushes and rollers with no problems (since they stay moist) for the 2nd and sometimes 3rd coats.

Our newspaper comes in a skinny plastic bag, because we aren't set up with a mailbox yet, and I use those bags to bag up the cat's deposits from his litter box (daily), I'd like to use a bigger back placed in a bucket with a lid like my girlfriend does, but by the end of the week the smell is way too powerful for the household to endure.

The city I was in wanted our garbage to be bagged, which seemed a waste since they wanted the smaller bags of garbage to be held within a larger bag, overkill. Luckily, the fellows doing the actual collecting were okay reaching in several times to empty our garbage bin. Now where we are at, our collector is very concientious, I can leave him 5 gallon buckets loaded with 'bad' weeds that can't go in the compost, and he'll empty the bucket and leave me the bucket, last town they'd chuck the whole thing (and the contents weren't wetted down and stuck in the bucket, they were dry). The last guys were younger tho', and maybe didn't know better, plus on walks through alleys, some people throw those 5 gallon laundry soap buckets away! Brand new! They become mine. Or my dad's.

Unfortunately, I think SO much focus is on recyclying, that many people who think they are doing good on the environment by recycling, do not realize that recycle is the 3RD 'R', and that Reduce and Reuse come first.

I worked (15 years ago) and watched a co-worker photocopy a receipt over and over and over, repositioning it each time, and using a new sheet and throwing the unfavourable one (because he was being so particular) in the recycle bin, after about the 12th sheet I mentioned that he could at least reuse the back before pitching the sheet, and his response was 'why, he's recycling it, that's good enough isn't it?'. No.

Damn paper was probably filed, never to be looked at again until it was boxed up for the seven year archive, and then shredded. Ech!

I am enjoying this new forum,


    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 2:52PM
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jamie_mt(z4/5 MT)

Welcome, Kioni. :-)

Compostable bags are all over on line - just do a search for "compostable bags", or "BioBags"...there are a couple different brands, but those two searches will get you a whole slew of places to look. I'm going to order mine from Planet Natural next time, because they're close to local for me, but I think even Amazon sells them, if I remember correctly.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 10:42AM
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postum(9b CA (S.F.))

The grocery stores around here have bins for people to recycle their bags. I just grab a few from there to use for trash. However, plastic bags are going to be outlawed here soon...
I usually have 1-2 store type bags of trash per week. My concern is that if i don't put the trash in bags then it will scatter all over the place on garbage day. (We have these monster robot garbage trucks.) Guess I'll be looking for biodegradable ones too.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 4:00PM
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Here in Fullerton, California they say specifically not to bag waste, just put it in the special garbage cans the city provides. Each house gets three big garbage cans that can be picked up and dumped by a special garbage truck with a robotic arm. The black garbage can is for normal garbage, the green one for recyclables like paper, plastic, glass, and metal. The brown one is for yard waste like grass clippings and leaves and weeds and branches. They have to send three garbage trucks around to pick up the garbage to keep it separated, but with this robotic arm it is amazing how fast they can pick up all the trash on the street.
I usually can reuse the garbage can plastic bag liner several times. Put a layer or newspaper in the bottom to absorb any liquids. Stuff that would smell or are messy like meat scraps I bag in grocery bags before putting them in the garbage can to keep the garbage can liner fairly clean.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 8:20PM
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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

Here in Fullerton, California they say specifically not to bag waste

I guess that's why there's so much trash stuck to the cyclone fence on the west side of orange hwy(57) and others. Doesn't look like much is making it to the land/sea fill or the recyclers out there. So glad I moved far away from CA.
I use grocery, soil or pet food bags, and we bag trash here to keep it in the trucks instead of everywhere else when the wind is blowing.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 4:11AM
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Garbage - one can a month from my house. With the worm compost, and a kitchen composter ($400 model got on Craigslist for $50); Recycling, buying many food items in bulk at Whole Foods and displaying them in Mason jars...

It can get done and done with style. Someday when they charge for trash by the pound, as is done is some cities, these things will improve real fast!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 12:22PM
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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

I'd love to see every city charge by the pound. It's not fair a single person having to pay as much as a family. It would take 2-3 months for me to fill my can.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 5:55PM
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Taz6122, what a nasty lonely individual. I see his posts on forum after forum, always belittling someone or saying someone is wrong or hating anything to do with California, where he claims he used to live.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 12:07AM
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I didn't read thru all of the posts, but could you reuse large dog food bags? I have a friend who gives me hers (they can't be recycled anyway, so they can double as garbage bags). I bet if you ask (check out any freecycle groups) then you can get the big dog food (or horse feed) bags.

Best of luck!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 4:14PM
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that good but how you put a big bad to the car and

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 11:34AM
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Recycle,Recycle. I use the bags in every wastebasket in our house. My husband buys some for the big container that we then take to the dumpser. I heard this morning that some guy is finding a way to recycle all plastics. Yippee!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 3:47PM
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