Save Money on Garbage Pickup? Why Not?

by David Bakke

trash pick upThis is probably the most “off the beaten path” type thing that I use to save money in my everyday life.  Feel free to laugh, poke fun, or comment however you wish.

There is a very simple and easy way to save money on your garbage pickup.  It takes very little effort, and the savings, when tracked over time, can be quite substantial.

Let me tell you a little story.  I was born and raised in Ohio, and back in those good ol’ days, we kept about 4 big huge stainless steel garbage cans in the backyard.  I think it was always my duty to drag those suckers out to the road each Tuesday morning before school.  The garbage men came by, picked up the trash, and the cycle started over again.  The key point here is that this service was included in whatever city or local taxes my parents paid at the time.

In 1985, my family moved  to Florida.  Quite an interesting transition.  Included in this transition was adjusting to new trash pickup.  The system was exactly the same, with one small change.  Shortly after moving in, my parents asked a neighbor which day “garbage day” was.  On the assigned day, we dragged our trash out and surprise, everybody else’s was picked up but ours.  Thinking there was a mistake, we left it there for a day or two.  We did not figure out the problem until another sympathetic neighbor came stopped by to tell us that you actually had to pay for the service to get your trash picked up.

My parents signed up with no qualms.  I mean, really, what else could you do?  This incident kind of stuck with me though.  I didn’t understand.   If our tax money could pay for the service in Ohio, why couldn’t it be paid for in Florida?

Fast forward to the year 2000, when I purchased my first home.  As part of my starter pack or whatever I received, I got all the information and phone numbers to sign up for my trash disposal.  Well, guess where that information went?   In the trash disposal itself.

The easiest and simplest way to save money on trash pickup is to not sign up for the service.  Honestly, are you kidding me?  Pay for trash pickup?  Does anyone else not see the insanity in this?  It currently would cost me approximately $240 per year to have my trash taken away.  I’ll get back to that number in a minute.

Needless to say, I have never paid for it.  I keep several small garbage cans around the house (which is what I assume most households do).  The one in the kitchen fills up just about every day, the ones in the bathrooms a few times a week.  When the bags get full, I tie them off, throw them in the trunk and drop them off at the dumpster behind my office at work.  It probably takes an extra 30 seconds out of my day.

For those that think this is nasty, compare it to the nastiness of having a 100 gallon plastic bin in your backyard that simply fills up with trash every day of the week.  I think I know which if the two scenarios I’d pick.

Simply put, I have saved myself right around $2400 by this method alone since moving into my house.  That translates into right around 3 ½ free mortgage payments for me. 

I hope you’re not still laughing about my silly idea to save money on trash pickup!!

Any and all “trashy” or “non-trashy” comments are appreciated below…


1 Brandy March 8, 2010 at 6:06 pm

our trash is free but all trash must fit in the bin. my mothers work allows you to use their dumpster for odd size items that wont fit in the bins (she is a govt employee). my last job (a very bad company in every way) they about died if you put your lunch trash container in the dumpster (like youve eatin out or in the car and put your trash bag in the dumpster) they kept cameras on the dumpster.
we also have free curbside recycling. im happy i have 3 recycling bins and only 1 trash bin. most people put out 2 trash and only 1 recycling. i like having more recycling then trash.
.-= Brandy´s last blog .. =-.

2 David/Yourfinances101 March 9, 2010 at 12:34 am


That’s an interesting story–glad you’ve got something that works for you.

Thanks for commenting
.-= David/Yourfinances101´s last blog ..Save Money on Garbage Pickup? Why Not? =-.

3 Gary March 23, 2010 at 4:24 pm

You could be breaking local ordinence by putting yuor trash in someone elses container. People pay for containers shuch as dumsters.

4 David/Yourfinances101 March 23, 2010 at 6:02 pm

Gary, the container that I use is the dumpster that is associated with the office where I am employed. I can assure you that I am breaking no ordinances and I am not advocating that anyone do it either.

But thanks for commenting.
.-= David/Yourfinances101´s last blog ..De-cluttering: Know Your Options =-.

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