Household waste disposal is critical for health, property value, and the environment. You can do your best to generate as little household waste as possible, but it will accumulate, so knowing how to properly dispose of trash of various types is beneficial.
Different waste disposal methods are required for different materials. Disposing of electronics differs from disposing of cooking waste. Check out our guide to proper waste disposal, which covers everything from composting food scraps to disposing of hazardous waste.
How to Dispose of Food Waste
One of the most common types of waste is food waste. There are lots of great ways to dispose of food waste that reduce the harm done to the planet during disposal. You can create a compost pile or use the food scraps to produce animal feed, but when you do these things, make sure that you’re not composting or scrapping anything with meats, oils, or dairy products.
Oil is a tricky one to dispose of, and putting it down your disposal or drain is a big no-no. You’ll end up with a plumbing problem on your hands when the oil congeals in the pipes. Instead, put oil in a glass jar or tin can that you don’t mind throwing away, let it cool down and harden up, and then you can throw the oil away.
If you have coffee grounds or eggshells, before you throw those in the trash, look around and see if you have any house plans that could use a little extra nutrition.
Coffee grounds and eggshells are great for your plants, so instead of sending those household waste items to the trash, mix them in the dirt of your favorite planter.
Another pro tip here—if you boil water to hard boil eggs, let that water cool and water your plants with it. It’s super nutritious, and you’re not wasting water.
If you have a garden, consider making use of food waste as compost rather than discarding it. Organic materials such as fruit rind, onion peels, and shredded paper can be collected in a tub before closing the lid, leaving the material to decompose.
This can then be added to the soil you use for gardening to provide nutrients, which will aid the growth and quality of your plants. This type of waste disposal is a form of recycling if you grow fruit and vegetables.
Crushed eggshells can also be added to the compost to reduce the pests that affect your plants. For example, slugs and snails will avoid the eggshells.
Even if you don’t have a big garden, you can compost. Bokashi composting, for example, can be quite compact.
If you’re not in the market for an expensive composting device, you can purchase cheaper composting bags or composting buckets, but sometimes these get a little stinky, so we recommend keeping them somewhere with good airflow.
Fruits and vegetable scraps are always good compost material, but don’t add any meats or fats.
Making Animal Feed
Don’t overlook a pet’s capacity to be an effective waste disposal helper. Set aside vegetable peels and food scraps to feed small animals such as hamsters and rabbits.
Large meat bones will often be greatly received by the family dog, but be careful here. Your four-legged friend can choke on or swallow large pieces of bone and can end up really hurt.
It’s important that you don’t give your pet bones that have been cooked at all. And, as a general rule, avoid chicken bones regardless of if they are cooked or not. These bones tend to be more brittle and can cause serious damage to your dog’s stomach.
If you have livestock, use leftover food to feed your animals if it is appropriate to do so. Animals such as pigs are indiscriminate when it comes to their diet and will tend to eat whatever they are given.
Goats love to chow down on donated food scraps, and they’re fun to feed, which is why we love bringing our food scraps over to the neighbor’s goat.
Before you feed a goat or a pig, ask the owner about the diet. You might be surprised by what you can and cannot bring for the animal. We often bring our old leftovers to feed the neighborhood goat.