Punk Housewife Tip: Ditch Garbage Bags

A few months ago I solved a small problem in my own head. It was gratifying. Now everyone who comes over can say, “Why the F do you have two bags in there, what am I supposed to do with that?”

I had always wanted to use old shopping bags for garbage because, despite my best intentions, they do pile up in our house. But I was too afraid of the occasional leak making the bin gross and stinky. Then it suddenly occurred to me I could just keep a backup liner in there. Of course.

This only works because all my wet stuff goes in my various (4 different!) compost/chicken bins. The only wet thing I really put into the trash anymore is boiled bones, leftover from stock making. For this, I keep any still sound plastic packaging in that space between the back of the paper bag and the plastic liner. I haven’t had a paper bag bust out on the way to the outdoor can yet, though it seems like it might happen eventually. And I only have to change the liner every month or more.

If you are way too cool to ever bring home disposable shopping bags, no worries! Just pilfer the ‘bag recycling’ bin outside the store. I’ve done this myself, many times. Of course, you could argue that those bags would be better off recycled than turned into default garbage, even if they save the world from one extra garbage bag. But, especially with the paper bags, I feel pretty confident this is a better end.

Now, the big break through trick? To keep the bag from sliding down in there, attach to the lip of the bin with office clips like so:

The only catch to this system is it turns you irrevocably into One of Those People. Not even your damn garbage is normal. People will be confused and you will have to explain. You will not sound awesome, you will just sound weird. But considering you probably already have to explain your garbage system (‘recycling under the sink, egg shells in the old flour bag, coffee grounds in the tub by the faucet, chicken scraps straight out the window into the run, and onion skins and citrus in the old coffee bag’) this will be the least of your worries.

8 thoughts on “Punk Housewife Tip: Ditch Garbage Bags

  1. Bawhahaha! I really like this post – another reason I subscribe – for solutions to the very problems I grapple with on a very conscious level. How garbage is handled is one of my biggest issues with apartment dwelling.

    CJ – take the next step and share with us what you do with each of those bags of sorted food stuffs!

  2. We are those people, also. We gave up using garbage bags about a year ago. We compost just about everything, including bones. We also use rags for cleaning instead of paper towels so not a lot of filler there. Then everything else is just packaging. I have a big red plastic flip top bin and I don’t use a liner. We then empty that into the big blue trash can that the trashman picks up. There have been no complaints from the trashman or city, as I think the trash just doesn’t stink that much. Hopefully they never will.

  3. I strive to be one of those people. In fact, I strive so much sometimes we have only 3 or 4 of those little bags in our green bin. Right now I’m attacking our assauting amount of processed foods in the house CJ, and if I may request, can you elaborate on your chicken stock recipe please?!!!

  4. OMG. I am Louisiana born and raised and people already think it’s weird that I have two garbage cans side by side–one for trash and one for recycling. I don’t even bother trying to tell other people about the Tupperware container for compostables in the fridge.

  5. Don’t you love the blog-o-shere?! Where a discussion on your rubbish bin habits can generate such hilarity? We too are ‘One of those’ and proud of it! Like Julie, we don’t use bags at all as all that ever goes in is plastic food packaging (which of course we try to avoid where we can!), and all else goes to chooks / warms / compost / recycling. I used to freeze any bones we had and then add that on bin day but now I simply put it out in our native front garden and watch the magpies / crows have a feast. Where they take the bones I have no idea, but by the next morning all evidence is goooone baby, gone!

  6. lol

    we just skip a liner altogether. bung it all in the bin and then empty when it’s full. Any icky gets a quick slosh with secondhand water and then into the garden or in winter, leave it out in the rain for a rinse.

    To help out confused visitor people, I labelled ours – ‘single bin recycling’, ‘chooks’, ‘worm farm’ with small print underneath the latter two as to what could go in there.

    yep, *hand up* I’m one of ‘them’ too and what’s wrong with that! :)

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