Pay to throw away? Charlotte weighs pay-per-bag trash removal fees

Pay to throw away? Charlotte weighs pay-per-bag trash removal fees
trash removal in Charlotte, N.C.

trash removal in Charlotte, N.C.

Charlotte residents might soon be paying for trash removal the same way they do for power and water — by volume.

The Charlotte City Council is considering a “pay as you throw” program, in which residents would be charged per garbage bag that they place in their rollout trash bins.

The program could help the city raise more revenue for garbage collection, and city officials hope it might encourage more Charlotte families to recycle, according to news reports. For households that don’t recycle — or for larger families who may create more waste — the monthly trash bill could be going up.

But it doesn’t have to. Here are four ways to save cash on your trash:

Don’t throw your food away

Put it in a compost bin instead. Compost is a great way to use most kitchen food scraps, along with grass clippings and garden trimmings, to produce rich and moist soil that’s terrific for gardens.

Composting is easy. Just get yourself in the habit of taking your food waste outside. It’s also inexpensive, since all you need is a simple 3-foot-by-3-foot box. Your plants will thank you.

RELATED: How to make compost at home

Buy smarter

From food to clothes to school supplies, we often buy more than we need. If you want to save on the trash leaving your house, start thinking more about what’s coming in.

Charlotte-area professional organizers caution against buying bulk items that you won’t fully use, or stocking up for disasters that will likely never arrive. As for those school supplies, don’t buy until the teacher gives you a firm list of what your child needs. (Then save the receipt, in case all those pens weren’t necessary.)

RELATED: 8 common home organization mistakes

De-clutter before it’s too late

Before Charlotte starts counting your garbage bags, think about all the items in your home that need to find a new home (even if that’s the landfill), such as small appliances and electronics you no longer use, books you won’t ever read – or read again.

A professional organizer can help you de-clutter particular rooms or areas of your house, such as the garage, in part by helping you think differently about what you really need. Here are the questions to ask before hiring an organizer.

Or if you wait to pre-empt the pay-as-you-throw fee, you can hire a junk hauling or trash removal company to help you start with a clean slate. 

RELATED: Do you need a dumpster or a junk removal service?

Recycle more

There’s no better way to decrease the volume of trash then putting more in the green recyclining roll out bin. You can easily commit to sorting out your paper goods and plastics, but don’t stop there.

You also can recycle leftover paint, metal waste and electronics. In North Carolina, state law actually requires responsible disposal of all electronic waste.

RELATED: Get organized by going green

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