HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >
What are you cooking today? Share your food adventure
TELL US

If you use canvas bags for groceries - what do you use for garbage bags?

n
NE_Elaine Aug 18, 2009 01:20 PM

I just saw this headline online "Seattle voters deciding on 20-cent grocery bag fee" and it irritated me because I use my grocery bags as trash bags. I know that chowhounders have discussed the use of re-useable vs plastic vs paper before, but I just want to know if you buy plastic garbage bags and tote them home in your re-useable canvas bags or do you use something else for your trash?

  1. e
    evewitch Aug 18, 2009 01:30 PM

    The plastic grocery bags that my husband brings home when he shops because he refuses to use the canvas bags.

    1 Reply
    1. re: evewitch
      s
      small h Aug 19, 2009 05:05 AM

      Replace "husband" with "spousal equivalent" and yep, that's my story, too.

    2. Pei Aug 18, 2009 02:20 PM

      I always put damp trash in the kitchen garbage can, which uses the big 13 gallon bags that I have to buy anyway. I don't use trash bags in my other trash cans, which only hold dry trash and are emptied into the big kitchen bag when I need to take out trash.

      Recycling goes into paper bags that I collect when I forget to bring bags to the store, or recyclable paper bags from department stores.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Pei
        t
        tzurriz Aug 18, 2009 02:21 PM

        ditto that, except my recycling gets picked up at the curb.

        1. re: tzurriz
          j
          jujuthomas Aug 18, 2009 02:25 PM

          me too! and with single stream recycling and more items accepted now, we recycle more than we toss. :)

        2. re: Pei
          Withnail42 Aug 18, 2009 06:59 PM

          I also forget the canvas an as yet I am not in danger of running out of bags.

          1. re: Withnail42
            l
            lgss Aug 19, 2009 03:56 AM

            Someone I know suggested writing them on the grocery list.

        3. LNG212 Aug 18, 2009 03:07 PM

          We use canvas bags for groceries/greenmarket and as many store purchases as we can (Duane Reade, etc.).

          We have a bin that we reuse for the glass/metal/plastic recycling. We just take it downstairs to the building's trash/recycling area and dump it there in the appropriate container and bring it back upstairs.

          We use whatever random paper bag, delivery box, etc. for all our paper/cardboard/etc. recycling and then bring it downstairs (as above). If it's a box, we'll reuse this a well for as long as it lasts.

          We use the tall kitchen garbage bags (purchased) for the kitchen waste which is really rather minimal these days given how much is required to be recycled. You can get a box of 15 or 20 of those for about 99 cents; so it still works out better than paying the 20 cent bag fee and lasts quite a while.

          11 Replies
          1. re: LNG212
            c
            cimui Aug 18, 2009 10:15 PM

            Perfect description of my approach. I've been trying to use paper bags for ordinary trash, too, if the garbage isn't too wet, since the building's trash bins are already lined with plastic bags. Just wish I had enough room out back for composting!

            1. re: cimui
              LNG212 Aug 19, 2009 05:02 AM

              We've wondered about composting too. DH was looking into worms for a while. I'm a bit skeptical that it would be able to handle all our vegetable peelings and also that it would smell, esp in the nyc summer. Maybe one day we'll figure something out.

              1. re: LNG212
                d
                DGresh Aug 19, 2009 07:22 AM

                composting outdoors? It does smell a bit but only when you are right next to it.

                1. re: DGresh
                  LNG212 Aug 19, 2009 07:26 AM

                  No, we were looking into things that could be indoors. We live in Manhattan w/o outdoor space. The worms were interesting but didn't seem like it would work for us. And there's no way we could handle anything that smelled, even a little.

                  1. re: LNG212
                    d
                    DGresh Aug 19, 2009 07:31 AM

                    I have a compost bucket under the sink, and in the summer it *NEEDS* to go outside on a regular basis. I don't think indoor composting can really work very well, even if very well covered.

                    1. re: DGresh
                      j
                      jujuthomas Aug 19, 2009 07:40 AM

                      I saw something on HGTV (or maybe on that new green channel) about an indoor composter that they *said* didn't smell. it was smaller than a trash compactor, and I think composted within a few days.

                      1. re: jujuthomas
                        Pei Aug 19, 2009 12:50 PM

                        I have a homemade worm compost bin under my kitchen sink, and it doesn't smell. There's no smell whatsoever when it's closed, and when I open it to stir it or add food scraps, it smells a little like dirt but not like sour food.

                        1. re: Pei
                          c
                          cimui Aug 19, 2009 02:11 PM

                          Very interesting. Do you throw any meat-based compost in there? What kind of worms do you use?

                          (Hopefully not too off topic... maybe we should start a new one. This is a fascinating subject!)

                          1. re: cimui
                            Pei Aug 19, 2009 05:01 PM

                            I bought compost worms at Cole Hardware In San Francisco. There are a lot of web forums about where to buy them, or how to attract ones in your yard if you have one.

                            Compost forums all agree that meat, oily, and salty food should be kept out of compost. Not only do those things tend to create stench, you don't want them in your final product. Greasy, salty compost isn't going to do your plants much good!

                            1. re: Pei
                              c
                              cimui Aug 19, 2009 09:11 PM

                              Thanks, Pei. Folks I grew up around threw anything organic in the compost heap, including bones and eggshells -- but they had a lot more land for this kind of thing and could do it away from the house. I'll read up a bit more. Really want to give indoor composting a try.

                              1. re: cimui
                                Pei Aug 20, 2009 08:30 AM

                                Yeah, same here. The older folks I know want to just throw everything in a heap in the yard and watch compost magically appear, but people now just don't have the space needed or the patience required. Eventually all those less desirable things will break down, but we're talking years.

          2. b
            bigfellow Aug 18, 2009 03:12 PM

            Grocery stores here in Montreal are already charging for bags. It just seems to be a cash grab here as most people at my local grocery store still take the plastic bags even though they now charge for them

            As for myself, I just broke down and bought garbage bags.

            1. Jetgirly Aug 18, 2009 03:35 PM

              My parents bought me a package of garbage bags from Costco when I moved out here exactly one year ago today. The package came with two rolls of white bags, and I have only used about half of one roll. So I use those in the kitchen garbage (and should be good until 2012 on that front). In the bathroom, I use plastic bags from the drugstore, clothes stores, etc.

              1. l
                lgss Aug 18, 2009 04:31 PM

                Most weeks we don't create much trash, but the city requires bags of at least a certain thickness, so we have to buy those. :-( We only put a bag in the kitchen trash and put only dry trash in the others which then get dumped in with the kitchen trash the night before trash day.

                I take the shredded paper from work to the recycle bins and the plastic bags used to collect the shredded paper can't go in the bin so I take those back to the office for re-use. We end up with some paper bags when we buy more than what fits in our cloth and string bags. We use those to put our paper for recycling in before putting it on the curb. Our other recyclables are just put loose in the recycle container but paper gets scattered all other the neighborhood if it's not contained. Cardboard for recycling is just piled up and tied with string.

                I take a number of my clients grocery shopping and haven't yet converted them all to cloth bags, but have convinced them to give the plastic and paper bags they get to me rather than just throw them in the trash. I take drop them off at libraries and thrift stores. Two of the clients who do their own shopping most of the time do use cloth bags.

                1. s
                  smartie Aug 18, 2009 04:33 PM

                  in the olden days (!) before we all had so much plastic at our disposal we used to wash out the trash cans, compost the peelings, and use newspaper to wrap up wet things like tea leaves and coffee grounds and cooked foods.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: smartie
                    j
                    jumpingmonk Aug 18, 2009 05:23 PM

                    Ah, but that was before the days when local municpalites started refusing to TAKE garbage that wans't in an easily picked up bag, or started issuing massive fines for catching you putting ANY newspaper, no matter how messed up in the trash (on the grounds that it is irresponsible to use an article which can be recyclable for a purpose that makes it unsuitable for recycling). Our neigborhood tried (and almost suceeded) in requiring that all garbadge bags be transparent so that all garbage could be seen to check for violations (I actually have a box of tiny opaque bags from this period which were for throwing away things that would be particualry icky, like used, occupied mousetraps or other resonably intact animal remains).

                    Oh and speaking of shredded paper one of the plans the neigborhood recycling center came up with to deal with the mess of shredded paper (you have to put it out in competely open bags which always spill) was to suggest that there be special recycling bins where people would put outany papers they wanted shredded to be shredded by the village (basically they wanted people to drop off things they wanted shredded (competely intact) in an open recycling bin (where anyone who passed by would be free to riffle through it) marked "Papers that are to be shredded" and leave it on the curb with the rest of the recycling.

                  2. m
                    mrfood16 Aug 18, 2009 06:37 PM

                    It seems that everyone here uses plastic trash can bags for their non-recycalable garbage. Doesn't this defeat the purpose of canvas shopping bags, when you could be reusing paper inside of plastic shopping bags for household trash?

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: mrfood16
                      Kajikit Aug 18, 2009 06:52 PM

                      One 13-gallon bag holds approximately 2 days trash in our non-recycling building... One roll of trash bags lasts a long time. My parents used to use grocery bags for their trash but their bin was right outside the front door, not downstairs and around the back of the building...

                      1. re: mrfood16
                        q
                        queencru Aug 18, 2009 07:24 PM

                        The plastic shopping bags really don't really fit the typical kitchen garbage can. I did the dry dump like everyone else- wet items went into the kitchen garbage can and then when I went to empty it, I just dumped the other smaller garbages into the big bag. As many have pointed out, many neighborhoods either require specific types of garbage bags or that you at least use one larger size. One of my friends lives in a neighborhood that charges a $2 fee per trash bag put out, so of course she's not going to use a tiny grocery bag when she can put 2 weeks worth of trash into the larger size.

                        1. re: mrfood16
                          LNG212 Aug 19, 2009 05:03 AM

                          In addition, the paper bags are recycled here, as I'm sure elsewhere. We can't use those for trash.

                          1. re: mrfood16
                            j
                            jujuthomas Aug 19, 2009 05:56 AM

                            for our household of 2 we use about 1 plastic trash bag per week, if that. I have no problem with that. I rarely get a paper bag, if I do it is recycled.

                            1. re: mrfood16
                              Sooeygun Aug 19, 2009 06:22 AM

                              When I used to get plastic grocery bags, there would be so many, that I could never use them all if I used them as garbage bags! I used to take the bags back to the store to reuse anyway.

                              Recently in Toronto, the plastic bag fee was put into place and people were whining that they wouldn't have bags to pick up their dog poo and as garbage bags. The way I look at it, maybe if people have to buy their bags, they will be more conscious of how many they are using.

                              The new rule hasn't really affected my life. Where I get groceries they have been charging for bags for years. As well, we don't have a car so groceries are either carried home or put in our buggy. The reusable bags are much better for this. I also save my clear vegetable bags and reuse them when I shop. I have a small fold up bag that I keep in my purse for unexpected shopping.

                              1. re: mrfood16
                                n
                                NE_Elaine Aug 19, 2009 06:29 AM

                                Actually mrfood16, that was the thought that has been percolating around in my little head since this re-usable shopping bag effort started.

                                If you are still using plastic for your garbage, what exactly are you saving? I can understand that in certain cases you are restricted by community bylaws and regulations, but for the most part, I have yet to see a clear reason for these communities to start passing laws requiring grocers to start charging for bags.

                                Now, don't get me wrong. I do use re-usable bags when going out for quick shopping trips and running errands, but when my garbage/recycling bag supply goes down, I have them pack my groceries in grocery bags.

                                BTW, I see that the 20 cent charge was defeated in a referendum.

                                1. re: NE_Elaine
                                  q
                                  queencru Aug 19, 2009 07:07 AM

                                  What alternative would you suggest? I haven't been to a grocery store in years that still offers paper bags (which are typically easier to recycle than plastic bags), nor have I lived anywhere that allows you to put out loose trash.

                                  1. re: NE_Elaine
                                    d
                                    DGresh Aug 19, 2009 07:25 AM

                                    I might use 3 big (purchased) bags a week for the household trash. I used to get a couple dozen little plastic ones a week before I started using reusables. That seems like a big improvement.

                                2. a
                                  Allice98 Aug 19, 2009 05:53 AM

                                  I do use reusable bags for the most part for my shopping.

                                  I DO buy plastic garbage bags for trash.

                                  I have come up with a solution for my recycling which needs to be bagged as well - I have a lot of dry cleaning and I have started to use the bags to hold my recycling. I tie a knot on the end of the bag on the hanger hole side then put this into my can. I just tie another knot on the other end of the bag when full. We are lucky here thought hat we don't have to separate our recyclables though so that helps.

                                  1. lisavf Aug 19, 2009 06:26 AM

                                    My compromise is that I have three canvas bags, so I use them first, then whatever doesn't fit in them goes into the store's paper or plastic bags. That way I always have a couple of disposable bags around for whatever I may need, but I don't have an overabundance. I usually end up with no more than four disposable bags per trip (about once every two weeks), so that works out well for me. I do buy garbage bags, because we have 50-gallon drums, but that's for outside, not inside.

                                    1. b
                                      bakinggirl Aug 19, 2009 01:53 PM

                                      I do buy plastic garbage bags - we have to pay for private trash pickup where I live (town waste center won't accept household garbage). We use the kitchen trash as the "main trash" and none of the other bins in the house get lined.
                                      We've cut down on our waste significantly. Anything that MIGHT be considered as recyclable goes in the recycle bin (private trash contractor can throw it out if it's not recyclable), and we have a compost pile at the back of our property. So all in all, maybe 1-2 trash bags per week for the landfill.
                                      For those interested in composting (outside) but worried about the smell of the bin - I was recently amazed, while at a relative's house, when I asked where her compost bin was and she directed me to the FREEZER. We now have non-smelly fodder for compost, instead of summertime smelly compost that has to be taken out every other day!
                                      As an aside - I rarely go to WalMart (EvilMart), but it is the best place to take reusable bags. The look on the cashier's face as they go through the motions of "how do I do this, can't use revolving plastic baggie contraption" is priceless. (Not trying to being mean, I just like bucking the system!)

                                      15 Replies
                                      1. re: bakinggirl
                                        j
                                        jujuthomas Aug 19, 2009 02:34 PM

                                        hehehe, bakinggirl, I like how you think! we have a grocery store with the revolving baggie thing, that I go to only rarely but get a similar reaction to the reusable bags. :)

                                        1. re: jujuthomas
                                          nofunlatte Aug 19, 2009 03:28 PM

                                          Interesting. I, too, rarely go to Wal-Mart, but on the occasions I do, I just tell the cashier (before he/she starts ringing up my order) and there's never been a problem (or reaction) to the canvas bags (nor at the grocery store or Meijer, both of which actually sell the reusable bags). I'm not exacting in a sophisticated metropolis, either. In any case, I'm glad to see more people like you who use the reusables!

                                          1. re: nofunlatte
                                            a
                                            Allice98 Aug 20, 2009 02:47 AM

                                            Oh boy do I ever get a huge reaction! I have even been told that no, they don't allow that from people that unfortunatly have no clue how to do anything. I almost had to call over a manager once. I get absolutly hell for it though. Oftentimes I have people that get so confused though regardless of the store. It isn't just about the breaking ot the routine of tossing the items into a certain spot. These people really can't seem to handle it. I get a few people that are happy with the request but often there is disbelief, arguing, they try to convince me otherwise. I stick to my guns having to resort at times to telling people that if they don't comply with my request that I will simply have to walk away from the sale.

                                            One grocery store around me was more than priceless though. i had an old man that worked there yell at me because he thought that the use of my reusable bags would put the plastic shopping bag people out of business. I was thrilled and told him that was exactly what I hoped would happen! The best part is that even at the time thewy were selling reusable bags - and they still do, and the cashiers NEVER ask you if you have a bag you would like to use. Even if you toss your bag at the end of the register aisle they STILL start putting things into plastic bags.

                                            Crazy thing it that i live in pittsburgh, so it's not like I live in a small rural town. I live for the days that i visit Whole foods or Trader Joes where they welcome the reusable bags with open arms. Such bliss!

                                            1. re: Allice98
                                              e
                                              evewitch Aug 20, 2009 03:47 AM

                                              Yeah, I usually end up bagging my own groceries at Wal-Mart. Doesn't really bother me, but it is kind of funny. My Wal-Mart has their own canvas bags now - they even take up one slot on the revolving bag thing with them, but I have never had a cashier try to use them or sell me one. They automatically use the plastic. I also used to catch some ribbing when I was still in Florida. I carry around 3 Publix bags and one generic one. Invariably, the Sweetbay baggers thought it was hilariously cute to tell me I wasn't allowed to use the Publix ones. Every time I went in. Le sigh.

                                              1. re: Allice98
                                                j
                                                jujuthomas Aug 20, 2009 07:53 AM

                                                I can't tell you how many times the cashier has frantically searched for a bar code with which to ring up the reusable bags I bring from home. Even at the stores where reusables are becoming more common... lol.

                                                1. re: Allice98
                                                  rockandroller1 Aug 21, 2009 05:26 AM

                                                  I've been told in retail stores that they're "not allowed" to use my canvas bags, they have to put them in a plastic store bag to have me take it out of the store. But then I reply, "But what if I bought something too big for a bag, I wouldn't have to have that in a plastic bag to leave the store," and then they say "then you'd have your receipt ready and they could check it at the door if they needed to." And I say, "why can't I do that with the things I'm buying today?" And then they look exasperated or repeat that they have to do things a certain way and rather than stand there arguing, I just let them place it in the bag, then I take the bag off at the end of the check stand and put it back on their table and put the items in my bag before I leave. I get a lot of nasty stares.

                                                  1. re: rockandroller1
                                                    a
                                                    Allice98 Aug 21, 2009 06:06 AM

                                                    I won't do that personally - the only reason is if I leave the bag at the end of the checkout line it will be thrown in the garbage instead of recycled. That bothers me a lot. I just stick to my guns and repeat no bag or tell them the truth if they persist, that I will walk away from the sale and shop somewhere else. The fact that they would have to clean up all the items themselves seems to make them realize I should get my own way on this one.

                                                    I don't know what they have to complain about - I pack my own bag as well.....

                                                    1. re: rockandroller1
                                                      m
                                                      morwen Aug 22, 2009 08:37 AM

                                                      I do the same thing. I put my canvas bags on the belt in front of my purchases. When the bagger pushes them aside and starts to load in plastic, I slip to the end, unload the plastic and reload in canvas while he continues to load in plastic. If it's a carousel the bags never come off the carousel because I've already repacked them. After one or two bags he gets the message and loads in canvas. This never happens in grocery stores, just other retail stores. I've got my receipt and generally plenty of time if the door nazis feel compelled to check my bags.

                                                      As for garbage bags, where we use to live in NY we were required to use a clear plastic biodegradable garbage bag by the waste collection company. Where we live now in VA there is no garbage pick up just dumpster sites with recycling sheds at locations throughout the county. We continue to use the biodegradable bags, for household garbage, cardboard boxes for recyclables and all vegetal waste goes in our compost heaps. We total about 1 garbage bag per week after composting and recycling.

                                                    2. re: Allice98
                                                      nofunlatte Aug 22, 2009 10:02 AM

                                                      I am just flabbergasted--in Pittsburgh, no less. I'm in an economically depressed, conservative backwater small city and I have NEVER encountered anything remotely like this! Thanks for the eye-opener.

                                                  2. re: jujuthomas
                                                    b
                                                    bakinggirl Aug 20, 2009 01:59 PM

                                                    The worst is when I don't have a bag, and have only bought a couple of items, I say "Oh, I don't need a bag, thanks." THAT comment seems to make the nasty side of people come out. (I have rec'd independent verification that I can say this politely but I still get a weird look.)
                                                    Allice98 - the old man story about putting the shopping bag people out of business is great. Did he worry about the paper bag people, or the glass milk bottle people (or better still the milk delivery guy), or his local butcher, baker etc? I doubt it....

                                                    1. re: bakinggirl
                                                      q
                                                      queencru Aug 20, 2009 02:52 PM

                                                      On the bright side, at least the automatic checkout machines slowly seem to be getting the "I don't need a bag" or "I have my own bag" features. Whenever I use those, I almost always get one item that can go in my purse or another bag I bought, so it was really annoying to have to get the bag just so I could check out.

                                                      1. re: queencru
                                                        a
                                                        Allice98 Aug 21, 2009 05:20 AM

                                                        I actually just set the item down in from of the bag stand and then pick it up after the transaction is over. Of course inevitably I get a store employee that will come over and tell me that I am doing it wrong..... I really avoid going to those stores for the most part because of the bag issue actually. It's that troublesome and bothersome because I spend the time from walking in until checkout dreading the checkout process.

                                                        1. re: Allice98
                                                          q
                                                          queencru Aug 21, 2009 05:44 AM

                                                          Before they had the "use a different bag" I'd either get "unidentified item on the bag stand" or the system would get stuck when I didn't put something in a bag. Either way, you couldn't move past that screen until you used their stupid bags. That problem seems to be fixed now that so many people are bringing in cloth bags. This is a store that has no problems putting the bags onto the lazy susan thing at the checkout.

                                                          1. re: queencru
                                                            a
                                                            Allice98 Aug 21, 2009 06:08 AM

                                                            Ah - ours are set up differently in the grocery stores specifically. But you still can't use your own bag in the self checkout line on the stand - that sets it off.

                                                      2. re: bakinggirl
                                                        e
                                                        evewitch Aug 21, 2009 09:56 AM

                                                        I have discovered here that the gas stations and stores are required by law to put large "single-serve" (?) alcoholic beverages in bags. This applies to 40z bottles and 24z cans of beer. I have a bunch of brightly colored Sheetz bags under the sink to attest to this, since I don't usually bring my bags in for just a few items.

                                                  3. c
                                                    Cathy Aug 19, 2009 03:18 PM

                                                    http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/produ...

                                                    I have had something similar to this for 10+ years now and havenot bought regular plastic trash bags in that time. I got mine at Ikea back then.

                                                    I used to use canvas bags when nobody else did and seemed to be snickered at a lot. Now I ask for paper lined with plastic.

                                                    1. Jen76 Aug 19, 2009 03:40 PM

                                                      Here the grocery store plastic bags often have holes in them making them unsuitable for trash anyways. They are rather flimsy and quite small (with the exception of Target bags). I switched to canvas years ago. Easier to carry, too. I buy regular 13 gallon bags for the kitchen trash. We don't go through them very fast at all. I bought 2 boxes of 30 bags (60 bags total) on sale last summer. We're about half way through the second box now. In other rooms, the trash is just tossed in the wastebasket sans bag which is then emptied into the kitchen trash.

                                                      1. m
                                                        mpjmph Aug 20, 2009 07:02 AM

                                                        As many others have posted, I buy 13 gallon trash bags for my kitchen trash can and all other waste baskets in my apartment go without liners. Once a week I empty the small waste baskets into the large kitchen bag, which makes it just about full, so the trash only has to go out once a week. It's generally a pain to take out the trash, the dumpster isn't very convenient, so I try to minimize the number of bags I have to carry. Recycling is equally out of the way, but in the opposite direction. Whenever I forget my reusable grocery bags I get paper ones, and use them for the recycling. We only have to sort paper vs. not paper, so two paper bags every 2-3 weeks covers me for recycling.

                                                        Plastic bags are cheap, but not free. If the store isn't charging a fee for the bags themselves then the cost is passed on to customers through their other purchases. I would rather use reusable grocery bags, save the cost of plastic grocery bags, and spend my money on trash bags that are a better size for my living arrangement. If you want/need smaller bags for trash or pet waste, then buy smaller bags, either as box of small bags or as plastic grocery bags.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: mpjmph
                                                          o
                                                          opehlia payne Aug 20, 2009 08:26 AM

                                                          Instead of plastic trash bags, we use these:

                                                          http://www.biobagusa.com/

                                                          They're available at our local Whole Foods and cost just a wee bit more per unit than regular plastic trash bags. The extra expense is well worth the knowledge that these won't sit in a landfill for years. They are both biodegradable and compostable, so if you have a compost bin you can use them for food waste and toss into the bin. They even make smaller-sized bags for keeping compostable food waste separate from trash that needs to be hauled away.

                                                          We usually take the tras out a couple times a week and the bags haven't had any issues with beginning to compost before we get them out to the cans.

                                                        2. Paulustrious Aug 24, 2009 10:27 AM

                                                          For years I was one of those weirdies that arrived with their own bags. You could see the mothers gathering in their children in the checkout line in case they caught something. In fact it was worse than that. I used ... a backpack. This was primarily cus I was too lazy to walk back from the car to the $1 get-out-of-trail buggies.

                                                          It's now a fine art. Up to 50lb in the back pack. One over-the-shoulder insulated bag. One of those huge blue $1 Ikea bags for soft veg/fruit and one canvas for everything else.

                                                          I have been upgraded from weird to off-beat by the ecological movement.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: Paulustrious
                                                            l
                                                            lgss Aug 24, 2009 02:48 PM

                                                            We also use a backpack, in addition to canvas bags, and a couple string bags.

                                                          2. chicgail Aug 24, 2009 02:14 PM

                                                            Until my beloved dog died a couple of months ago, the issue wasn't garbage, but poop bags.

                                                            Now I use all reusable bags for my groceries.

                                                            Food scraps go down the disposer (I live in the city and don't have any use for compost).
                                                            All the recycled stuff goes in the recycling bin.
                                                            The rest of the garbage goes in tall kitchen garbage bags, which I buy. Yes, it does sound like a bit of shame, but those little plastic grocery bags wouldn't hold enough trash anyway.

                                                            1. cassoulady Aug 24, 2009 02:34 PM

                                                              I am a dog owner and we go through a lot of plastic bags. I do use reusable bags quite a bit and the WF here does not offer plastic, only paper. So we have actually started buying specialized poop bags ( which I swore I would never do).

                                                              1. i
                                                                insomnia Aug 25, 2009 12:45 AM

                                                                NE Elaine: thank you. My thought exactly. I use the plastic grocery bags as my kitchen trash bag. The same people advocating charging for the plastic grocery bags are the same people fueling the plastic bag manufacturing industry.

                                                                7 Replies
                                                                1. re: insomnia
                                                                  chicgail Aug 25, 2009 01:41 AM

                                                                  How do you use plastic grocery bags as your kitchen trash bag? They're not big enough to fit into most trash containers. They're not big enough to hold even a means worth of trash. How many do you use a day?

                                                                  1. re: chicgail
                                                                    Paulustrious Aug 25, 2009 05:27 AM

                                                                    Here in Toronto we have those trash containers that are hoisted by an arm and dumped in the top of a truck. We don't need garbage bags (big or small) except for sticky stuff.

                                                                    1. re: Paulustrious
                                                                      nofunlatte Aug 25, 2009 05:35 AM

                                                                      I think chicgail means the indoor kitchen trash containers, which are typically hold 13 gallons. The outdoor containers (called "toters" where I live) get lifted by a mechanical arm on the trash truck.

                                                                      I buy the 13-gallon trash bags for the kitchen container. The other containers hold dry waste and get dumped into the kitchen one on an as-needed basis.

                                                                      1. re: nofunlatte
                                                                        Paulustrious Aug 25, 2009 09:52 AM

                                                                        I explained myself badly. I have an Ikea double under-sink trash container that pulls out on rails, or can be picked up by the handle. Thin (ie stretchy) plastic bags fir over the top. However, one of them I use for stuff that goes in the compost heap. Most of the rest of my trash goes in the large 'toters' without any plastic bag. I use a maximum of two bags per week - probably less. Somehow or other we acquire that many without purchasing. The only bags I now buy are the heavy industrial ones from home depot for clearing up bricks, plaster, wood etc.

                                                                        The pull-out works very well, but I had to plumb my waste pipes right at the back of 'under-the-sink' in order to fit it in. Most plumbers don't care enough to do that for you unless you ask. It's more awkward, takes longer and uses a couple of extra fittings

                                                                    2. re: chicgail
                                                                      c
                                                                      CrazyOne Aug 25, 2009 06:55 AM

                                                                      For years I had a can that was sized specifically for the plastic grocery bags, and that's what I used in the kitchen. With two of us, it would probably be realistically about two of those bags a week in there, but often more like one and a half. But, we recently switched to a step-on 13 gallon can that we managed to wedge into the kitchen space. This has meant just one bag per week unless we have some extraordinary amount of stuff. On a good week, I can get the bedroom and bathroom trash (no bags used) to fit into the same 13 gallon kitchen bag. Now the grocery bags are just for scooping the litter box into (I don't know what else to do with that) or for various other purposes. I'm not convinced the bigger kitchen can will really cut our reuse of the grocery bags much. We do have plenty of reusable meshy type bags (the ones sold for $1 with the store's logo, typically) but don't always remember to take them in.

                                                                      I'd be better off focusing perhaps on our use of 33 gallon black bags to put out to the curb. One of the things I always hated was the stinky can you put out to the curb, so I've avoided it for the 6 years I've been in a house with normal curb service. (Before that it was apartment with dumpster.) Goes back to when I was a kid, probably, really stinky can. It's also nice not to have to worry about it rolling into the street, getting run over, etc. Trying to convince myself that because the trash is picked up on Monday mornings before I leave the house, most weeks it there would only be an hour or so that the can was left out empty. (Has to go out full the night before, though.) And that since most weeks there is very little trash that needs to be put down in the garage before collecting it all to go to the curb, the can would not stink so much. Heh. But then, at least some of the trash that normally goes directly into the black bag may need to be in something else, so I may not reduce the plastic that much. Loose trash in the can is just asking to be blown over and spilled everywhere....

                                                                      1. re: chicgail
                                                                        c
                                                                        Cathy Aug 25, 2009 08:23 AM

                                                                        http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/produ...

                                                                        The bag handles go over the two top parts, holding the bag open and the top lid flips when you want to put something inside it.

                                                                        I have just the top part, because I got it years ago and that was all they made. In this one, the bottom holds extra trash bags. I have a separate thing to hold those.

                                                                        I maybe fill one every other day. Sometimes one a day if I am cleaning or cooking a lot. I have not bought plastic bags in over ten years.

                                                                        1. re: chicgail
                                                                          i
                                                                          insomnia Aug 25, 2009 12:38 PM

                                                                          I have a small kitchen trash can. I only create one or two plastic grocery bags of trash each week.

                                                                      2. p
                                                                        prscms Aug 25, 2009 08:29 AM

                                                                        Be sure to wash those canvas bags. Testing on them revealed that they were crawling with germs! Leaky milk, drippy meat trays not to mention dirty produce.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: prscms
                                                                          chicgail Aug 25, 2009 12:33 PM

                                                                          Thanks for the reminder. I have a wonderful bag made of that parachute-like material (very strong; very large; very light-weight) that rolls up and snaps together like a tiny little umbrella. It lives in my purse I recently noticed that mine smelled bad -- undoubtedly the bacteria -- and washed it.

                                                                          I need to make sure I do that often. Gross.

                                                                        Show Hidden Posts