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Aug 18, 2009 01:20 PM

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

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?

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  1. 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

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

    2. 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

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

        1. re: tzurriz

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

        2. re: Pei

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

          1. re: Withnail42

            Someone I know suggested writing them on the grocery list.

        3. 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

            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

              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

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

                1. re: DGresh

                  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

                    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

                      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

                        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

                          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

                            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

                              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

                                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. 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. 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.