So, we for sure toss out far less garbage than we used to. What are we doing with all the crap we aren't throwing away anymore?
Most beverage bottles are good for the Michigan bottle recycling program. After saving them all up for a year, we are now starting to cash them in. I have been trying to get into the habit of turning in a pile of them every week now :)
Other non recyclable bottles. Booze and wine bottles aren't part of the return program. A few of them are being used now as paper pot molds along with some other glass jar bits, most are being saved for longer term projects. Most of the milk cartons are going to be used for cloches and rain traps in the garden. The square juice bottles are being saved to eventually become part of our algae test wall in the solarium. Other random glass jars and some of the plastic ones are being saved for a myriad of purposes. Last christmas I used a batch of matching ones to jar up bath salts as a gift. A whole bunch of matching ones I'm slowly but surely saving up for using as jumbo sized spice jars in the pantry.
I'm saving a handful of other containers I think are useful too. Round resealable tubs for random use, and the rectangular ones are for kitchen use. Mushroom flats that don't have holes in them for some multipack and flat plantings. Egg cartons for small seed starts.
Canned goods cans. After playing with some of them for seeding this year, I think there are a few kinds that I will keep saving for seeds, the bigger ones with actual removable bottoms and flatter ones like tuna fish and cat food. The ones with the removable bottoms will eventually be used for blanching leeks and the flattish ones I think I'm going to use for the wedding. Want to plant them up with quick seeds like lettuces, catgrass, parsley and chives and scatter them about tables for people to take home as favors.
That leaves me with a ton of kind of useless cans. After tinkering around with several ideas about what to do with them I think I have settled in on what I am actually going to do. Use them to mark out the areas on the edges of the firepit where wood gets dumped. And if I sink them nicely they will function as a marker line for the edge of the lawn tractor. I may use them as line markers for along the edges of the living fence and veggie row to pre-plot where pavers I make will eventually go. Not too many though since the will indeed eventually rust.
Paper, holy crap there's a ton of it. Most of it is currently being used for starting fires in the firepit, but that will slowly change a bit as more of it it actually burned out. Most of our newspaper kind of bits go to the paper pots bin. Cardboard tubes get their own bag too. I want to start saving some of our heavier cardboard/cardstock for mulching purposes. Some of it is going to be separated out for tinkering with paper mache.
Where in the heck are we storing all this crap till it get's used? Right now, about half a garage stalls worth of space. But we also have a goodly bit of a years worth of saving up stacked there too. Some of it will find it's way down to the pole barn for longer term storage as I build up more of a stock of them before there are enough for future project notions. A chunk of it is out in the solarium, stuff I use for seed starting.
Another recycling project is getting kicked off this year- seed saving. Yep, reduce my need to buy seed, reuse and recycle this years harvest into next years crop.. And hopefully have enough seed to do some seed swapping too :) Found a couple gardening links I've found very helpful and posted them up. Makes me pretty excited for the future of the veggie row.
UPDATE APRIL 4TH...
Ok, so been doing a bunch of cleanup in the recycling area and got the hubby to run a big batch of bottles into town with me today. I can already notice the difference! By the time I'm done cleaning up the surplus and moving the long term storage stuff, I should have the place looking pretty good! And organized too :) I'm thinking if I keep up with a big batch turn in once a month, I can have all the recycling caught up before the end of summer, yay! All the extra and unorganized paper crap will be burnt up by then too.