A simple guide
We've developed a simple guide to help determine if you can decrease the size of your garbage bin. It involves a few easy steps:
1) Determining if your city charges you based on bin size
2) Reviewing your past usage of your garbage bin
3) Reviewing your current usage of your garbage bin
4) Determining what size garbage bin will be optimal
Step 1: Will this work in your City
You need to determine if your City charges you an annual fee for garbage collection based on the size of your bin. This can be achieved by phoning your City. For example, the City of Vancouver charges residents an annual fee dependent on the size of the bin you use. Other cities may charge a flat fee for any size bin you have, which does not provide much incentive to decrease your bin size.
Step 2: Determine Past Usage
On average, how full has your garbage bin been over the past year? If you find that your bin is always half empty, this may mean that you can reduce the size of your bin.
If you find that your bin overflows, or is always full, do not fear, chances are that you may be able to decrease the size of your bin by auditing your current garbage stream. Move to Step 3.
Step 3: Review Current Usage
To determine if you can reduce the size of your bin you need to figure out what your current waste stream is like. This may allow you to better utilize your organic waste bin and recycling bin. Here are two questions to answer:
1) Am I recycling and separating my organic waste as best as I can?
Take a look at your garbage bin next time you take it out for collection, and see if their are items you can reroute to the recycling or organic waste bin. Most papers and plastics can be placed in the recycling bin. Rerouting your recyclable and organic waste takes a few extra minutes each day and can result in cost savings each year.
2) Will my waste stream be changing in the upcoming year?
If you think that your garbage stream will increase in the near future, do not downsize your bin just yet. If you are expecting a new member of the family or renting out a basement suite, you will most likely see an increase in your waste stream. It is a good idea to first see how your new situation will impact your waste before downsizing your garbage bin. You do not want to deal with an overflowing garbage bin that may attract vermin and other pests.
After looking at your current waste stream, either you have determined you can decrease your bin size, or that now is just not the right time to make such changes. If you can decrease your bin size move to Step 3. If you can not decrease your bin size, pay attention to your waste stream as time goes on, the opportunity may arise in the future to take advantage of a smaller garbage bin.
Step 4: What garbage bin size will work for you?
You have now decided to go for a smaller garbage bin, but what size will work best? We recommend you drop down a single bin size, and then determine if that size works for you. Certain cities will allow you to exchange your waste bins once per year for free. So dropping down a single bin size in one year will allow you to drop down another bin size if necessary in the next year. The City of Vancouver provides the following chart to help you determine what bin size may work best for your household: