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Funny Money: Trashy Ways to Save on Your Garbage Costs

Save money on your trash disposal.When you spend money on trash disposal, you’re throwing your money out with the garbage.

The wastefulness of garbage bins filled with bags of discarded refuse would make our caveman ancestors — who would make use of every part of the mammoths they killed — yell at us.

“Oooga booga blaarg!” they would sternly lecture, before ducking for cowering in fear when they noticed we have talking people trapped inside giant magic boxes we mount on our walls, and are thus superior to them.

By living more economically and looking for opportunities to reuse and recycle, we not only become smelly hippies, but come closer to pleasing our caveman ancestors before they retreat to their own time and get back to clubbing each other over the head and struggling to invent the wheel.

Herewith is some totally serious ridiculous advice for saving on garbage costs, with possibly some accidentally helpful advice sprinkled in. Feel free to either use the advice or throw it away. I mean, reduce, reuse or recycle it.

Use your neighbors’ garbage bins.

Cancel your own trash pickup service and just stuff your bags in your neighbors’ cans. If they are so uncaring as to fill up their bins with their own garbage, leaving no room for your own, just stack your bags on top of the closed lids, so as to send a message that you will not tolerate their selfishness. Should they confront you about your misdeeds, just speak in caveman language and pretend not to understand. If acting like a sneaky, garbage-spreading sociopath doesn’t mesh with your “moral code,” strike up a deal with a neighbor to split the trash removal costs.


Some say it’s possible to transform food scraps, discarded paper and pet droppings into gourmet food for your plants. Websites like this one tell you exactly how  it’s done. What they don’t tell you is that the concept of composting is not actually real, but is just a prank concocted by environmentalists to get people to make fools of themselves. What you’ll actually end up with will not be the soil machine of your dreams, but a stinking hellmouth that attracts flies and drastically reduces the property values of homes in your neighborhood by coating them with the revolting smell of “goin’ green.” But at least you will no longer pay to have banana peels removed from your property, and you will be able to gleefully condescend to friends and coworkers by dropping the phrase  “I’m composting!” into unrelated conversations.

Take your trash for a ride.

Only the lazy and decadent leave their garbage out for others to haul away. The truly enterprising take on the task themselves. Apartment complexes, your workplace, and even restaurants boast community receptacles just begging to receive your trash. Drawbacks to this method include stinking up your car with the aroma of spoiled yogurt, stale pizza boxes and ripened, half-eaten Doritos locos tacos, as well as occasional confrontations with security guards who don’t get the genius of what you’re doing. Should you want to avoid the latter, consider going legit and taking your garbage directly to a dump, where you’ll be able to unload your gunk for less than curbside pickup.

Sell or re-purpose stuff you don’t think you need.

This harkens back to the caveman metaphor. Whereas some might see an unneeded cardboard box your Target dresser came in, others might see a playhouse for your kids. Whereas some might see a pile of old magazines, others might see a bunch of glossy paper that could be wadded up and taped into a soccer ball for your kids. Whereas some might see empty tin cans of pickled rutabagas, others might see potential for twine to connect the cans, making a crude phone toy for your kids. To summarize, give all trash to kids instead of buying them toys.

While it’s true that there are ways to re-purpose trash for other, actually useful purposes, I recommend taking the easier route and birthing or adopting kids in order to create people to give your trash to.

Do you have any creative, trashy ways to save on garbage disposal?

Published or updated on May 1, 2013

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About Phil Villarreal

Phil Villarreal writes Funny Money weekly for Money Under 30. He lives in Tucson and works for the Arizona Daily Star. He's also an author, blogger and Twitterer.


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  1. I’m jealous that I did not think of that.

  2. brian says:

    You can always mail it to the companies who send you mail with an enclosed business reply envelope.
    Stuff as much as you can in the envelope and they have to pay to have it taken away.

    • Mike says:

      Plastic can be recycled, but styrofoam isn’t and should be illegal. I feel guilty every time I throw it away! Either way it’s going to end up with the plastic soup in the ocean…

      • Kathy says:

        Hey Mike, some styrofoam is being recycled now! We just worked with a free lunch program that has styrofoam trays. I was looking for cost-effective replacement options when I learned our local hauler actually can recycle all of those trays. Of course, the best thing to use is no tray, or a reusable one, but at least they aren’t ending up in the ‘plastic soup’. :)

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