Against Big Trash Bags

slate.com
3 min read
fairly easy
They fill up ... too ... slowly ...
This homebound year has led to a boom in interior decorating, thanks to the extraordinary amount of time we've all had to contemplate, scrutinize, and loathe our immediate surroundings.

For me this energy went right in the trash. I mean literally. I'm changing the way I throw things out. I'm using a smaller garbage bag.

The problem, as someone who has spent the pandemic sharing a kitchen with one person or no one at all, is that it takes a small household a long time to fill up a family-size garbage can. Even when you're cooking three meals a day. Some people, grotesquely, think of the excess capacity of a 20-gallon trash bin as an asset in household garbage planning. "I can take out the trash less often," they say, or, "It takes me a week to fill up this bad boy."

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What they're really saying is: I like to keep rotting food scraps in the place I cook and eat for as long as possible.

No thanks. Previously, I just lugged a quarter-full, 13-gallon trash bag outside every three days. But lugged isn't the right word. It usually weighed no more than a pound or two. That's the easy feeling of taking out the trash on an appropriate schedule. (And yes, I know some people solve this problem by composting, but I'm taking things one step at a time.)

The downside was churning through big plastic bags. Plus, with so much bag left to…
Henry Grabar
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