By composting, recycling and making periodic trips to the nearest landfill, you can handle trash in rural areas without a garbage pick-up service. Most U.S. counties and states restrict trash burning to yard waste such as leaves and branches.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that Americans produce 4.6 pounds of trash every day. To counter this problem, it recommends practicing the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle program. Reducing the amount of trash generated each day makes it easier to handle. Replace disposable packaging with reusable items to further cut down on waste production. For example, instead of buying cans of green beans, grow or buy fresh green beans, and can them in reusable jars. Recycling and composting can cut daily trash production by one-third.
In the country, food is commonly prepared from scratch, so there isn’t much waste generated compared to prepared food packaging. Fruit and vegetable scraps, along with most paper products, are usable as compost, and chickens and pigs can eat food scraps that can’t go in the compost pile. Rural dwellers often re-purpose broken items, thereby reducing waste. In addition, they often haul remaining waste and recyclables to a local landfill.
ZeroWasteHome.com provides advice for starting waste reduction, such as buying dry goods in bulk and storing them in jars. Use washable kitchen towels and rags instead of paper towels and sponges. Ask for paper bags at the grocery store, since they are reusable and compostable. Instead of using plastic bags to store food, invest in reusable containers with tight-fitting lids.