Garage Diversion

Below are some common materials found in garages that are discarded to the landfill. There are plenty more we just don’t have listed. If you have tips to divert others, share them with us in the comments. Otherwise, apply as many tips as you choose to your lifestyle change.

Tracking: Below are some suggested ways to track. How you track your diversion it mostly up to you. If you want to look at your trash can after waste diversion and estimate how full it is, that works too. For example, after waste diversion practices, my trash can was half as full as in a normal week of no diversion. Same could be applied to your recycling bin!

Printable Version

Tip: When you need a tool, invest in a durable version designed to last. Sharing tools between neighbors is reusing. So is renting rather than purchasing a tool that will likely be used rarely if ever again.

Tip: If you have an old unused rechargeable or lead acid battery (car or marine) just sitting around, take them to be recycled. They are banned from landfilling.

Tip: So often oil containers get trashed, but most, if not all are recyclable when fully drained, and cut in half.

Track: Count how many oil containers you recycle and record.

Tip: Sawdust generated from cutting “clean” wood (not “treated”) can be proportionally mixed in with backyard compost pile or disposed of in Yard debris collection.

Track: Estimate the volume.

Tip: When we buy new things, we often want to just discard the old items. A great tip for a zero-waste lifestyle is to host a garage sale or sell online. This gives the product a better chance to be used instead of taking up space and eventually being thrown away.

Track: Estimate how many products you sell at the garage sale or online and estimate the volume.

Tip: Identify old and unused Household Hazardous Materials (HHMs) marked Caution, Poison, Toxic, etc. Keep all labels attached. If leaking, contain in a leakproof container. Box up and drive carefully to the Regional Collection Center at the Dubuque Metropolitan Area Solid Waste Agency (DMASWA) during business hours. They will accept HHMs at no charge.

Track: Estimate how many containers you disposed there.

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