Fort Worth has been growing exponentially in the last decade. Currently, the total population is nearing one million, about fifty-thousand shy. And with Dallas close by, the two twin cities are booming in population, real estate, and along with it an unexpected addition to the list of growth: TRASH. We owe it to the city to learn how to reduce household waste in Fort Worth.
Fort Worth’s population has grown by 24% from 2010 to 2020. From 2020-to 2021 the population expanded by 1.3%. With jumps like these, it’s no surprise that Fort Worth has experienced a tricky and long-lasting trash crisis.
The landfills in Fort Worth can only hold so much, as we, who offer dumpster service in Fort Worth have discovered. The average person generates about five pounds of trash per day. In Fort Worth, the average amount of trash produced per day is almost three tons. Per year, that’s almost a million tons.
The landfill crisis Fort Worth experienced, and still is experiencing, comes as no surprise. What may be surprising is how much the citizens of Fort Worth can reduce the total amount of trash that makes it into the landfill-and how easy it can be. Fort Worth has been encouraging recycling as a way to mitigate its landfill crisis and slow the rapid filling of its landfills. And so far, it’s working. But, like most things, it could still be improved.
How and what to recycle as a Fort Worth citizen
The first thing that comes to mind when confronted with a waste crisis is the word recycling. We picture tossing our plastic cups and containers into a blue trash can rather than our usual one, maybe bringing a bag of pop cans to the Boy Scouts.
These are both good recycling efforts, but much more exists. Recycling can go into much more depth than we may expect, and once a greater effort is made, greater results are reaped. It’s estimated that out of the total waste generated and taken to landfills, 75% could have been recycled. Americans typically only recycle 30% of what they could recycle. A discouraging percentage, but easy to even out.
Here are a few items you can readily recycle or compost.
Food waste ends up creating extra gases when it’s disposed of in a landfill. Food waste is also extremely plentiful, as we are all guilty of buying more than we need or loading our plates with more than we can eat.
Composting is the easy solution to this issue. Kits exist at most retailers, online or in-store, that give you everything you’ll need to start composting. Some of them are small enough to keep on your kitchen counter-nice and convenient.
Your neighborhood or county may also be offering kits in an effort to lower food waste. Once your composting kit is full, you can use it yourself or even sell it.
As you’d expect, plastic makes the list. But before you toss your plastics into your blue recycling bin, be sure to give them a rinse to remove any leftover food remnants. This makes them clean recyclables. Most plastic items will also have the recycling symbol emblazoned on them to signify their safety to recycle. You’ll notice this symbol on a lot of your household waste, too. Keep an eye out for it before you throw away containers and bottles.
Paper and Cardboard
Cardboard is another well-known recyclable. That means your Amazon boxes, but also any jugs or containers that are made from coated paper. Recent advances in recycling make the recycling of coated paper possible-think creamer jugs, juice bottles, and little milk cartons.
Paper recycling includes paper sheets, printer paper, and nearly all other paper items. If you’re a student or have children who are, your school may already have a paper recycling system in place. They’ll likely take your excess paper in with theirs, too.
How to generate less garbage
With Fort Worth steadily running out of time to either expand its landfill space or reduce trash production, it’s more imperative than ever to start noticing what you throw away. It’s easy to load up our trash barrels and forget about the contents once the trash truck rumbles away, but being a bit more conscious about what we toss out and why can be the key to reducing waste. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep your trash levels low.
One of the best ways to keep trash out of landfills is by donating your gently used items. Even if you don’t have a use for some old clothes or tools, plenty of others are likely to. This is a great way to get the most use out of your items, arguably even more than recycling.
You can donate clothes, appliances, tools, and furniture instead of tossing them out. Donation centers or retailers like Goodwill take in just about anything. You may also consider donating to thrift stores as well, especially when you’re looking to get rid of some old clothes.
Use the Fort Worth garbage and recycle app
This handy app gives tips and tricks for keeping your garbage levels low, and may also educate you on items you never knew were recyclable. The app also notifies you on garbage pick-up days and recycling pick-up days. Other waste days are also included in the notifications. You can download the app from the City of Fort Worth website and contribute on how to reduce household waste in Fort Worth.
Avoid single-use items
Single-use items are anything you use once and toss out, like plastic forks and plastic cups. A lot of fast food waste and easy meal kits are full of single-use items. When you can, make an effort to avoid these items.
Keep a set of reusable cutlery on you and a water bottle to avoid plastic cups and cutlery. A glass container is great for storing leftovers and for bringing to salad bars or buffets. Reusable straws are a good addition to the list, too.
Thrift or buy second-hand
You can also benefit from the donations of others. Shopping at thrift stores or second-hand stores helps reduce landfill waste by keeping clothes and other items in homes and closets, rather than the landfill. Plus, it’s usually a lot cheaper than buying from retailers. You may be surprised at just how much you can find, like home decor, clothes, appliances, and furniture items.
Going paperless is easier than ever nowadays. Almost everything can be done online-billing, subscriptions, even receipts. Setting your billing to be online can save thousands of trees. Combined with other paper-reducing efforts, you could save an entire forest. This helps out the trees and businesses who will need to spend less on paper products.