Not much garbage left

Home Forums Sanitation Dealing with Garbage Not much garbage left

This topic contains 15 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Olivia Green 1 year, 2 months ago.

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  • #876


    We live fairly primitive on a ranch and we can most of our food. I think this makes us less susceptible to even ‘having’ garbage. However, we DO have some garbage and what burns, we burn. I have often wondered why, after seeing a disaster or film of 3rd world conditions, why is it no one has a burn pile going? Or why leave all the garbage in the streets and live in it instead of burning it? To me it is just a natural thought process. If the SHTF (ie tornado, hurricane, EQ, etc) or you are in a 3rd world condition where you are responsible for your own garbage (ie no garbage service, or govt to provide it, etc) why NOT burn it?

    For all the things that do not burn, here we have 5 barrels, for glass and any metal and we go to the dump once every 2 years. However, that is AFTER we cannot find a use for the glass or the metal or some such. So although we have ‘some’ cans and etc as far as garbage goes, on a ranch you can find many alternate uses for what most consider to be ‘garbage’. If the SHTF and there were no more trips to the dump, most likely we would save every scrap of metal for the ‘just in case’ we need it in the future scenario. I think the only thing left as garbage would be broken glass, and I am already wondering “Now just how could I start using that?” 🙂

  • #886


    In a shtf situation you may not want to burn. Fire, smoke and smell can be a huge attraction getter. Of course it depends on what else is going on simultaneously.

  • #897


    JCD, that’s amazing! GOALS.

    When I had a woodstove for heat, we burned every scrap of paper that would have otherwise been thrown away. We had a crock nearby for discarding things like that.

    I’m intrigued about what you mentioned about reusing metal. Can you give some examples?

  • #913

    Cab Man

    California, I know “California, go figure” put severe restrictions on incinerator use years ago, so not too many people in CA have them anymore. And in a grid down would they maintain the recommend clearance?

  • #915


    Hi Daisy 🙂 Yes I could give a few examples for reusing metal. Have I done them all? no. do I plan to do more of the ideas than i already have? yes! lol Every minute of every day is precious so you really have to work things around for ‘projects’ so to speak. Right now I am trying to come up with time to ‘train’ a new spout of water down thru the goat pen. I plan on using a whole bunch of collected coffee cans cut in half top to bottom, to ‘lead’ the stream thru the main goat pen and yet use it as irrigation for during the long hot summer. (East Oregon here)

    I also want to open some coffee cans, flatten them and pound them in around the garden plots. Darned ole grass just loves to creep in and the stuff from the store to do that is too expensive for my ‘frugality button’. There are a few other ideas I have for those regarding gardening but haven’t nailed down the what, hows and when on those yet. 🙂

    My husband noted an idea for the glass as a possible arrow head, so I thought I would add that here.

    If you wanna do something really fun BEFORE the SHTF, for maybe extra cash, look up some DIY projects for coffee cans on youtube or pinterest……thinking about doing a few over the winter myself!

    So there are a few examples just for the coffee cans……..and I am sure many of you know the old pallet wood and rusted barbed wire crafts sell for good money too…..i think I will stop typing now before you all go out and storm the market on me! LOL Have a great night 🙂

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by  JCD.
  • #916


    oops i forgot to say thank you for user 74. Yes, it most definitely would depend on if a fire was a wise move for the situation. In that case you just might WANT to leave garbage in the yard and around the house. It would look more like you had already been ransacked and some of the ‘not so civil’ people, might go past you looking for greener pastures. So many different reasons for and against a fire we could prolly never list them all. I was just coming from the angle of living pretty far out with no major city anywhere nearby…..thanks again 74! 🙂

  • #919


    ok one more post cuz I just saw one on my bookcase…… can make candle lamp holders from cans and a bit of wire as well. they spread light fairly well and are easy to make.

    Fill your can 2/3 with water, and freeze it. Draw your pattern for light to show through with dots. Like a dot to dot picture on the outside of the can. Punch each dot thru in the can to the ice with a nail. Let the ice melt out. Put wire (a long handle is best if carrying while lit) thru for a handle, use desired candle and light it. 🙂 I painted my last one black with star patterns punched in it. a small can with a tea light for this one. Give it a try. 🙂

    …… a dire situation you could flatten them and use as a substitute shingles for a roof….I keep remembering more …. you are getting the ole brain going again. thank you!

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by  JCD.
  • #952


    Wow, you’re a wealth of ideas! Thank you. 🙂

  • #1038


    My dad back in Mpls had a burn barrel. I suspect,if SHTF, that population will reduce enough to make a burn barrel a thing again.

  • #4121


    Thanks – These are great ideas.

    We are closing on our BOL and future FT Homestead this Friday!!  So excited.  We are planning to be there part time until retirement (or lottery, lol).  We are planning to use, reduce, recycle, compost our waste as much as possible to avoid having to haul the garbage back to town with us unless absolutely necessary, so these idea will be put to good use!

    • #4144

      Donba Marion

      Congratulations on getting your BOL! That’s exciting. I have been working on reducing, reusing, and recycling our garbage for a few years and have it down to a pretty small amount. It’s just my husband and I so that makes it easier, but some of my family (city dwellers) think I’m crazy to put any extra effort into it. Good luck in your new homestead adventures.

  • #4189

    grammy em

    i have heard of people using broken glass in a trench around the hen house to deter critters from digging under the fence. smaller cans can spend a few seasons starting seedlings before they rust too much. remember that tetanus and rust seem to go together (tetanus is soil borne) so wear gloves and be careful with projects that use metal and soil.


  • #4386


    Use for larger cans fill with concrete can use as bricks. They are also used in civil war re enactments instead  of cannon balls.

    The standard with  gravel and on wire fence as alarm,  flattened ones can be used to make a metal detector nightmare.

    Glass you can reheat and blow again so long as clean. But whole bottles can be used as a light wall with great r value in warmer climates fill with water and a drop of bleach

    The lid can be used in fishing lure the spinner part.

    Can can be part of perimeter defense to keep stuff out of the rain.  They can be used as snares  as deep cans allow  things in but not to get out..can of tennis balls



  • #5916

    Old Goat

    I reuse glass jars for candles if they are the jar jelly comes in since they can handle higher heat, never use the thin glass for making candles. The bottoms can be cut off to make light fixtures to allow light in walls. Of course you can put a small hole in the bottom and they will last longer as plant starters and the kids can see how the roots grow, if they have a narrow top you cut that off and sand down the edges to avoid cuts. Yes, they work well to make arrow heads. And, as above stated, if they are clean they can be remelted for new glass.

    Tons of uses for cans including solar collectors, and if you open up the soda cans they work well as light reflectors also just don’t have them against a wall LOL

    Lint, card board and paper products get reused here making fire starter and soon fire logs just to use up more of it

    By reusing most of our trash we have reduced down to plastics for the most part and lately there have been some really cool ideas coming out to recycle them, but which would require electricity after SHTF.

  • #8719


    We are allowed to have a burn barrow. But we do have restrictions. Can’t burn till after 4pm and only if the wind is not blowing much. Though the last time we used ours, we had a neighbor complain because she could see a bit of smoke when we first started the fire. She called the fire department on us. We were in the right but still had to put it out because of her complaints. Think goodness she has moved away now. This neighborhood is full of people like that. This is one reason I want to move but I have a stubborn husband. It is bad enough he is not on board much with the prepping. But the neighbors are weeding out a bit. Two have moved away and one has passed on. Her husband is not so bad though. Just hope no more trouble type neighbors move in to take their place. I could write a small book on what some of our neighbors have done to other neighbors around here, but I will let that slide. It did use to be a great neighborhood 15 years ago.

  • #8722

    Olivia Green

    the ‘old pallet wood’ reminded me of the compost containers i made from donated used & tired pallets, metal fence posts and lots of wire.
    they lasted for quite a few years.

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