Articles, advice and tips for fathers - Reluctant Dad

Babies create lots of trash and rubbish

No dedicated environmentalist would ever have children. The amount of waste produced by just one baby rivals all the garbage produced by some third world countries. We went from a one garbage bin household, to needing three (which was the allowed limit where we lived in the USA). Luckily for us we were also allocated recycling bins for cans, glass, paper, etc. Otherwise we certainly would have exceeded our allotment of rubbish, and I would have had to make midnight trips to the neighbours trash cans to get rid of our excess.

We only used disposable diapers, which I’m sure contributed to a great amount of waste. The squirming kid made those just about impossible to put on right, and there was no way I was going to try the same with a cloth diaper and a (safety?) pin. It would be worse than trying to clip a baby’s nails. And washing those things? Like hell. Not even if I had a separate washing machine especially for them.

Nobody has a baby to help the environment out. Having a baby is like getting a ticket to trash the planet. And everyone thinks it’s so cute, all the plastic toys and crap that you have to buy that will be around, albeit in pieces once the kid has finished with them, for a billion years or so. I freak out every once in a while at the waste I’ve helped to create, and I feel like there’s probably a whole landfill somewhere with my name on it.

I utilise the recycling services that are provided for home pickup as best I can. If you live in a city that doesn’t offer recycling pickup, and I know there are quite a few in places like Michigan and Ohio, then you’re screwed. You’re just not going to have time, what with all the fun you’re having with your sleep deprived hallucinations, to make special trips to recycling centres. Local governments that don’t provide pick up recycling really need to come out of the dark ages.

In many places, the garbage pickup schedule is affected by public holidays, often bumping the day of collection to the next day. The city services probably provide a schedule letting you know of such occurrences. Just throw away that schedule. Always put your trash out on the same day of the week, regardless of public holidays. With all the screaming, and the sleeplessness, and the constant cleaning that is required but not getting done, you’d be lucky to know what day of the week it is, let alone doing the brain crunching mathematics of figuring out whether the trash pickup day has changed.

No one is going to care if you put it out a day ahead of the adjusted schedule. They’ll just think you forgot. You probably aren’t even aware that there’s even a public holiday at all. Days at home with small children are more work that your day job, so it won’t seem like a holiday. So put your rubbish out on the same day, every week. Otherwise you run the risk of missing out on trash pick up, having gotten the weeks and public holidays mixed up in your new parent daze.

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