By Russ and Tiña De Maris
It’s a problem that doesn’t get much play —but what do you do with the trash? Many “boondocking” locations just don’t have a handy dumpster or trash can for you to toss your junk, so what can you do with the refuse of living?
Limiting the amount of “stuff” is a big start. Where we can, we recycle. In states where a deposit is charged for aluminum cans or other containers, there has to be a way to “redeem” it. Checking the local telephone book yellow pages under “recycling” will often yield a place where you can sell back those commodities. We were really thrilled once in Oregon to find a “recycle” machine outside of a grocery store where we could drop in aluminum cans, then get a “chit” back we could exchange for cash inside.
Many boondockers save waste paper and use it to start campfires or, where it’s safe, simply burn the waste paper. If you’re out in the boonies for an extended period, holding onto food waste can pose a problem — you don’t want to attract trash feeders and you don’t want it stacking up inside the rig. Some clever boon’ers carefully bag up the small food waste and stuff it in their freezer until they head back to civilization.
On the road, what’s to do? By keeping the waste stream small, you have less to dispose of. When we travel we generally have less than a “Walmart bag” of trash a day, so when we skate in to fuel up the rig, we simply pop the bag in the trash barrel at the fuel island — we’ve never been troubled about it. If you get in deep with a large amount of something, well, check and find out where the local transfer station or dump is. I know, it’s a bit weird to roll into the dump in Slo Joe the Motor-Home — but, hey, you do what you need to do.
And if you missed out as to where the Lone Ranger took his trash, you can click here to download the theme song. Then simply transpose in, “To da dump, To da dump, To da dump, dump, dump….” OK, so we weren’t born yesterday — more like a lot of yesterdays ago.
photo: public domain