Congratulations, you're now the proud owner of your very first home! With that awesome new ownership comes a lot of responsibilities though, some better smelling than others. When it comes to garbage pickup and waste disposal, you may have a lot of homework to do. The following information will help set you on the straight and narrow when it comes to all things trash.

1. Find Out Who Picks Up the Garbage & When

If your new home is located on a very rural road, you may be required to hire a private trash pickup service. You can find out if the town handles this responsibility by contacting your local government or if possible, whomever sold you the home. The town's pickup schedule should be listed on their official website, with notes on what holidays mean there's no pickup and other valuable information. There should be a pattern as to when trash is removed following a holiday, such as the next business day.

If you're left on your own for trash pickup, ask around town for a good service and check online reviews; start calling the different garbage removal companies, asking for prices, schedules and recycling information.

2. Learn What You Can Recycle

Recycling has become an important part of the American landscape, with some cities and States mandating that people separate the trash from the reusable materials. Keeping all that information in memory is challenging; thus, it's good to have a list near your trash area of what can be thrown away and what should go into the recycling bin.

In general, paper, plastic, tin and glass can all be recycled, but check with your garbage pickup service if you have specific concerns about anything you will be disposing of on a regular basis. Although determining the difference between trash and recycling is complicated initially, once you go over the list a few times, it should become easier.

3. What May Be Considered "Hazardous"

Certain materials can't be recycled or disposed of in your regular trash. If you're hiring a garbage removal service, they should be able to tell you if they make any special arrangements for such items. If not, your town may have a day for pickup or drop off or the materials deemed to be dangerous. They usually include things like batteries, certain electronics, light bulbs, many chemicals and of course, anything highly flammable.

Never place an item in your regular trash if there's any question that it's hazardous. Such things can contaminate disposal areas or even pose a threat to the people picking up your trash.

4. What to Do with Yard Trimmings

You may be excited to trim a few trees and mow your new lawn to a glorious perfection, but make sure you don't place the leftover materials in the normal trash. Consider making mulch from tree trimmings or composting the grass clippings.

5. Trash Storage Before Pickup

To avoid issues with bugs coming too close to your new home or raccoons and other nefarious nocturnals knocking at your front door, be sure and store all garbage away from the house, in closed bags and finally, inside strong barrels with tight-fitting lids. You don't want offensive odors lingering around the property and you want to ensure no critters can get into your trash.

6. Home Improvements & Other Big Projects

If you have plans to improve your new home, such as add on a room or take down an old shed, you'll likely need to make special arrangement for the removal of trash involving these projects. If it's a big job and you expect a large pile of rubble, ask your garbage removal company about renting a commercial dumpster. They should be able to deliver it right to your site and pick it back up when your project is complete. Be sure and ask them exactly what you can toss into the dumpster, as "regular" trash may not be acceptable.

You have a lot of new responsibilities as a first-time home owner, but fortunately, garbage pickup involves friendly people who come right to your house, so you can ask them about any specific concerns you may have regarding disposal and pickup. Make a point of getting up early enough to say hello to them on trash day, because you're probably going to need their important advice on more than one occasion in the future.

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