Eliminate garbage from everyday language

The City of Berkeley recently made changes to a number of job titles and physical items to remove any gender-specific titles. Only time will tell if this action was culturally prescient. 

I would like to propose that the City of Alameda implement a series of name changes to decrease waste by increasing consciousness among our residents. I suggest that we discontinue the use of the words “garbage” and “trash,” replacing them with “landfill.” 

This would mean renaming the can in the kitchen, the bin that goes out to the street, the service that picks it up and the place where it eventually ends. By declaring all refuse that cannot go in the recycle bin or compost bin as landfill, perhaps we might rethink what we are throwing away.

Remember that when we throw something away, there is no “away.” Imagine saying “I don’t take my landfill bin out every week because it never fills up. Now that I’m recycling more I had to get a bigger recycling bin.” 

Minimize what goes to landfill. Learn what is recyclable and what is compostable. Safeway provides a box for collecting plastic bags to be recycled. Or better still, get reusable containers for produce and bulk foods to go with your cloth shopping bags. Let’s work for a better world. 


Susan Freeman