Our town does municipal composting - anyone else? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 02-23-2010, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
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We compost veggie scraps in the backyard, but our backyard composter can't really handle the rest of our biodegradable trash. This year our town started a program where we can bring biodegradables to the transfer station on Saturday mornings and dump them in a community compost dumpster-like-thingy. The idea is to get as much as possible out of our trash stream. Supposedly if enough people do it, it will cost the town less than our town trash pickup, which is paid for by taxes and quite expensive. Their primary hope is that people will at least compost their cat litter, which is extremely heavy (the town pays for trash disposal by weight).

As a family we're now composting disposable kleenex (we also use cloth handkerchiefs, but DH prefers kleenex...), food-contaminated paper/boxboard/cardboard, wax paper, paper food wrappers and waxed boxes, all-natural fabric scraps, pencil shavings, q-tips, cat litter, dryer lint (we use mostly natural fabrics and no fabric softener), fireplace ashes, hard-to-recycle paper scraps like receipts/tags/post-its, broken baskets and small sticks or wood items, 25# bulk bags, shredded kitchen cloths, meat bones, and basically anything biodegradable that is too bulky or slow to compost for our home composter. I also put in egg shells. (No human waste, though kleenex is acceptable and they do take pet waste). The place that does the municipal composting gets mostly food scraps from restaurants, which provides the bulk of their material, so shredding in a relatively small amount of household stuff isn't a big deal.

I love it! I am so happy! Pretty much all that is going into our family's regular trash these days is plastic bags and packaging that we can't reuse or recycle - bread bags, for example (some of us are gluten-free so we wouldn't use for food, and we compost our cat litter so no need for scoop bags, and we already wash and reuse ziplocks for food). We already buy in bulk as much as possible and do our best to avoid nonrecyclable packaging. We fill a trash can about every two weeks, where before it was weekly. I think we have reduced our trash by 1/2 with increasing our composting in this way.

I am wishing for biodegradable Scotch tape, because I find myself picking it off paper so the paper can be composted. LOL.

Anyway, I hope more towns will offer this. I think we still have a long way to go, but it's very heartening to me that it's happening right here in my little town (2000 people). Anyone else?

Edited to say, in case I wasn't clear, the town will take all veggie scraps also, but I only get there about twice a month and I don't want food rotting in a bucket awaiting transport - I would rather just compost that sort of thing in my yard.

Amanda, mom to Everest (12), Alden (10-1/2), Ellery (7-1/2), & Avery (6)
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#2 of 2 Old 03-02-2010, 07:45 PM
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Composting recently became mandatory in San Francisco. At my work place they removed all our garbage cans (wonders me: can you recycle a few thousand garbage cans or ... what did they do with them exactly?)

Anyway, so right around that time we moved a hundred miles to the right but really only about five miles east to Oakland and now we don't have that option at all. The city does have some composting, but our building doesn't have bins or collection service.

This is a bloody shame because while I was a single guy living in San Francisco I didn't generate much compost. Now, cooking most meals at home and being the family chef I generate amazing quantities of compostable waste which I guiltily just toss in the regular trash.

I've been toying with the idea of collecting compost and carting it in on BART in the mornings and leaving it in the bins at work. I'm sure my fellow commuters will love me for that at 7:00am on a crowded train as we stand shoulder to shoulder. Go team green! :-p

But I do feel guilty not composting :-(

"I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!" - Dr. Seuss
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