Portland Composts and I Simmer
There are times I feel downright conservative. I don’t know what it is that irks me so deeply about the fact that Portland expects us to keep a slop bucket on our kitchen counters and fill up our yard debris barrels with coffee grounds, egg shells, chicken bones and anything else sloppy and organic.
Part of it was that they sent us this little 3 gallon bucket that we’re supposed to be happy about having on our kitchen counter. We've already got my Kitchenaide mixer, a bread basket, canisters, some wine bottles… Point is, we’ve got plenty of stuff on our kitchen counter and smelly bucket of rotting food products isn’t something I care to displace the fruit basket for, even if the fruit basket is sometimes a smelly basket of rotting food products.
So I got some 13 gallon compostable bags for the garbage can we keep under the sink. Paying six bucks for 12 bags was reminiscent of filling up my tank… “Why I remember when I could get 1,000 bags for 6 bucks!” It almost makes me want to toss a couple quarters in the bottom of the can when I change a bag, except quarters aren't compostable… or curbside recyclable, for that matter.
I moved the non-compostable garbage can into the closet where we have the three bins we use for recycling -- tin/plastic/paper, glass and returnables. It’s getting crowded in there with another receptacle.
Making dinner went smoothly, although now I find myself stacking up more stuff to take to the recycling closet. I wasn't thinking about the dirty zip lock bags and saran wrap with bits of beef fat stuck to it when I thought about “dry-non-compostable” stuff.
But I also found myself putting more wet stuff into the compost can than I would have in the normal garbage can. They want us to put less down the garbage disposal, which means more smelly stuff in the house, and at fifty cents a bag you know I'm going to wait until it's damn full before I take that garbage out.
It’s not that we don’t need to manage our waste stream better, I know that humans make a big mess with banana peels and rotting kitchen waste. It was the unilateral, “We’re all going to do this a single way -- get your buckets!” It's that this isn't really solving much. Take the fact that I have to buy those damn bags made from corn. If you’ve been paying attention, you know it takes almost as much petroleum to grow, harvest, and process that corn into a plastic bag. And all that carbon is staying above ground rather than getting trapped in a landfill… that can't be a green option…
But mainly, I just hate having to walk that extra 10 feet to throw away the stuff that doesn’t compost.