It's Compost Awareness Week! That's a celebration I'll wager you didn't know about.
If you live in San Mateo, you were given a compost bin to swap out for your cutting's bin at the start of the year. Not the holiday present I was looking for. Please note, Recology, my tastes run more to an iPad or something sparkly from Tiffany's than a new waste bin.
In addition, a little green plastic bucket was left at your house, as your Happy New Year bonus present.
My reaction to both was not the same as it would have been for some diamond earrings (dear husband, please write this down). First of all, you expect me to have that unsightly bucket on my counter? It isn't air tight, yielding a scent no candle company will want to duplicate. And green? PLASTIC? My home may not be in Architectural Digest, but I like to think it is accessorized well. So no plastic.
In addition, my garbage would have to be sorted. Everyone knows that I just live for household chores. Three different kinds of recycling bins, a garbage pail, and now a composting collection pail. All of which have to be dragged to the curb every week. Dear Recology, it is too much to ask.
Too much, that is, until I received my next garbage bill. Like everything, operating costs have climbed for all businesses and garbage collection is no exception. A quick call to Recology switched my house from a 64 gallon garbage can to a 15 gallon garbage can and cut my bill by more than half! It was as simple as not tossing the orange rinds in the garbage, but into a separate compost bin.
Once I became a convert, I became the compost Nazi. A stray lettuce leaf in the garbage is quite vocally brought to the attention of the offender. As my garbage was reduced to just packaging, it became minimal. In fact so light, the lid couldn't be opened by just gravity for the automated truck.
Yard trimmings and food waste make up 26% of the U.S. garbage sent to landfills, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Landfills produce methane, a much more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
I am now a proud composter. I know, I know, it shouldn't have been money driven, but at least I got there. I can now proudly say I help the environment while smiling smugly to myself about saving money.