Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Composting Vs. Recycling vs. Trashing (Part Two)

So I really dropped the ball on this one. Summer's been very busy and the last thing I want to do when I get on home from my job working on a computer is get on my computer. But  I feel like I should write this now so that I won't feel bad posting other stuff later....Here goes:

Western Disposal, for those of you who have that, has a convenient composting service that is getting more widespread. Our apartment complex just started it and it's going great. They have a good list of stuff to compost so I'll post that in a bit. But I wanted to first highlight some of the "OMGs" that I learned.

Weird things that are not recyclable that you thought were:
Pizza boxes - the grease makes it "contaminated".

Frozen food boxes (w/ the exception of Amy's Brand) - they are coated w/ plastic so they don't get soggy. (On an unrelated note, Amy's Pesto Tortellini is fabulous!)

 Small Paper bits - when you do single stream recycle the small bits get stuck to the glass, plastic and aluminum.

Plastic Bottle lids - not quite sure why, but yeah. They're not. =( So then birds eat them and die. It's sad.

Luckily, all this stuff except the last one is COMPOSTABLE YAY! Although, with the shredded paper you need to make sure it's wet b/c otherwise when they pour it into their giant grinder it looks like New Year's or a wedding revisited. And trust me, have you ever seen a Western Disposal worker covered in tiny paper bits? I haven't but  can imagine that it's not the prettiest of sights. ;-)

And finally, here's a list of the more obvious things that can be composted.  Depending whether you do the whole process yourself or send it away to do, you may not want to add meat and milk to your compost but I think that's mostly cuz it gets pretty stinky.
  • Yard Waste: 
    • Brush
    • Tree trimmings
    • Grass clippings
    • Weeds
    • Flower clippings
    • Leaves 
    • Small amounts of dirt
  • Food Waste 
    • Vegetables
    • Meat 
    • Dairy
  • Wax coated cardboard 
  • Paperboard 
  • Some papers which are not otherwise recyclable: 
    • Napkins 
    • Paper Towels 
    • Kleenex 
    • Paper bits 
  • Compostable (not just biodegradable) utensils, cups,  plates 

Check out "The Compost Bin" in my sidebar for more info on Composting! And do it if you can.