Tag Archives: compost

Food Scraps- Are They Really That Gross?

toter scraps 01

Today’s compost toter full of wasted food looks like a nice mix of noodles, tomatoes, chicken fingers and french fries.

Looking at photos like this (or inside compost toters in real life) normally elicits an “ewwwww” or similar.

Is it really, though?

If I put any of this on a plate in nice little portions, you’d probably eat it.

This leads to my main point: Where is the away place where stuff gets thrown?  What’s the difference between materials that are in your hand five seconds prior before they land in a plastic bag in a container labeled “trash” or otherwise?

I look at this and think, “I’m glad this is going to get turned back into fertile soil soon”.

Close the loop, and learn to embrace it.  It’s our only hope.

Cured Compost Bin Nearly Ready to Empty!

cured compost bin

It’s been about a year since I stopped adding to this compost bin and started a new one.

It’ll be interesting to see what all is in here besides finished compost.

I know I added plenty of paper products that most likely had a plastic liner sandwiched in between layers.

There’s also plenty of bags of leaf cleanup dumped in here, so there’s most likely some pieces of litter.

This doesn’t bother me.

The bottom line is I avoided the landfill with a massive portion of organic materials and now I will have some great compost, too.

Vancouver Organics Collection


I’ve never seen cans quite like these… pretty funny!

Based on their disposal at the time, they seemed pretty effective.

I love the food scraps can… it made me realize that labeling a compost receptacle in a public place as “food scraps” must be the best way.

When you see the word “Organics” or “Compost”, that means you have to know what that means in order to do as requested.

Isn’t compost poop?  Organic food?  I don’t have time for this; I’m just throwing everything over here.  We all know someone like this.

With “food scraps”, you simply know what that means.  Further, with so many disposable plastic-lined paper products ruining compost everywhere, this might help keep them out of the stream.

The trash can having a lid vs the other two sporting openings seems like a cool way to discourage trash, until someone has actual trash in their hand and they’re too grossed out to touch the lid.

All in all, this setup is awesome and it really nails it in terms of simplicity, color coding, differing cutouts, proper labeling and huge pictures.

What do you think?


Composting in a backyard bin at City Farmer

This video really makes me like my trash can composter!

The Earth Machines are cool, but where’s the ventilation on the sides?

I’m tempted to mock the thing by cutting out a door and adding a hinge at the bottom of my trash can, but why bother?

I’m really enjoying doing as little as possible to get the composting right.

Rat traps???

Something’s wrong here.  No need to worry about rats if you’re covering every single food scrap deposit with a fresh layer of brown materials.

Either way, I’m glad Vancouver is composting!

Philadelphia is Close to Mandating Composting for Restaurants


Although it’s been known for a few weeks, I wanted to bring up what’s going on here in Philadelphia.

Up to now, the City had no real incentives set up for businesses to compost, nor do they provide curbside compost collection.

In Philadelphia, all commercial establishments must pay a fee every year for their trash dumpster and recycling dumpster.  The recycling is cheaper than the trash dumpster.

The idea is to have a composting option available, which will hopefully cut back on the amount of organics being thrown in the trash.

This bill focuses on just restaurants…ideally it will expand to include coffee shops, pizza shops, and really anywhere serving food.

Done right, numerous businesses should practically be able to either recycle or compost almost all of their waste.

Let’s hope the mayor signs the bill.

The 3 or 4 compost services in Philadelphia must be getting pretty excited about this.


People Erode Soil 100 Times Faster Than Nature (article)

[ copied from http://news.discovery.com/earth/people-erode-soil-100-times-faster-than-nature-150114.htm ]


Play Video
Soil is washed away by the Chattahoochee River in the early 1970s.

Cutting down or burning native forests and starting intensive agriculture — that is, industrial-scale farming, designed to produce high yields of crops and/or animals — can accelerate erosion dramatically, reports a newly-published study from researchers at the University of Vermont.

It causes so much damage, in fact, that in a few decades as much soil is lost as would naturally occur over thousands of years.

NEWS: Are We At Risk For Another Dust Bowl?

The researchers, who studied 10 large river basins in the southeastern United States, found that the damage started to occur hundreds of years ago, when large numbers of settlers arrived from Europe, and accelerated as agriculture developed. Before the 1700s, hillsides along the rivers eroded at a rate of about an inch each 2,500 years. But by the time erosion peaked in the late 1800s and early 1900s thanks to logging and tobacco and cotton cultivation, the hills were losing an inch every 25 years.

“Our study shows exactly how huge an effect European colonization and agriculture had on the landscape of North America,” says one of the researchers, Dylan Rood, “humans scraped off the soil more than 100 times faster than other natural processes.”

The study was published in the journal Geology.

NEWS: Web App Helps Prevent Soil Erosion

The scientists came up with their findings by collecting sediment samples and then using an accelerator mass spectrometer at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to help them measure the quantity of a rare isotope, beryllium-10, in quartz in the sediment. The isotope, formed by cosmic rays, builds up in the top of soil. As the erosion rate increases, the soil accumulates less beryllium-10.

Scientists say that across the planet, erosion by water and wind is as dire of a threat as climate change, which actually adds to the loss of soil.  A 2006 study by Cornell University researchers reported that around the world, soil is being swept and washed away 10 to 40 times faster than it can be replenished by natural processes. As a result, the planet is losing a quantity of cropland equal in size to the state of Indiana each year. Back in the 1930s, drought and poor farming methods caused a period of severe dust storms called the Dust Bowl, which caused an economic catastrophe for farmers.


Now this is a news story I wish we were hearing more about… but who cares about dirt, right?

That’s the problem.  Who cares about compost?

Compost is a huge part of the answer here, as it restores soil and helps prevent erosion.

I really, really hope that by the time I’m super old that humans are embarrassed of their past with landfills.

We’re completely out of tune.

If you want to take a major step in the right direction, start composting.