Composting: Why Bag Thou Art

The city of Burnaby, as well as many others around BC if not North America, started a program where every household was issued a compost and a garbage bin like the ones above. Really not a big deal for most people had the old traditional bins already, and used them every week. The major difference was that  there had to be a retrofit done to the dump trucks in order to enable them to automatically load the bins.

So, the city incorporates these into their inventory. To delve into supporting local businesses, I’m not really sure where the company that sold the city these bins is from, but it is what it is.

What disturbs me the most is that the compost bins, which are loaded directly into the compost dump trucks to be taken to the compost plant, are most times out of ten filled with garbage bags filled with compost material. Doesn’t this defeat the purpose?

The point of separating the two bins is so that one bin can be for non-compost material that the house uses, and the other is for 100% compostable material. Ask yourself this: Are these plastic bags I’m putting my lawn clippings into and the putting them into the compost bin necessary? Yes, I know some of you buy the recyclable plastic bags or the bio degradable bags, but really? Must you even do this?

I have taken the liberty to copy the guidelines for the composting collection of the city, which I’m sure will match the city you’re reading this from:

Yard Waste Collection Guidelines:

  • Yard waste is only accepted in specially designated wheeled containers issued by the City. Residents may purchase additional yard waste containers from the City and put them out for collection. Click here for more information.
  • Yard waste must fit into the yard waste container(s). Do not overfill the container(s); overfilled containers will not be collected.
  • Yard waste placed out in any other container other than the designated wheeled containers will not be collected.
  • DO NOT bag or bundle yard waste, place loose yard waste directly into the container.
  • Extra yard waste can be dropped off at the Still Creek Recycling Depot (4800 Still Creek Avenue, west of Douglas). The depot is open 7 days per week, except holidays, from 8:00am to 3:45pm. Residents can drop off up to 100kg of yard waste for free per day.
  • Christmas trees are collected during a designated week in January. Trees can be placed beside your garbage and yard waste container (they do not have to fit inside the container). Trees can also be dropped off at the Still Creek Recycling Depot.
Yes check No Check
  • Grass clippings
  • Leaves
  • Plants
  • Flowers
  • Tree & hedge clippings
  • Food Scraps (fruit & veggie peelings, meat, bones,
    cheese, cooked/spoiled food & food-soiled paper such as napkins)
  • Rocks, sod, stumps, dir or dirt attached to roots
  • Pruning’s over 4″ in diameter
  • Garden hoses, flower pots or other non-organic materials
  • Lumber

I have taken the liberty to also link you to the city’s website so you can find out more information about the plastic recycling they do here.

Does this bother you as much as it bothers me? I think we should be more aware of what were doing, be more observant of what destruction were doing, and it all starts now. So what are you going to change with your habits? I’ve started collecting my paper recycling in paper bags, and keeping my blue bins at the ready for ALL of my other recycling opportunities. It’s really the least I can do.

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