Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Set-up compost bags in all rooms (Day 81)

We have been home composters since long before composting was trendy.  In fact, it's been almost 13 years since we set up our first black bin in the backyard.  We put everything possible in it - food peelings, coffee grinds, tea bags, paper towels, yard waste.  However, this disadvantage of home composting is that you can't add anything with meat or oils in it (like cheese, dairy or salad dressing).  It doesn't compost very well, and attracts critters.  In fact, we've nicknamed our resident raccoon Fat Albert, but that's another story.

You can imagine my delight when the city of Ottawa FINALLY got its act together and implemented its green bin (organics) program last year.  I am now able to compost meat, dairy, oils, coffee cups, waxed paper, and lots of other stuff that was going into my garbage.  I've reduced our garbage output even more, with this great addition.  We still home compost our yard and garden waste, and still put regular organics in it as well, but it feels wonderful to be able to safely compost the rest as well.

I've been patting myself on the back for all of my good work, until last garbage day.  DH and I usually collect the garbage from the various bathrooms and bedrooms and dump it into the black bag to go to the road.   I noticed when I was collecting it, there was a lot of face tissues in the kids' rooms.  DH and I have always just dumped the garbage in the bin, but I thought that in the interest of "greening" our lifestyle I should sort the face tissues and put them in the green bin.  Then I thought about it - face tissues equals cold germs and who knows what other disgusting things my kids may have been doing with them.  There was NO WAY I was going to handle them again.

I went out and bought the small kitchen compost bags to set-up in each room of the house, beside the garbage.  The idea will be to get DH and the kids to put perfectly good items in the compost instead of the garbage.  Once they get into the habit of separating these things out, I'll put a more permanent style of bin in place.


  1. Thanks - we'll see how well it works in reality! :)

  2. I've done that with recycling "bins". Each room has two waste baskets (actual baskets, too!) one for garbage and one for recycling. Not sure I want food reminents anywhere but the kitchen compost bin (due to the cat and and other hungry non-human critters), but can see that if I had kids, that I might as I know small kids are in the process of eating... or being fed, etc. (Oh, and teenagers, too!)

  3. Luckily, our kids don't leave food bits in various rooms for the most part. The idea of the compostable bins is more to get them in the habit of putting tissues and the like in the compost, instead of the garbage. So far, so good.