Meet my new best friend

Several months ago, the City of Vancouver started offering residential composting pickup services. Unfortunately, because we live in a multi-family dwelling, we were not eligible. However, while investigating the issue, Zak started looking into what services we could get if we convinced our neighbours to pay for it. He talked about it with neighbours and the Board of Directors, then a friend took over ironing out the kinks when Zak became too busy with his new status of father-of-two. And last week, after less than a year (believe me, it’s fast-moving for a Coop) our nice, new composting bins arrived.

Our brand new compost bins...

Our brand new compost bins...

And yes, compost is my new best friend. We knew that most of our garbage was compostable, and we tried to keep a worm composter on our deck, but worms tend to be slightly finicky (they won’t eat potatoes or too much acidic fruit, or…) and they just couldn’t keep up with our production, so we slowly gave up, although it broke our hearts. Now in the past week we have reduced our garbage output by… I would say about 90%! It’s amazing the range of things you can compost, from paper muffin cups to tissue paper (and yes, I have a cold) to food scraps, on top of, of course, all our fruit and veggie peelings. The only thing we are not composting is meat; the company we deal with allows it, but the Coop has decided to ban meat as a compromise with people who were afraid that the compost would stink too much.

We don’t eat much meat anyway, so our garbage for the week went something like: bits of chicken skin and fat (from 2 chicken breasts), salmon skin and packaging, and a few plastic wrappers that were not recyclable. We are now converting our garbage can into a compost bin and our compost bin into a garbage can. We have a 4 litre compost bin and we have filled it up to the brim every day. That is how much garbage is not going to the landfill anymore because one family has compost. Granted, not everyone eats as much produce as we do, but still, can you imagine if everyone had easy access to compost and cared enough to use it?

For now, the composting system is voluntary in our coop. But I could see a day when it could become mandatory. In an effort to encourage composting, the City of Vancouver has recently hiked up the price of garbage removal by 18%, and it is slated to go up again (a lot) in the near future. Meanwhile, the price of composting is being locked in. That might soon become a huge incentive. Of course, people in our building seem to have enough trouble as it is with recycling (we often find plastics in the paper, or more recently, an ashtray full of cigarette butts!) so who knows what would happen to our compost. But I am optimistic.

One Response to “Meet my new best friend”

  1. karaoke Loni Says:

    I thought that they would be decent reasons for why I’m here and what I’m doing.