Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Guerrilla Composting

I've got a problem. I suffer from CBE--Compost Bin Envy.

Let me explain. We've been dutifully, diligently, doggedly separating out of compostables for almost a month now, and let me tell you, it's taking an effort to dispose of our little biobags responsibly. For a while we took them to Whole Foods, but the dock where the compost bins sit is often closed and locked. We've made note of where we've seen other bins around the city, but really what I want is to be able to compost as easily as we recycle.

Our landlady is, unsurprisingly, a lot like Pearl. Even after we explained the whole composting program to her and its many benefits, she refuses to allow us to have a cart for the building.

So, these days, we are forced to go out under the cloak of night, clutching a groaning biobag (can't they make those things tougher??) in search of an unsuspecting green cart in which dump our compostables.

I feel like a weird sort of guerrilla, striking you-never-know-when, flinging my compost into a cart and then vanishing wordlessly into the darkness.

Don't make that face. We're not the only ones out there with unreasonable landlords who won't take the trouble to get us a FREE, yes FREE green cart. I know there are more of you out there, keeping to the shadows, darting out furtively in the twilight looking for a safe haven before your biobag dissolves into shreds and leaves you on a street corner with a pile of coffee grounds and wet orange peels at your feet.

Walking up our street the other day, I noticed that a brand-spanking new compost bin had just gotten delivered to our neighbors' apartment building. Probably for the whole building to love and cherish.

Look at it, lounging catlike in the sun, just waiting to be fed with ecofriendly returns.

I couldn't resist a peek inside this pristine little green hope chest and discovered that apparently they also ship with small individual compost carriers FOR EACH RESIDENT.

Aw, man... you're killin' me.

I sigh as I drop the lid down and make another mental note to pin this location on our Compost Battle Plan Map, and to check when pick up is on our side of the street.

Thank goodness we don't live in Houston. How-- I ask you-- HOW can you live in a city that only recycles 2.6% of its trash? Where residents wait ten years just to get a recycle cart??


Anonymous said...


I'm Alisha from Wowzio, and I'm excited to tell you about our new widget platform that helps bloggers increase readership by providing engaging widgets containing your blog's rich content. You can check out widgets customized for your blog here:

Wowzio Widgets for your Blog

I wanted to reach out to you to ask for your feedback on these widgets (feel free to install them on your blog, if you feel they are a good fit). I'm sorry for leaving this message via a comment, it's not at all our intent to spam you ( which is why i'm leaving this comment on an older post and you can always remove this comment ). Again, we would love to hear your feedback.

Alisha Wright

Monica said...

This is hilarious, thanks. I did a random search for "guerrilla composting", as it's what we do in my neighborhood because the HOA doesn't allow compost bins, and your post came up. We throw most of our yard waste and some kitchen waste in the woods by our house, to let nature take its course. What I wouldn't give for one of those green bins. *Sigh*

Check this out: http://www.planetnatural.com/site/bokashi-composter.html
It's a kitchen composter. Small enough to fit in your kitchen, and it does all your composting for you.

ME said...

Thanks Monica! We're hoping that as San Francisco starts to put its "zero waste" mandate into effect everyone will just HAVE to get compost bins. I like that little kitchen composter though, thanks for the link--maybe we'll have to look into getting one!