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December 16, 2010


Paula is QuiteCurious


ron fulderon

I do not have room for three bins in my garage. We have the smallest black bin and a very large blue bin and they garbage men never dropped off a green one. I am tossing paper, bottles and cans directly into the blue one and everything else into the black one. If I choose to compost banana peels, and coffee grinds I can use them in my own backyard.


I'll do the recycling..... but hello I have a garbage disposal for scraps.


Be careful not to put coffee grounds, chicken bones or asparagus down your disposal. That can get expensive.


The big question: what is more environmentally friendly: disposal or compost. Putting food scraps in the little bin an then taking them out to the large bin is a smelly pain but it seems better than running the disposal. Does anyone know which is truly easier on the environment?


I've heard that disposals are not "green" because of the amount of water required to run the system clean and clear out any debris. Nonetheless, my first thought when confronted with food scraps (bits and pieces) was to run the disposal- bad me. I'm sure others are thinking the same thing. What is more bothersome is the nagging thought that all of the bins' contents may actually end up in the same place, (intermixed) anyway, and I'd love to really know that I am doing some good with the sorting (particularly the food scraps and dirty paper) than just wasting brain cells every time I need to throw something out.

The silver lining is that I can foresee could be a lot less household waste- maybe people won't take 'seconds' if they actually know they have to discard whatever isn't eaten from their plate, into the "compost" bin.

And a note to the designer-entrepreneur, I think it would be great to have smaller 'presort' bins so that in bathrooms, etc, we can sort in advance of the big sort. Otherwise, this becomes a rather nasty operation.


I don't understand why the compost creates more work or bins. Since I've lived in Burlingame, we've always had 3 bins -- the yard waste one can now accommodate our food scraps. One trip a day to the compost bin, just doesn't seem like a big deal. We bought a bin similar to what is posted here and with the charcoal filter, I really can't smell anything,even after a few days (though we've only used it for fruit and veggie scraps -- we do worm composting).

I'm so happy with the new recycling cans, and am glad to mix there. Though I am worried that we will fill up the bin in less than a week.


Yes, the blue and black ones are too small.


At a Burlingame home, about two dozen folks relaxed, quaffing various liquid refreshments, and most of them went through the optional white elephant exercise.

But there was one inelegant gift that stood out. In fact, there was more than one of them. A couple of people had brought their new food scraps containers, hoping to foist them on someone else ASAP.

You know them, or at least you should. They are those green, 2-gallon, latter-day slop buckets provided by Recology San Mateo County.

As of Jan. 1 in the 10 local cities served by the company, the receptacles are supposed to be used instead of your garbage disposal, or regular garbage can, for getting rid of table leavings and uneaten leftovers. They also can be utilized to handle soiled paper products, bones, wine corks and other stuff that can be composted.

The aim is to fill up the nondescript plastic pail in the kitchen and then

dump the detritus in Recology's new wheeled compost cart for eventual curbside pickup by the trash company.

If the reaction at this holiday event was any indication, the scraps can is going to be a tough sell, no matter how happily "green" it might appear to be.

There weren't many participants in the living room who expressed great delight about the prospect of actually using it.

As one skeptic put it, "So then why did we have that new garbage disposal installed in our kitchen sink?" Good question.

To Recology's credit, the firm is simply trying to make good and practical use of wet garbage.

It's a noble thought. And there no doubt will be some dedicated enviro-friendly citizens among Recology's 92,000 residential customers here who will eagerly embrace the slop bucket concept. But there seems to be a distinct distaste for it already in some quarters.

Fortunately, according to Recology's website, there will be no penalty for disdaining the container. There won't be compost cops out there pawing through your reeking garbage on your designated waste-hauling day to see who's being naughty or nice.

Gina Simi, Recology's local public education manager, said the firm understands that "change is tough" but is "hoping that people give this a try."

"Some people are thrilled about it," she said. "Others aren't. That's to be expected. It's already under way in San Carlos."

Regarding unpleasant odors that might emanate from the container after a while, she urged that it be simply emptied, cleaned and rinsed out, a sort of "Little House on the Prairie" solution.

She explained that the entire recycling component is designed to reduce the impact of material sent off to waste disposal sites like Ox Mountain on the Coastside and help address climate change in the bargain.

"We're excited about the program," she said.

As for the dinner scraps pail, she emphasized its use is not mandatory. But an open mind certainly would be helpful.


This is good too--from the police blotter:

11:47am – A citizen on Toledo called to say a suspicious object, appearing to be a lunch box, was left by her mailbox. The citizen was scared to touch it. The responding officer determined it was a Recology composting box. This was not the only call of this type during this reporting period.

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