Monday, November 16, 2009

Green bins

Today I was far more consistently sick than I have been. I had a fever most of the day. This evening I started coughing - and the fever seems to be gone. I'm hoping I'm past the feverish/tired stage of this thing. (Don't worry, by tomorrow I will annoyed at the coughing.)

I did some filing today (as my anti-procrastination project) since I could do that sitting down.

As I was sitting on the couch today, I noticed more noise than usual outside. (OK, fine, I was playing Sims 2 Castaway again.) I was a little puzzled about what could be making that noise.

Eventually, it reached my end of the street. (Well, it didn't take that long, it's a short street.)

It was the city of Ottawa delivering our green bins.

For those of you outside of Ottawa, green bins are used for biodegradable items - veggies, fruit, meat, etc. I have a backyard composter, so I'm not sure whether I'll use this one or not.

The bins are pretty heavy, which is probably good from a "keeping the wildlife out" perspective. The latch I found a little difficult to operate, but that will only be an issue if I start using it.


  1. The latch on our green bins is a little complicated, too...but not too complicated for rats and raccoons!

    In our bins you can put some stuff that you can't put into regular composters [I think...I don't compost - but you can put in stuff like diapers and feminine hygiene products and food packaging]...that might be useful.

  2. These bins can take those things too. I'm confused as to why diapers are acceptable but the mostly decomposed celery in a produce bag that I threw out this week wouldn't be. (OK, I took it out of the bag and composted it, so only the bag got thrown out, but it was icky.)

    Even things like tissues (which are accepted) requires a lot more work. (You can't put the tissues in a garbage can with unacceptable stuff, so you either have to walk to the green bin every time you use a tissue or throw them out as before.)

    It will also accept meat, which I wouldn't normally compost - but seriously, I don't throw out enough meat/prepared food to make it worth hauling the bin to the curb.

  3. Well, I have a bit of insight into the world of garbage, thanks to Joseph. Plastic is a huge, huge problem for these massive composting things they use. Everything gets sorted and any amount of plastic really gums up the works [though I wonder about the bags used when you buy produce @ Whole Foods - they are supposed to be readily biodegradable]. In Toronto you're allowed either one plastic bag liner for your bin or you can collect your stuff in plastic bins, but it's still a tremendous pain in the arse to deal with on their end. But people aren't ready to just have a big bucket of organics sitting about, so the plastic makes things more palatable I guess.

    As for including diapers and the like, I think they get sorted and dealt with elsewhere once they leave your curb - I think they were added to the list of "acceptable" waste to get people on board and to reduce landfill waste.

    During the winter/sniffly months we keep a separate bin [we got little bins with our big green bin] for tissues. We both have allergies and Joseph is prone to months-long colds, so I would say our bin is 90% tissues some weeks!

    I'm assuming Ottawa is using the same technology as Toronto - the best thing you can put in your green bin is paper items and other things that will absorb. The Toronto organic compost slurry mix gets useless because it's too liquid. They area always encouraging us to put more tissues and food packaging [like big sugar and flour bags and the like] in the green bins.

    I know *way* too much about waste.

  4. Personally, I don't want to buy bag liners. I'd be fun just dumping stuff in the bin. My problem with tissues is more that it seems like a good way to have a neighbourhood filled with used tissues on pick-up day - it seems like they would have to be bagged.

    And yes, I understand why plastic can't be included - but then diapers make no sense.

    I can see using it for flour and sugar bags.

    We'll see - I'll have to figure out exactly what the rules are when they start picking them up in January.