Brattleboro Curbside Compost

An exciting development in our town is a new "Curbside Compost" program, I am loving it already! Here's the story:

We've had a black "Earth Machine" backyard compost container for years (above). We add weeds and garden trimmings plus kitchen compost, like coffee grounds, veggie & fruit trimmings, and old tea bags.

BUT, Curbside Compost now allows us to keep so much more out of the trash stream, and even the recycling stream. We can add just about any kind of food, including plate scrapings, meat and bones, old bits of bread, mouldering refrigerator finds. We can also add any paper products, like paper bags, boxes, tissues, cartons, and Q-tips. The program will even take pet waste, small wooden crates, and lawn trimmings (as long as they still fit in the container). This adorable green wheelie container cost only $7 and seems completely adequate for a week's worth of compost.

Above is an example of compost from the morning ready for the bin: a takeout container with metal handle removed, muffin papers, rejected muffin bits, some off-tasting broccoli, and some random herring that had been open for too long.

These got thrown in the bin on top of the various paper towels and an ice cream container already in there. Beautiful! (They say you can use compostable bags in your bin if it seems gross to just throw stuff in willy nilly. We haven't tried that yet.)

Now all we throw away as trash are things like non-recyclable plastics & non-recyclable metals & used diapers. I'm even thinking of getting a second trash basket for the bathroom so we can sort our tissues and other paper-y items into there for composting. And this compost program will be great for those halfway items that I could put in our own compost, such as citrus peels, egg shells, and avocado seeds, but choose not to because they never seem to decompose.

A side benefit of this program is that our town is now picking up recycling weekly instead of every other week, because they use the same truck for recycling & compost. I believe this will encourage people to recycle more, since they don't have to save things up or remember if it's the right week. (Also our town has a rule that if the trash collector sees recycling items in the trash, it won't get picked up.)

If you live in Brattleboro and aren't yet participating, please sign up for Curbside Compost! If you are my mother, I will even help you get the bins you need to make it happen. If you aren't in Brattleboro, do you have a compost program where you live? Do you compost on your own at all? I love the idea of recycling biodegradables back into muck. Let's keep those landfills as empty as we can!

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