What Goes Around, Comes Around

Monday, August 29, 2011

Photo credit: Jonathan Rausseo

Remember that old saying? Also known as karma (or as I’d say in French “Faire sa b.a.” – bonne action). In this case, our food waste is what goes around and comes around. For example, you plant a few tomatoes on your balcony garden, pick it on a sunny afternoon, prepare it and then eat it. Now I could go into a lengthy (and gross) description of how it will end up in the sewer and be devoured by rats the size of Godzilla. Buuut, we’ll stick to the few bits and pieces going into the compost bin.

Now, let’s say you don’t compost in your back yard (or simply don’t have one), but do in your apartment building, at school or at work. The University of Ottawa is lucky to have devoted Eco Champions who encourage their colleagues to compost/recycle/bike/be happy/spontaneously dance. Often more than not, employees will take turns emptying the pretty little bins into the Big Kahuna of a compost bin in a smallish and smelly cupboard.

In our building, we usually do it ourselves or get our Katimaslaves to do it daily. Sadly, they have been gone this week, so we’ve rolled our sleeves up and been making the trips every day and discovered a confused culprit. It might be simple confusion/ignorance or laziness. We’ll hope it’s confusion. Someone has been leaving big black garbage bags full of potential compost in the compost bins. Thing is, we’re supposed to empty out our bins or bags into the bigger bin to facilitate the composting, as plastic doesn’t decompose for many, many years. Which left us with three bags filled with smelly (and rather liquid) waste at the bottom of the huge bins. We couldn’t possibly leave them there!

So MP and I have made it our mission these past few days to empty the foul smelling bags into the compost bin and then diligently put the empty bags into the trash can. But man, old milk mixed with soup, coffee and egg shells is really gross. Did I mention it smelled worse than my biking shirt when I forget to wash it for two weeks? Or crusty socks? Oh oh! Old diapers!

Now, close your eyes, imagine yourself in a small room with a trash can and a compost bin. Nice place, eh? Now, breathe in deeply, smell that past-date milk, old coffee, soup and eggs. How about we try to hit 4D now? Picture that big plastic bag and grab hold of it. Lift it up and empty it out. Do you feel the mushy texture through the bag? Good! Did some get in your hair? Even better!

Now, I don’t want to hold a grudge, so I’ll just hope that the saying was right. It’s like a free mud bath anyways!


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