Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Thrill of Compost

OK, OK. I had a tough time coming-up with a catchy title for this post about compost. Maybe compost is exciting to me, but I realize that most people don't get the same buzz from rotting food.

A few years back, when I was still a Rhody, I saw a press release touting $25 compost bins. The friendly people at Rhode Island Resource Recovery were selling new compost bins at 1/3 off of their retail price to the people of Rhode Island. Progressive huh?

My compost bin traveled through my move to Connecticut and was promptly set-up in a sunny spot in the backyard. It happily gobbled-up leaves, pine needles and other assorted yard waste. In return, my compost bin presented me with nutrient-rich soil whenever I wanted it.

This year I have taken to feeding my compost bin and more diverse diet.

1. Loads of kitchen scraps...apple cores, potato peels, lettuce stumps, egg shells, corn husks

2. Waxed paper....great for wrapping sandwiches and can be found on sticks of butter

3. Corks...I love myself some wine

4. Shredded newspaper...in the height of summer when brown matter was scarce

5. Dryer lint...for those of us who can't line dry all of our clothes

Actual Gruppie family dryer lint...don't get too excited.

When I needed rich soil to fill-in the lawn's bare spots this fall, there was a half-full compost bin waiting for me. All for free!
Composting does not just add to your wallet it also takes away from the landfill. When you add food scraps and other compostables to the landfill they tend to hang around for quite some time in their plastic bags and in the plastic-capped landfills. Toss those same compostables into the compost bin and they can disappear in a matter of weeks.

My best estimate would be that my family of four keeps 1/2 of a bag of trash out of the landfill each week from religiously composting food waste. That equals 26 bags in a year. Pretty exciting stuff for a boring Gruppie like me.
My compost bin is starting to feel lonely. Aaawww. It could really use a friend. Maybe the friendly people at the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority will read this post and follow Rhode Island's example to save tons of waste from languishing in our landfills.


dolphyngyrl said...

I would love to compost but I am SO LAZY!!


OK, it's definitely going to have to part of my plan next year to grow CROPS in my backyard. And by "crops" I mean "stuff I hope my dogs don't eat first".

Annette said...

You made my day. I didn't know I could compost dryer lint!

Ruth Dynamite said...

I just love the fact that you photographed your dryer lint.

Sara at On Simplicity said...

I am so on the fence about composting. I would love to do it, but I'm not sure we produce enough compostable waste to make it worthwhile. The dryer lint has me rethinking this, though: we've got a lot of that!

Erikka said...

wow. what a great incentive for people to start composting. why are not ALL states that smart?

i wonder if Boston has anything like that offer.

sigh, i can only dream...