I admit it. I don’t compost.
To be fair, I have looked into composting — a lot. Composting would be easy if I had a green bin — since L.A. and many L.A.-area cities now allow you to throw your food waste in those bins. Alas, apartment dwellers don’t get green bins. The trouble is, living in an apartment with a too-rodent-friendly balcony (squirrels mostly, but still) then moving to a very tiny balcony-less apartment doesn’t make composting easy. At this point, my lilliputian residence simply doesn’t have room for a composter, even if I were willing to pay hundreds of dollars for one.
But despite my reasons (excuses?), my uncomposted life is really getting to me. For day 2 of the No Impact Challenge — dubbed “Trash: Discover how wasting less improves your life” — I hoarded my trash for the weekend (the challenge asked for a day’s collection, but I haven’t taken out the trash since 2010) — and took a photo of it. There it is above.
You’ll notice I threw out some expired coupons and outdated calendars, a few pieces of mail, and a bunch of crumpled up notes on which I planned out my New Year’s resolutions. You’ll notice I drank a lot of berry juice and ate curry this week. And you’ll also notice I eat a lot of fruits and veggies — they make up almost all of my non-recyclable trash (save those non-recyclable jar and bottle lids).
If I could just find a way to compost, I would be able to bring down my non-recyclable trash to almost negligible levels. I mulled over this problem for a long time yesterday — and by mulled over, I mean I did some Google research. I started by considering the eco-confession made quite a few of my friends who live in apartments without blue bins: They surreptitiously sneak their recyclables into their neighbors’ blue bins on trash days. So I wondered: Could I too adopt a clandestine composting habit via the green bins of my neighbors?
Unfortunately, West Hollywood, where I live, doesn’t allow food scraps in its green bins. However, Beverly Hills, where I run, does. I further figured out that in the neighborhood where I run, trash collection happens Thursday mornings — which means I can plan my compost drops for Wednesday evenings.
I’ll report back on how Operation Compost goes later in the week. I also plan to ask the city for green bins that allow food waste — for both houses and apartments.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear your composting confessions. Do you compost — or not? If not, why not? (Remember — I still am not composting myself, at least until Thursday.) Do you think it’s okay to dump food scraps into other people’s green bins, or that it's a rude abuse of other people’s property?