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one man's trash

I hate throwing anything away. Now, by that I don't mean that I have all kinds of junk that I can't bear to part with—true as that may be!—but that I can't toss anything into the trash can without picturing it sitting in a landfill for the next couple hundred years. Just now it was a baking powder container, lacquered cardboard and metal and dusted with baking powder. Could it have been recycled? Who knows. Orange juice cartons, ditto.

A couple days ago I read an internet discussion about whether tossing your apple core out the car window is littering. The consensus was that of course it was, because having a decaying apple core sitting on the ground for the length of time it would take to disappear—months, perhaps, or even years—would either uglify the property or upset the ecological balance of the area. There's something to that argument. And yet, when apple cores are disposed of "properly", swathed in plastic trash bags and entombed in landfills, they won't decompose for decades.

I don't know, I'm sure. Obviously, we can't all throw our apple cores in the same non-designated spot. But since that's not happening, I think I come down on the side of natural rather than official disposal; as long as it's unobtrusive, anyways. Happily, we can dispose of all the apple cores we want here on our own property without them entering the waste stream. That means we manage to only put out one or two 13-gallon bags of trash a week, which is perhaps acceptable if not superlative or noteworthy. And we could do better with a proper composting setup. Tissues, for example, don't need to go to the landfill. Maybe we can work on that as cold season approaches! I, um, think I need to talk to Leah about it before I take any drastic steps, though.


You would love Seattle, Dan...we have the traditional recycling and yard waste, but now we also have compost picked up by the city! In fact restaurants can no longer use non-biodegradable take out containers...and some fast food restaurants and even movie theaters now have separate trash containers for recyclables, compostables and then trash. Perhaps we're going a bit overboard :D

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