Do You Recycle or Compost?

We all have food bits and pieces that we either use or dispose of. There are some things I use regularly in the garden. Coffee grounds and egg shells go in the garden. Fruit, that is a bit riper than I like, becomes a treat for the outside birds and squirrels. Vegetable scraps become soup.
Do you recycle, compost or repurpose?



Lori T. July 15, 2018
I'm a colluding thread nabber, along with Smaug. I have a double barrel composting system for organic waste, and we do try to recycle, reuse and repurpose things as much as possible. I also live in an area that makes the outside compost bins inactive for several months of the year, which is what got me into using red wigglers and doing composting inside with them as well. There is an icky factor for some folks, but I point out that for the most part you don't have to look at the worms, nor do you have to handle them. Mine live in a specially designed "worm hotel" setup, but I started with an old, unused Rubbermaid tote. They don't smell, which is another concern for some. They live in a corner of my laundry room, quite contently. You can use the wigglers where ever you live, even in an apartment. So it's a method everyone can use, and one I am trying to encourage people I know to try. Whenever the population of my bin needs reducing, I offer the extras on my neighborhood website. Mixed success with that so far, but I'll keep trying. I try to do what I can otherwise, small things. I made my own shopping bags using odd bits and balls of yarn from my knitting/crochet habit. I buy bulk items, as opposed to individual packets of things. As time goes on, I find myself making things so I don't have to buy a new product, or to reuse something I already have. Like making rag rugs with old worn out cloths, or using scraps to crochet duster mop pads- instead of the one time use paper ones. I also very recently got gifted a bag of bokashi bran, which is supposed to let you compost meat/dairy/meal scraps. So far as I understand the process, it's actually fermenting the stuff, and then you have to let it sit for a few more weeks before you add it to your compost. Or bury it in the ground. At any rate, it means less organic material in my picked up garbage- which is my goal.
Smaug July 15, 2018
I'm fortunate to be able to compost outdoors all year; I run two large piles. At some point, I will stop adding material to a pile and let it cool down. The worms (plain old earthworms in this case, not red wrigglers) do a fine job finishing the compost. They dislike heat, and while the pile is active they mostly are not.
ktr July 14, 2018
We have 2 rotating compost bins. We use one until it’s full and then start using the second one so the first one has time to break down. We don’t have many recycling options here but we recycle what we can. We try to reuse what we can. We are a family of 4 and fill maybe 1 garbage bag per week during the summer. We have more garbage in the winter because we can only add to the compost until they are full and then they have to sit until it gets warm enough for the scraps to start breaking down. For us that means they often sit for 4-6 months. This is our first year with 2 composers so we are hoping to be able to compost for longer this year though.
boulangere July 13, 2018
I'm an avid composter. The benefits to my garden are enormous. Recycling has become a fraught issue. Is plastic being shipped off to countries who burn it? I find that more and more I am eliminating plastic from my life.
scruz July 13, 2018
everything that doesn't contain meat/meat fat goes in my compost. i've composted for the 35 years we've been here and even though i've cut way back on veggies and flowers due to cost of our water, i continue to compost because i enjoy the idea of feeding soil organisms and earthworms and actually creating and improving our clayish soil. i have a compost pile and don't worry about the heat and composition (green vs. brown additions and ratios) and have increasingly gone to direct composting, meaning i did a deep hole and dump contents of compost pan into hole and then add soil and chop with the shovel and gradually bury it. i get no animals digging up anything and it is shocking with the summer weather how quickly things compost. i have a large enough yard and fallow areas that i can safely direct compost my kitchen scraps. of course, the watermelon rinds and tattered lettuces go to the girls (chickens) in next door neighbors yard. and after this many years, our soil is like buttah.
Smaug July 13, 2018
Having, in collusion with one or two others, largely hijacked the gardening thread with a discussion of composting (ok, that is gardening) and recycling, I'll limit myself here to a plug for repurposing. Recycling is OK to a point, but at worst, most collected recycling ends up in landfills due to contamination and a weak market. At best, recyclables (particularly paper and plastic) are trucked to a sorting station, packaged and shipped overseas where they undergo some probably grotesque industrial process that wouldn't be allowed in the US, repackaged and shipped back across the sea to, most likely, be turned into more future garbage. So if you can find a purpose for it, you're way ahead of the game.
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