microbes eat my garbage! Or something like that...
Monday, December 15, 2008
Is compost the answer?
That depends. What’s the question again?
CAPCOG is the state designated planning agency for solid waste management issues in this region, and since I’d really like to know what’s planned, I’ve been exploring their website.
Household compostables are still the forgotten stepchild, but there are some (too limited) facilities in place for composting presorted grocery wastes and food scraps from cafeterias through at least one public/private partnership. And it turns out that TxDot—the Texas Department of Transportation—uses compost in its roadside landscaping. In great quantities, even.
There’s a PowerPoint presentation about it—those folks do seem to like their slides—which is where the title of this post came from.
I find it hard to fathom that this really is a question, but a look at that presentation serves to remind me that not everyone is as much a fan of compost as I. Good or bad PR? Yikes! How could using compost possibly be perceived as a bad thing? But then there’s the boldface on these captions
(Note that “pasteurized” only applies to hot compost, though it is wholly correct to use here, and that the word “organic” is technically true though not, perhaps, in the same sense as it will be read.)
Which I guess answers the question—compost could be perceived as “unclean” by those who do not understand the process, who think that all trash is filthy, and all those things consigned to the bin or heap are dirty.
In the bad sense of the word. –G–
Are the pro-compost people unintentionally undermining my small efforts, and those of my larger-scale peers, with their compost=pasteurized material equation? Possibly, though not necessarily; bokashi can be thermophilically treated, it simply need not be.
But I wonder if that equation might be part of the reason that Austin, unlike other green cities, does not subsidize residential compost bins (traditional, anaerobic, vermicompost, and/or bokashi).
Hmm. An answer leading to new questions; somehow, that fits.