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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Putting a bird on our garbage

Our post of yesterday, bemoaning the addition of a Portland "kitchen pail" to our household waste routine, got us thinking: Why does it feel like such an imposition? Upon a little reflection, we think we've figured it out: It's not just the food slop bucket. That's the straw that broke the camel's back.

Taking a look around our kitchen cabinets, we find that we already have too many squirrel holes for the various types of trash that we already sort out. Being in Oregon, we start with two bins for the ever-growing list of deposit containers: one for plastic and cans, the other for glass. Our third compartment is for nondeposit glass.

Under the sink, we have the trash receptacle for the stuff for the landfill, plus a tub for the vegetable waste that we currently feed to the worms in our compost bin. Over around by the side door to the house, three more piles can be found: plastic bags, which nobody wants so we schlep them back to the grocery store; old newspapers, with which to start the barbecue; and the big bin for all the stuff that currently gets recycled by our garbage hauler.

So what's that -- eight bins already? And now, unless we give up worm composting of our vegetable waste, we're about to get a ninth? There's a certain point at which you draw a line in the sand and just sign up for the bigger garbage can for the landfill. And if it's big enough, the new can will probably make us less diligent with recycling. So much for "green."

Comments (40)

As usual in Portland politics, I don't think it's as much about being green, i.e, actually encouraging and making a positive difference from the big picture perspective, as it is certain local pols wanting to appear green for the cameras and the flashmob masses.

...Why does it feel like such an imposition?...

Because it is imposition after imposition!
I still think Adams is pushing all this so he can make his resume look accomplished, can go to another city and get a job promoting this. Imagine he will be welcomed in the beginning...wait until the agenda doesn't stop at a reasonable point anyway.

I would be embarrassed to tell my ancestors about all this, they would be on my case as to why, why would you go along with this, what?? Why are you laying back and going along with this, we fought for your freedom???

Why is no one in our media interested in the financial deal with the outfit that's going to get all the compost? Back east, that's the Mafia. Here in Oregon, I'm sure it's all on the up and up. Heh.

It's probably okay because it's the Green Mafia.

You know, at least Victor von Frankenstein used cadaver parts to fabricate his creation. Portland leaders seem bent on crushing livelihoods in order to build theirs.

Recently read " The Tipping Point" by Malcom Gladwell. The slop bucket may well be Portland's Tipping Point on the Greenfront. Just too much !

Per a press release in the Boregonian http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2011/08/portland_gets_ready_to_roll_ou.html, two companies will get the compost:

Nature's Needs/Recology with a plant near N. Plains: http://www.recology.com/profile/owned.htm

(worker owned)


Pacific Region Compost near Corvallis, owned by Republic Services of Phoenix, Ariz.


And Guido and Rocco are not really in top mgt. or the board of directors.

We already covered that, here:


As I wrote, no one's covered the financial deal.

Hey, if you have to sort your returnables, your homeless neighbors are slacking.

Having seen the old, stinking Brisbane land fill off US 101 south of San Francisco; the garbage-filled barges of the south shore of Long Island, the desperate attempts of the State of Hawaii to export its garbage to the west coast, and pictures of the texas-sized islands of waste in the South Pacific, I'm inclined to think it is worth some effort to manage what we discard. The solid matter pollution we are leaving our children seems to me more troublesome by far than the national "debt".

Unless my offspring are moving to Arlington, Oregon, sending my chicken bones there instead of to Lebanon, Oregon won't affect them much.

Guess what we got in the mail today!!
A four page 11 x 17 flyer:
Portland Curbsider all about our new changes.
I most likely will hide that ugly bucket in the shed...no way would I want this hideous looking 2 gallon bucket on our kitchen counter as some pilot residents shared they did in their testimonial...
all good testimonials, I might add.

Allan L.

That was so Portland of you.

Have you seen pictures of the texas-sized islands of waste in the South Pacific?

The so-called effort to manage what we discard has become as insane as TriMet's madness.

Especailly with modern day landfills being completely harmless heaps that amount to no more than a lined, dirt capped and pile when finished.

In the greater expanse of the massive landscape they are tiny dots like any other random hill.

Not even plastic bags in that heap are a worry. Like everything else in the pile they just sit there forever.

Despite the pandamonium claims that toxic leaching is killing the planet.

Well clearly your problem is you are trying to cram new stuff in a kitchen not designed for it.
I can design / build you a state-of-the-art recycling room addition for your house {-:

Will the city density plan even allow room on lots for this recycling room addition?
There already is a problem trying to cram all the various containers
in the postage stamp yards.

All ya gotta do is Google "Garbage Can Cleaning" and learn of a new business opportunity.

Here's a business opportunity... offer a service to Portland residents to deliver them from the madness to more desirable locations before they lose all their assets.

Mr. Grumpy,
Have you been scouting out new locations?
Would be interesting to have a survey with integrity done to see what percentage of residents have that in mind?

I have actually seen the garbage patch in the South Pacific. We sailed through it. I have lived in Florida where recycling is non existent and the only high ground is the garbage dumps. Both are not good. Here the big brother of city government passing out slop buckets is just more inefficient use of government resources. The city should be fixing the streets, educating our kids, and keeping the general populace safe.
I am much more concerned with the sending of batteries to China, the dismantling of old freighters in India, and the so called recycling of electronics in various 3rd world countries than I am about the relatively insignificant amount of food waste generated by a population of 1/2 a million people.

Portland Native,
Thanks for putting the matter in perspective.

I think there are other reasons for pushing this, who is benefiting financially? Jack brought up earlier about the media not being interested in the financial deal.

I love the Shoreline Amphitheatre built over the Mtn View landfill. Nothing like a concert encore when the methane torches light up. Makes me feel green all over. And if only those Texas sized trash-islands would get a bit larger, then we could drive to Hawaii. And we can recycle and reuse our trash, but our debt can only be spent once!

Other than that, Allan is almost right.

pictures of the texas-sized islands of waste in the South Pacific

Overblown. The patch is not visible from satellite photography.

Like PN, I am much more concerned with the sending of batteries to China, the dismantling of old freighters in India, and the so called recycling of electronics in various 3rd world countries than I am about the relatively insignificant amount of food waste generated by a population of 1/2 a million people.

Portland politicians always act like this planetary pot-hole matters. We don't. They can demand that every flat surface be converted to a bioswale, and that every rooftop must be an "eco-roof" and it won't make a dime's worth of difference to the planet.

It'll just cost you a ton of money to accomplish nothing more than giving politicians and bureaucrats a reason to feel good about themselves.

If you haven't seen this Penn & Teller video Recycling is Bullshit you may find it amusing. At one point they do some interviews with devoted consumer recyclers and play with their heads about how many bins are too many, and there doesn't seem to be any limit.

From the Curbsider: "Garbage collected from the pilot households has dropped more than 30 percent."

If I had been producing 10 bags of garbage each week, and I've dropped by 30% to 7 bags per week, that means that I'm still producing 14 bags every two weeks. That means I'm going to need a larger garbage can, which means I'm going to have to pay more.

Jack Bog: Sounds like you could get rid of two bins by just recycling your glass and deposit containers instead of taking them back to Freddy's. You could save another container if you recycled the newspaper too. You could save another container by throwing your plastic bags, now you're down to only four bins.

How exactly is the city forcing you into any of this nonsense?

For some of us the nonsense is not getting our regular weekly garbage pick up.

There are other matters in life important than to be dealing with these imposed changes.


Consumers are switching to reusable plastic bags or cloth bags. Unfortunately, reusable bags are often a breeding ground for bacteria from uncooked meat or other raw foods that unsuspecting customers tote around in their bags.

For example, researchers tested 84 bags and found half of them contained coliform bacteria and 12 percent had e-coli, which is often the source of food poisoning, and can easily spread.

I don't give money to street people. You're supposed to reuse before you recycle.

Growing up in Portland your garbage hauler was local, I went to school with the kids of the one who provided service to many in our neighborhood.
Unfortunately for the public our city council decided that progress was to bring in an outside company and throw those fellows out of business.
Now we have the city council deciding minute details of our daily lives...
Isn't central planning great !

LucsAdvo said:

"And Guido and Rocco are not really in top mgt. or the board of directors.

Why are slurs and hate caricatures directed at whites of European ancestry permitted here? That is to say if I were to point out a similar stereotype about "Leroy" and violent crime or "Maury" and financial crime, my post would be censored or I would be "labeled" as a bigot and a hater for condemning or mocking an entire group of people all of whom I could not possibly know.

Any rational minds care to address this?

I think in Sam (and his staff's world) each new garbage bin means we won't notice another 25 gang shootings.

Distraction on their part and we buy as a society - How sad.

Re: "How exactly is the city forcing you into any of this nonsense?"


The fees for trash pickup are the same regardless of whether you employ the green and blue carts. That is, if you find them too large, too heavy, too noisy, too ugly and elect to recycle via other means, you still pay the trash pickup fees that were raised substantially upon the introduction of the large, heavy, noisy, and ugly green and blue carts.

How exactly is the city forcing you into any of this nonsense?

Looks like trolls are out on this.

Used to have much better service from independent haulers.

Ted, I am of Italian-American descent so I can say whatever the hell I want along those lines and you can get over it. Though I personally dislike the use of the word mafia when applied to criminal enterprises not associated with the mothers and fathers Italian association. Unfortunately, Jack and others around here don't see it that way. I personally prefer Railiban and other more original monikers for that stuff.

Dresher, "Why are slurs and caricatures of whites of European ancestry permitted here?"

It may be because they are desensitized to it. They know it isn't so in your face, ill-meaning. They know that in most cases no ill-will is intended. They know it is merely labeling and speaks little of a person. They don't really care that much. They may be proud of the recognition of their heritage, but know they are really a part of the whole melting pot of being an American.

And they don't buy in to the governmental and social groups that try to singularize and play off of nationalities and race.

When will the Level 1 Bio-hazard labels be distributed to affix to these recycling pails?

When will the recommended training be conducted for ensuring proper safety practices?

Are Portland counter-tops safe?

what I think would be really interesting would be to follow this chain of recyled slop and see just what happens to it.

...When will the recommended training be conducted for ensuring proper safety practices?

Recommended or required?

Waiting for the day my sanitary sewer line will be monitored to make sure I am not overly or improperly using my garbage disposal. "They" will probably be gracious enough to compare my line to my other neighbors and discuss my rank; as to how GREEN I am and make recommendations for how I can improve my behaviors.

clinamen and Gardiner Menefree: I was referring specifically to all of the extra bins Jack Bog said he kept in his house... specifically the bin for plastic bags, the bin for newspaper, the bin for returnable glass and the bin for other returnable (deposit) containers. The city doesn't force Jack to do that stuff, he chooses to do it.

The nearly ubiquitous belief that we live in a world of shortages (energy, landfill space, clean air & water, etc.) drives much of this. I don't believe any of this stuff is very limited.

What IS limited is human time. If everyone in the metro area spends only 10 minutes a day on this crap, even at minimum wage, that is a couple million dollars of wasted time EVERY DAY.

The city doesn't force Jack to do that stuff, he chooses to do it.

The city should be encouraging me, not giving me a reason to give up. As I say, with a bigger can, I may just send the plastic bags and the nondeposit glass to the landfill. Life's too short to deal with the City of Portland.

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