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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Notes from the slop bucket

Stenchy the Portland Food Slop Rat settles in for the winter.

We've completed our first full round of the new City of Portland household garbage ordeal, putting out the four sacred separation chambers containing our family's solid waste just the other night. We got through our first two-week pickup cycle without the landfill can overflowing, but it was close.

The real problem, of course, is the smell. After two weeks, the packaging that raw chicken and fish come in gives off quite a nasty odor -- and that's in November. Especially since we're not allowed to get free plastic bags to seal it in from the grocery store any more. And so lifting the lid on the landfill can has become an adventure. Come July, we're all going to die. (And no, there's no room in our freezer for garbage.)

Our green yard debris bin was already gross, but with food slop caked all over its interior, it's already a veritable petri dish of pathogens. Just looking at it makes us a little sick -- imagine what breathing in the fumes must be doing.

If the funkiness in our driveway is bad, we can't imagine what it's like at the neighbors' places, where many folks appear to be going about business as usual. All their food waste is now sitting around for up to two weeks. Yucky doodles. And what do they do when their can is full? Have the midnight runs to the dumpster at the nearby school started yet?

Anyway, we're living the Sam Rand Way, with Sustainable Susan showing us the path to enlightenment. Somewhere up there the gods are laughing hysterically.

Comments (42)

Hmm, so far I have found the slop bucket to be only a very minor annoyance. I am concerned however about when I run out of leaves or other yard waste to cushion the slop in its green home. Oh, and the smell of your bin will not cause any illness. The theory of "miasma" as a disease agent was debunked in London in the early 19th century. It was thought at the time that the stench emanating from the open sewers was the cause of cholera. Of course we know now that bacterial pollution of the water supply was the problem not the smell (miasma) that was thought to be the cause.

We never even got our precious little slop buckets for this experiment at our 4 plex, but the every-other week trash pick up has begun. It's gonna get ugly.

Just wait until animals find your stinky garbage and start digging in it. That's always fun! ((sarcasam))

This is just first stage of re-education for the masses. Next step will be forcing buying/consumption habits to reduce waste so you won't need landfill pick-up but once a month or every 6 months. Cloth diapers instead of disposable, no buying over packaged crap from China (buy local!), and taking mason jars to organic/sustainable/green market to have your meats, cheese, grains, deli salads, etc. loaded up. No more of those evil plastic clamshell and styrofoam packages! You are all killing the planet! What about the chiiiillldren?!

Remember this kids: It was illicit dumpster usage that brought Tonya Harding down. That's whack!

But is Stenchy immune from the pathogens?

Jack, your problem is that you're buying meat/fish products - you must go vegitarian/vegan! Buying only locally-sourced foods, as noted by others.

Let's see, the City of Portland unilaterally cut my garbage service in half with no reduction in price. Meanwhile, they let a bunch of irresponsible nitwits trash two of our city parks for two months. It will take ages to haul away and clean up after all of the garbage, human excrement, and drug paraphernalia they left behind. As part of the 53%, I'll be paying for that too. From now on I will be taking half of my household garbage down to the city park trash receptacles.

The next bucket to be added is a 'night soil' bucket?

Seriously, this has been pretty simple.

If you want to bag the slop, there are biodegradable bags you can purchase to protect your nose from the offending odors. If you line the green can with newspapers as suggested, it soaks up the liquid pretty well.

Of course, I just dump the can in, I don't stick my nose in afterwards.

The "get used to it" rhetoric was stupid. But the reality of composting food waste is pretty simple, pretty basic, and pretty necessary. And pretty common, based on conversations with friends living around the country.

Could it be there's another behavioral modification hint going on here... go vegan?

We've been using the biodegradable bags for lining our slop bucket--they work pretty well, and they also keep the green rolling cart from getting too nasty or funky.

I'm also happy to be having weekly, as opposed to every other week, pickup of the yard debris container. However, we also have a 70 pound dog, and a 2.5 year old in diapers, and both of those things make our trash bin smell pretty funky in the summer. Every other week is going to be brutal, though hopefully the kid will be out of diapers by that point.

Jack, I'd do something about Stenchy before he gets any bigger and more self-righteous. Just throw some rat bait in the slop bucket and hope the big fella gets enough to take him out. It's not organic but it is effective.

My girlfriend is using her slop bucket to wash her wigs in! I nearly fell off my chair laughing...

But the reality of composting food waste is pretty simple, pretty basic, and pretty necessary

Necessary? Paul, you've been getting too close to toy reactor over there -- it's harming your common sense.


Although it appears to be nearly new that garbage disposal has to go.
Wasting electricity to wash things down the drain that you should be putting in the slop bucket is uncceptable.

I see you also have a double bowl sink. One is enough.

Unless that is just a pull out sprayer those water lines indicate you mave have an insta-hot water dispenser. Not green.

Your cabinets look pretty new. Are they made from any recycled material?

The cabinet box appears to be standard melamine partical board. You could have used some used cabinet boxes.

If you turn your containers sideways there will be room for one more.

Please try harder to be more sustainable.

Post pics of the rest of your house for inspection and compliance.

I'm gonna get out my leaf blower, my power washer, my ATV's, my boat, my motor home, and my giant SUV and turn them all on at the same time, just to "occupy" my driveway!
Too bad I don't live in the city!

...If you want to bag the slop, there are biodegradable bags you can purchase...

How much do these bags cost?
They may be too costly for some folks on a budget.

Hey Paul, glad it's no big deal to you, more power to you. I don't like having it shoved down my throat (or up my nose in this case). I didn't have any choice, heck, I couldn't even bribe (pay more) my way out of this snafu. Did I mention how my love affair with my garbage disposal has hit new highs? Again, it's not choice, it's not an 'educational' process, it's a "Gotcha, you got no choice" and that don't set well with me.

Native, lots of things get "shoved down our throat" like the bottle deposit law, separating out paper and other recyclables, not driving on the left side of the road ... it's all a question of where you draw the line.

You *can* "bribe" your way out of this. Refuse to use the green can, toss your food into the regular can. But you have to pay if you overflow the can, use a larger can, or need a pick up more than once every two weeks.

There may be a lot to complain about in Portland city government but this is not one of those things. This is easy.

Everyone's "love affair with garbage disposal" (what an odd choice of words) has hit a new high. Yes, we can no longer send out our refrigerators, televisions, fast food containers, etc etc to some unknown landfill and just ignore it until the next generation. That world is gone and good riddance. Sorry if taking care of the planet rubs you the wrong way.

I wash off my bags, wrappings that contained meat or fish--works like a charm. I love the new program, I put some newspaper into my green bin to cut back on stuff sticking and do the same with my indoor "slop" bucket. people need to change their garbage habits and unfortunately it usually requires changes like this to get people to give up old habits.

Wow. Now people should wash their garbage before they toss it out?

Only in Portlandia. Put an albatross on it!

Well, how about some changes in the major polluters behavior to give up their habits?

Taking care of the planet does not rub me the wrong way, what does is all this busy work on our behalf, forced upon us, as that should save the planet when the major damage is done by those who far surpass anything we do or do not do.

Again, I happen to know people on a tight budget, the bags and extra can cost isn't that easy for some.

Let us hear from those supporters of this plan next summer.

Will our Multnomah County health officials step up to problems, or will Jeff Cogen lay back on this, sounds like he already has, or this wouldn't have been allowed.

Portland's population accounts for approximately 0.007 of one percent of the earth's population. These "down-our-throat" behavioral modification measures will amount to nothing other than creating an isolated and economically crippled colony of people who feel good about themselves and superior to others. It's already happening.

Maybe it's my reading of the pro Stenchy posts, but I detect a bit of a superiority complex mixed with a taint of sneer. I'm glad they hold themselves above of all of who just want to be left alone, or maybe not have a small group dictating day to day life decisions to those of us unwashed types who want the City Council to read it's own charter and just do what it says in that document, and spare us all the shiny cool projects and to do their jobs, without the preaching, self congratulatory smugness that comes with just about everything coming from City/County/Vestig...Metro these days.

This is simply government overreaching in it's desire to modify it's citizen's behavior at worst or a résumé builder for our failed mayor and our bloated local government.

I agree there is nothing wrong with living in a manner that lessens harm to our environment.But, I deeply resent the hand of the bloated government digging into our pockets while telling us it's for our own good.

It's the way this went down, and the fruit flies, which really anger me. Also, it's the way that these poor excuses for leaders focus on all these smaller problems to divert our eyes away from the bigger problems (all more eloquently documented by our esteemed host). Maybe the posters who are so positive about this and other programs have far more time and/or fewer commitments than those of us who just want government to stick to the basics, especially in these lean times, and not to attempt restructuring our lives to that of their world view.

In short, it's about time that money and energies were focused on reducing crime, improving the infrastructure, and addressing the needs of the interests of the whole population, not just the WANTS of the Planner/Developer/cool class.

I know it isn't the "Portland" thing to do, but maybe when the Sellwood Bridge drops into the Willamette, or some MS-13 type kills somebody's 9 year old kid, they'll get it. But Sam will already be working in his new six figure job, bringing his "experience" to some other hapless community.

The whole thing is a big diversion for Sam and the Utopians, who, by the time it becomes a true disaster, will be down the road and busily congratulating themselves on how wonderful it is that they were able to save us.

Sorry for the rant. But the phrase "Don't p___ on my leg and tell me it's raining" comes to mind.

From Brainyquotes:

"He who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence."

William Blake, poet

(A bi-weekly bleach job on the slop bucket, or, clean house at city hall?)

Yes, we can no longer send out our refrigerators, televisions, fast food containers, etc etc to some unknown landfill and just ignore it until the next generation. That world is gone and good riddance.

How deluded. That world is gone in about a third of Portlandia, maybe. The rest of the planet spends its time on better things (and less wasteful things) than rinsing off its garbage.

This program is all about making money for some shady garbage company, with a kickback of some sort to Lord knows who in local government. But the "green" sheep like Reedie Paul baa and baa their approval. It's like the Tea Party, only driving Priuses.

Saw a TV commercial from Subaru tonight that (paraphrasing) said, "Subaru's are built to last a long time, which helps protect the oceans."

So buy a Subaru, and save the whales.?

It's pure greenwashing, as is charging the same amount for half as many trash pickups.

The real tragedy would be if nobody got bribed.

What Roy said...

I'm all for societal cataclysm. You guys rock.

This Portland Composts! scheme is rotten.

Washing your produce and meat wrappers is a waste of precious water. There is nothing green about that!

So I get to buy biodegradable bags for the slop bucket..
And bags for the waste baskets wound the house since the ones from the store are banned...

I'm glad some of you like paying just as much for half the service, makes me wish I was still in the building trades..
I could make a bundle of folks like you.

We care for my 94-yr old mother here. She's in decline, and is in Depends round the clock. Plus she has a bedsore, with its dressings. Have you ANY idea how wretched this all smells? Oh, we used those plastic garbage to wrap her garbage every day. Soon our stash will be gone and we'll have to buy bags. Thanks, Sam.

From comments on this thread:

a résumé builder for our failed mayor

making money for some shady garbage company, with a kickback of some sort to Lord knows who in local government.

What about the chiiiillldren?!

Could it be there's another behavioral modification

The whole thing is a big diversion for Sam and the Utopians,

So I get to buy biodegradable bags for the slop bucket..

Which one or all of the above?

Most cars that are newer than 5 years, not green at all!

Suburus do last a long while, which is green, unless you insist on trading it in every few years.

My Volvo is over 200K, and so is my 98 Durango!

More greener would be a 500K mile 1978 VW Rabbit diesel running old French fry grease. But the cocktail circuit Prius drivers would look down their noses at anyone driving a Rabbit. Image is everything, posers are everywhere, even in enviro circles.

Harry, ORplainjane, Roy and anyone else who disagrees with Paul ... you just don't get it. It's about the planet you see, it's about greeeeeeen (yes I meant to spell it that way). It's about 'doing the right thing', however you don't GET to decide what the 'right thing' is, that will be decided for you. It's not about choice, because anyone who disagrees obviously is/has/would be making the wrong choice. No, behavior will be forced come heck or high water. Now hold you nose and go do the green thing.

Modern day landfills are harmless and end up being nothing but a tiny hill covered with vegetation.

The Columbia Ridge Landfill will reach its capacity of approximately 60 million tons in about 50 years. Its waste module design consists of compacted clay, a high-density poly-ethylene membrane covered with a geotextile that is topped by a leach-ate collection system of washed gravel, perforated plastic drains, more geotextile fabric and a protective lay-er of at least one foot of sand and soil. Beneath it all is a pan lysimeter leak detection system (vadose zone monitoring). A methane gas extraction system will be installed as needed and seven wells will monitor groundwater around the site's peri-meter.

After garbage is tipped at the face of the modules, it is spread and re-compacted by two Cat D9N dozers and four Cat 826C compactors. By nightfall, an interim cover of at least six inches of dirt is spread over the compacted module by two Cat 637 push-pull scrapers which together move approximately 1,000 cubic yards a day. When a five-acre area of a module is brought to final grade, a low-permeability soil cap is spread and the area is contoured and re-vegetated.

Dear ORplainjane,
My sympathies and admiration for taking care of your mom. You are a good child.
So I would ask Sam and his fellow composters, what pray tell is "green" about medical waste going into a land fill or a compost bucket?
And where do they think all the medical waste from every nursing home, adult day care, or other care facility for either the elderly or the very young goes?
And are we saving the whales when many cruise ships still dump all of their waste including things like dry cleaning fluid into the oceans of the world?
And what many others have posted here as well!
This Portlandia scheme is a joke and a waste of resources and is probably making money for someone while costing the taxpayers.

evergreen: It takes very little water to wash out the blood and slime from meat and fish wrappings. I use the existing dish water and rinse . I reuse the all plastic bags. just a tip(the washing off the blood and slime) for the complainers that are upset about their garbage stinking or attracting undesirables.

and I wholeheartedly agree that our recycling efforts are a little like chipping away at the tip of the iceberg. But it is something and it isn't as if there aren't efforts going on to change the big polluters. Not happening fast enough for sure but we are living in a sick world, which brings me to Occupy Wall Street, aw never mind.

Disappointing, Jack.

Your photo only included the upper part of the brochure. The salient point was omitted. That would be where they declare it "Your guide to SUCCESSFUL food scrap collection".

Is there such a thing as an unsuccessful recycler? I dunno. Me, if I have leftover meat and stuff, I just pitch it down the hill. The local coyotes and other critters seem to make it go away overnight. I figure that's successful recycling, but hey.

How green is it to exempt multifamily units from recycling food waste when their goal is to have everyone living in condo bunkers? Who will be left to recycle feed Stenchy and his friends?


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In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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