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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Insanity stopped

There's a new sense of calm and well being at blog central this morning. The giant, painful buttock boil known as the Portland household garbage ordeal has been lanced. Yesterday, our new, jumbo landfill garbage can arrived, and it is a beauty. Well, almost everybody likes it:

The Terrible Trial is not quite over -- we still have to clean out the green bin that's been holding food slop as well as yard debris the last 11 months. We took a first cut at it yesterday. Good Lord almighty, was it awful. We had to stop and gag twice. We got the nastiest stuff out, but it still smells like a malfunctioning sewage treatment plant, and it's going to take a pressure washer to get it to where it's not totally foul. What lunacy.

But fortunately, for 10 bucks a month or so, the end is in sight. City Hall can take this slop bucket and ram it; we're going back to worm composting of vegetable matter, and sending the other food waste to the landfill. We'll still recycle tons of stuff in the blue bin, but between that and the worms, we're "green" enough. And we're hoping that the new, huge garbage can doesn't completely fill up every week -- we'd be willing to rent space in it to the neighbors, thus partially offsetting the increase in our pickup fees.

We're so inspired by our newfound feeling of freedom from unspeakable filth and contagion that we're moved to song:

Imagine there's no compost
It's easy if you try
No stench in North Plains
Or bio-bags to tie
Imagine all the people throwing it all away

A-ha, imagine there's no slop pail
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to freeze or rinse out
No baking soda too
Imagine all the people having actual lives

You, you may say
I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And your trash will fit in one

Imagine no recycling
I wonder if you can
No need for green or blue bins
A universal can
Imagine all the people tossing all the waste

You, you may say
I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And your trash will fit in one

Comments (22)

Pressure washing will just spread that nasty biofilm around your place!

Try using white vinegar and baking soda to clean out that bin. Very cheap & effective in killing the bacteria. You can load a spray bottle with the vinegar, soak down the inside of the bin, Spread the baking soda all around the inside, from top to bottom, and let the instant chemical reaction start to work (keep your head out of the off-gassing plume). Then after a few minutes, when the fizzing stops, take some rags and wipe out the gunk and dispose. Use rubber gloves. Rinse and repeat, if needed. Alright!

The Beatles live on The David Frost Show (1968)

You might not need to scrub out the disgusting old green bin. I believe that you can just request a new one once a year.

P.S. - in wiping out, lay the bin on its side and start at the outside edge then the top inside edges of the can and work your way inside. Probably will take about 45 mins to do the whole job.

I hope this isn't the end of Stenchy making his appearances on the blog. Save Stenchy!

Fill the garbage bin first, flush food scraps - it a great way to indirectly tell the City of Portland to take their food recycling program and "Shove it" where the sun don't shine. Recycle ONLY after the Garbage bin is filled. I used to be an avid recycler until the City of Portland rammed it down our throat, and mandated my participation - now I simply don't care. The meddling bureaucracy down at Portland City Hall can go to hell!

Great Moments in Civil Disobedience: The day my slop bucket showed up and I promptly threw it in with my plastic recycling. Bye bye!

just report the recycling can stolen: they'll bring u a new one for free.

Stenchy belongs on the Portland Building, and we really should move Portlandia down to Waterfront Park.

If they want to compost my discarded food products they can filter them out of the sewer and compost them from there. (Very good garbage disposal.) Think of all the truck miles and pollution that would be saved that way.

I still had to upgrade to the 90 gallon can because of the every-other week pickup, and sometimes it is still packed to the gills.

they just raised your garbage bill by $10 and you appear to be liking it!

Better to take that $120/yr and spend it on a trash compactor or garbage disposal.

BTW, can on use a garbage disposal to chop up solid items like paper plates and plastic forks? How about Styrofoam since they won't recycle that.


I bought biodegradable compost bucket bags ($13 for 125 at Costco) so that the green bin can stay clean. They work great and allow me to keep the smaller can. I typically use 2-3 bags a week, so I save big over getting the larger can.

Fwiw I like that the green bin gets picked up every week, I haven't had to use (and pay for) paper yard refuse bags at all this year. I used to get ringed a couple times a month during the spring and early summer.

they just raised your garbage bill by $10 and you appear to be liking it!

What I like is telling these people to get out of my face. For that I'd pay $20 a month (and probably will before long).

Of course, I would have preferred that they not have pulled this sophomoric stunt. But this is Portland, and that's way too much to ask for. As a wise philosopher once said, "You've got to learn to live with what you can't rise above." It isn't going to change until the bankruptcy finally hits. But it's coming.

They work great and allow me to keep the smaller can.

Wouldn't have worked for us. Food slop did not make up half of our landfill can -- not by a longshot. And so we need to pay for the bigger garbage can.

Weekly yard debris pickup is nice, particularly during leaf tax season, but we used very few yard debris bags during every-other-week pickup.

Now that we've reached the decision to buy the bigger can, I'm doing everything I can to tell the geniuses on the City Council what they tell residents all the time: two words, and they ain't "Portland recycles." That means sturdy plastic bags for all garbage.

Recycle ONLY after the Garbage bin is filled

I really hope you're kidding, Mark, but I get the sense from reading other threads that you are a very angry person and this is unfortunately one of your ways of acting it out. I'm not a fan of mandatory composting, which certainly does have its drawbacks. But there's no excuse - none whatsoever - for not at least recycling clean paper and glass and metal containers. If you're not doing that much, especially when it's been made so easy just about everywhere, shame on you - you really are contributing toward a much worse quality of life for your children and grandchildren.

there's no excuse - none whatsoever - for not at least recycling clean paper and glass and metal containers.

Hey, here's an excuse: It's a free country.

This might have been the intent of BPS at COP all along. They derive a significant amount of revenue from what is essentially, a franchise fee on your garbage. Cutting back on the amount hauled into Metro by composting even 20% of the food-related garbage would cut BPS' revenues.

recycling is a meme anyhow, haven't you ever seen the penn and teller skit?

The more I think about it, the more the greed/arrogance of COP leadership really screwed this thing up. If they had presented it as bi-weekly garbage gets a 50% rate cut (or heck, some other number even though 50% = the reduction in garbage service) and weekly stays the same, people would have made the effort to save the money and no hard feelings. Instead, this heavy handed, less service/same cost has been thrust upon everyone, and the summer smelled like rotting garbage.

There are far worse things harming the next generations than whether we recycle paper or glass. I do by the way, but I refuse to put food waste in my yard debris can. The big question is whether we are recycling our food waste properly and according to the website of Recology, food waste is prohibited from being put in with yard debris!! So why has the city said we should?

I don't mind changing my ways to help the planet. But I was already doing everything the government has a right to demand, and then some. Once they pushed me past that line, I jumped back the other way.

BTW, I am now throwing into the recycling more brown paper bags than ever, because I can no longer get plastic bags at the grocery checkout, and paper bags don't cut it when it comes to disposing of kitchen waste. The plastic bag ban is creating more waste, in addition to killing more trees.

semi-cynic - Nope not kidding, you see I expect the City Council to work for me - I don't work for them, so they can sort through my garbage at the transfer station, and unplug their sewage treatment plant for all I care, and I hope my "civil" disobedience is noticed. Garbage is filled first, then the recycling, and then yard debris - in that order.

JK, How about Styrofoam since they won't recycle that. Oh but they do recycle Styrofoam, they just don't know they do, put it in a brown paper bag you get from the grocery store and put the bag in the blue "Portland Recycles" cart.

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