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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Just a hunch

A reader asks, Do you think Portland's wonderful new food slop program has anything to do with this?

At our place, the problem is maggots and flies. But not for long. We're done. We've got a call in to the garbage man. We're going with a new, bigger landfill can, and the thickest plastic garbage bags we can buy. Once we wash out the yard debris bin, we'll never put food slop in it again. At least not until the Blumenauerites come and arrest us for not doing so.

It was an interesting experiment, but it's over. We'd rather pay the extra than live the Sam Rand Way™. Sorry, Stenchy.

Comments (28)

Interestingly, this has been one of the quietest years I've witnessed around my SW home. I had assumed it was because of the wet May and June we had. The yellow jackets that go dormant over the winter are the first ones to emerge as the temperatures climb the next year. They are three or four times bigger than the aggressive offspring of the hive that are now causing problems.

When the dormant yellow jackets emerge in the Spring and occupy underground tunnels like mole runs, or other holes by tree bases, the steady rains can and do drown their early attempts to start the colony.

I've taken care over the years to look for the big colony starters that have wintered over and emerged in Spring. They are quite big, but very clumsy and slow. Sometimes they make their way into the house via a piece of firewood, where they gone dormant in a crevice or under loose bark, and them awakened in the heat of the house.

These and others you can find rolled up in the patio umbrella stored on the back porch, or in the outdoor blinds rolled up for the winter, or a pair of work gloves left on the porch in the Fall, or anyway else they can find a sheltered spot to spend the winter and grow to become a colony starter. I do enjoy striking them "pre-emptively."

I *think* having killed the colony starters early in the Spring has helped prevent hives around my home, but I can only speculate. We have enjoyed fewer of the little beasties ovet the years, however.

(By the way... In days of yore the best means for eradicating the hive was to dump a cup of gasoline down the hive's opening. Yeah, I know - superfund site. But it worked. For additional jollies, a match finished up the job with a, uhmmm, bang. Didn't work so well in hedges or houses as in the video.)

A good 5/8 hp garbage disposal is a good investment too.
But please don't let Stency sit idle. Some of us have grown attached to him and would appreciate seeing him from time to time!

I really feel sorry for you folks in the city. I lived in Portland since 1953. I moved to Clackamas County one month ago. I live in a private community near Sandy Oregon that has its own private water (no fluoride) and sewer system. I purchased a manufactured home in this community. My space rent fees which include garbage, water and sewer are about the same as my property tax was in Portland. I purchased a manufactured home in this community called Big Valley Woods. My property tax on my home is less than $300 a year. My home owners insurance is a third of what it was for my house in NE Portland. My auto insurance is about 13% less than in Portland. I am 4 miles from all shopping, ie, Fred Meyer, Safeway, Grocery Outlet, Walgreens. I am a half an hour away from downtown Gresham with any other national chain and shopping experience I need, By the way the gasoline at the Sandy Fred Meyer is one of the lowest in the area. Oh, my community picks up garbage anytime I put it out at the end of the driveway. No extra charge. I can leave anything. No problem. I have hiking trails, several lakes, a creek, abundant wildlife, and no mosquitos or vermin. I have paved streets, street lights, and the area is relatively crime free. My new neighbors told me the last time there was a burglary in the community was ten years ago. I am 30 minutes from any recreation I want to have. Mt. Hood, Multnomah Falls, hiking, hunting and fishing. I voted yes on Clackamas ballot measure 3-401 (anti Milwaukie Light Rail). I am looking forward to voting out the current incumbent county commissioners this November. I am retired and don’t need to commute, but some neighbors here do and the trip isn’t that terrible. One funny anecdote, since we moved here, every time we travel on Highway 26, we count bicycles. So far after a month we have counted fifteen bicyclers. This is not scientific as but we have been travelling west on 26 at least once a day. So there is life outside of Portland and the idiots that run the city. My heart hurts so much when I read the news of my beloved city being ruined by these far left ideologists.

Wow, I am starting to think that my household is completely abnormal in terms of the amount refuse my household generates. I take out one or two small bags of compost a week - the small biodegradable bags that fit in the countertop compost thing (not the crappy one the City gave us for free, a better one with a filter and a lid that actually latches - and I line it with a regular plastic bag which I toss in the garbage bin when I toss the compost in the other bin...it keeps the counter compost bin mostly clean most of the time). I don't even fill a large kitchen garbage bag every week (unless we have a party), much less the rolling bin for it every 2 weeks. There's some yard waste here and there, and we rarely have enough recycling that fills the large blue rolling bin (unless there are lots of boxes around like during the holidays or when one moves).

We are a household of two adults and two dogs. I don't know what folks who have babies in diapers do...that would get nasty really fast.

If they only picked up our garbage/recycle/compost/yard waste once a month, we would probably be OK (the recycle bin might actually be full by then). I often skip putting any bins out, because I am lazy and they are mostly empty. Even the compost/yard waste bin doesn't get that disgusting sitting for an extra week...and honestly, I really thought it would. I thought we might have pest problems and it would stink badly with the lid closed (of course it stinks inside). Hasn't happened.

Are folks really finding this composting that onerous? Are you filling up your garbage bins every week to overflowing? I'm genuinely curious.

I know a couple of kids in the mix would create a lot more of everything for the bins, but it seems that it would still work for a family of 3-4 OK.

there is life outside of Portland and the idiots that run the city.
JK: Problem is that those idiots are trying for force the failed Portland experiment on the rest of the state.


Karlock,some day soon let's get together and have a beer.

Jill-O, unless you really hadn't paid attention, you'd realize your garbage collection service was cut in half while your bill was increased.

I don't doubt that this is okay for some people. I do doubt the abilities of those people to comprehend what getting screwed is.

I have no doubt you are frugal in your manner of living. Good on you. But lots of folks may not have the benefits you have for that lifestyle. And until you have had children, you do not comprehend the impact they can make.

But the bottom line is this: Less service, higher rates, no public input. It's called government.

Oh, John and JK, count me in anytime, anywhere.

PDXL - it's not less service, it's less garbage service, more compost/yard debris service. I have no problem with the program (only three, sometimes 4 in the house), but I agree they should have kept weekly garbage service as an option for those who want it. It was stupid to force it. The whole program could have been rolled out as a choice, though I expect it would have been far more expensive. Much like the fluoride debate, the problem is the lack of choice, not the desired outcome (though the use of methane-capture at the composting facility should have been "duh" automatic - really, the landfills capture that, reducing smell and generating electricity).

Lately, we have been putting our trash inside the newly mandated paper grocery bags, topping em with something recyclable like a cereal box, and putting em in the blue can. Most of our neighbors do the same thing.

Spin it how you want, Huck. It's less service. Recycling has been around for a long, long time. We aren't creating more garbage thru recycling, we're simply having our garbage collected less often. As JillO states, the recycling doesn't NEED to be picked up every week. So now we have three times the truck traffic (people can opt in for weekly trash pick up), and the actual service we receive costs more, delivers less.

How about weekly trash service, bi-weekly recycling services? Cut way down on those nasty internal combustion earth-killing ve-hickles! The CoP expected people to believe that they could reduce 50% of their trash by keeping food scraps out of the trash can. REALLY?? do YOU, or did YOU really throw away that much food?

Get real. We pay more, organic refuse is then sold to the composters, and the compost they create is sold again.

FTR, I do agree that weekly garbage service should be an option for those that need it. But, as Huck said, they switched every other week yard waste for every other week garbage - which, as I have seen in practice, works for some of us.

I really don't consider myself especially frugal. I've never really been a rabid recycler and never did the compost separation until forced to do so by the city. I'm just not finding it to be that much of a pain in the ass as some folks.

I think we should all be able to choose what we need in terms of garbage pickup if we have to pay for it directly. We are never going to get to vote on service increases, things will always be more expensive over time...especially when they involve trucks, fuel and personnel...

Garbage collection used to be and should still be a private enterprise. It worked fine when it was just that here in Portland and elsewhere. A little competition in providing services goes a long way.

Jill-o, you are just looking at what is happening in Portland. Outside of the city garbage services are much cheaper. Waste Management either got a good deal from the Portland mayor and commissioners because they are so stupid, or WM is giving them kickbacks for this abhorrent overcharging for service. If you look at what garbage service charges are around the country, Portland fees are enormously high. There is suspicion that Waste Management is a mafia controlled company you know.

As I predicted a few months ago when I mysteriously received the Portland Food Slop program newsletter at my address in Lake Oswego, our fine "we want to do everything Portland does and do everything Metro tells us to do" City government now has an on-line survey asking if Lake Oswegans want to change our garbage service to incorporate the food slop program.

As one City Council person recently stated, "Metro is the boss."

November can't come soon enough.

Yellow jackets are too smart to go after Portlanders' slop. Blame it on the weather. Only flies and rats love that stuff. The vermin that health depts. used to work to get RID of! We really are going back in time -as the young central planners continue to look at the world thru magical, rose-colored glasses. They shoulda been there, then they'd know how good they have it now.

Well, there IS a winner as a result of this whole Portland food slop program: more mice and rats, more coyote food, so... there's that.

By the way, I'm not a coyote hysteric; I'm a coyote defender. But even I would not want them hanging around my house waiting to pounce on vermin. Nor should they be encouraged to do so by a City garbage policy that appears to be causing an increase in the rat population (or at least bringing mice and rats closer to residential homes).

We moved to unincorporated Washington County six weeks ago. Two kids in diapers. Every Monday night is a party when we put the trash out and realize that we don't have to take a sledge hammer to it to fit one more parcel of trash. I've never been happier to have a non-Portand address.

Jack - we flush a lot of leftover or old food scraps down the toilet - as a sort of protest to hopefully cause problems down the line at the end of the big pipe. Remember flush 3-4 times to get it out into the main line. We NEVER used the big green "can" for anything other than vegetable matter animal matter, egg shells, go down the toilet, and bones go in the garbage. This is the closest thing we come up with as a way to "stick it" to the City of Portland.

Hey Jack, this state in general is having a down year for bugs. Not hardly any. I have to pay attention to this stuff as a producer of pesticide free food.

Wait for an up year. When the bugs are bad, then put a few years of bad city sanitation on top of that. It'll be unlivable. Pesticides all over the place.

John B., I'm originally from Brooklyn, NY...yes, I have heard the rumors about Waste Management. ;o)

This is my first time living in a city where you pay for garbage pick-up directly to a private carter. In NY and Chicago (other cities I have lived in), it's a municipal service using city employees and city-owned vehicles. NYC was just starting to do the recycling thing when I left...I have no idea how either city works now. When I lived in those cities, it seemed to work fine there...frankly, I find the whole concept of private haulers odd.

I've lived here for almost 11 years now, and I have lived in an apartment and in a house at various points over those years. If you hate this system so much, move to an apartment - a large building isn't subject to any composting requirements.

I really do get how folks are upset about how the city did this, and personally, I have serious reservations that this whole composting is being done in the right way...but making less waste, and being conscious of the waste you do make - well, that's not a bad thing.

If you hate this system so much, move to an apartment

Thank you, Homer Williams. No, hon, just pick up the effin' landfill garbage once a week, the way it's been done since forever.

And please spare us the recycling sermonette. We recycle everything that's recyclable. And we have composted vegetable scraps for about 20 years now.

We ordered a new 60-gallon garbage can today, and we'll be buying some thick, nasty plastic garbage bags at Freddy's. It will be well worth $10 or $12 a month extra not to live in the stink of the Sam Rand fantasies. We are NOT storing garbage in our freezer. We are NOT washing out our garbage can every two weeks, OR sprinkling it with baking soda. We are NOT living with maggots crawling all over our driveway. We are NOT buying bio-bags from Eileen Brady. As George H.W. Bush used to say, "Not. Gonna. Do it."

Hey, back off, the apartment building I last rented in had actual off-street parking and was over 15 years old! ;o)

And yeah, I do think that you should have the option to have your garbage picked up once a week, if you want it. I think we should have options for every week, every other week and once a month and be charged accordingly for our choices. I don't want you making that choice for me any more than I want the city to make that choice for me.

Other than buying those bio bags (and I could do without them, I suppose), I don't do any of those other things, and I have no idea why you are raving about it and shouting in caps about it...you don't have to either...no one is making you do any of it.

Wow, sorry to bring in other points to what is clearly supposed to be just about folks' right to make as much garbage as they want and have it picked up for the same price (I guess forever, right?)... and sorry I hit a nerve, though I agree with you on most issues, I just don't usually see most issues as black/white.

And really calling me Homer Williams and hon just for reminding you and others that some of us are neither married with kids and own homes OR are single in rental apartments with no cars (again - not just black and white here, Jack, I am in neither camp)...well, not your finest response, sir.

It was nicer to you than what I really wanted to write, hon.

I decided from the get go that my yard debris container would not be filled with food waste. We have had it for years and it does not smell. . . and as I have carried on before I seriously question putting food waste in with yard compost!! Not just me here, as Recology website:
We cannot accept "wet" household garbage, or waste which is liable to decay, spoil, or become putrid.

My slob bucket is being used to store the many pieces of propaganda we receive from the city!


Really, you think suggesting people give up their house/yard/privacy/etc. and move to an apartment because of the cities stupid garbage/compost program is appropriate?

Wow, just, wow...

Oops, I meant slop bucket, but slob, slop, whatever fits!


Since you seemed to "genuinely" want feedback from someone the program doesn't work for, let me help you out. I've posted this on bojack before, but for you it's new!

My wife and I have five kids, ranging in age from 10 months to 11 years old. That's a household of seven people, with two of them in diapers.

Your household of two humans can probably get by just fine with the current system, but mine cannot. Our recycling bin is completely full every week (which is a good thing, right?). Our yard debris bin is usually empty, except for some pizza boxes, because we don't have much excess and use the garbage disposal.

That leaves us with the trash bin. Since the change, I had to order the larger bin because trash for seven people for two weeks - including diapers for two - doesn't fit in the medium bin, no matter how much we recycle. So now I'm paying MORE money for a bigger bin, and my trash is getting picked up LESS.

Every two weeks the big bin is completely full, and that's after stepping on the trash bags to minimize the space they take up. And the trash bin, which I used to keep in the garage to keep it safe from neighborhood cats, now stinks so bad that I had to move it outside. It is also covered in flies and other bugs every time I go out to dump something.

This program does not work for my family. It costs us more, helps us less, and (most importantly) does not get us to compost. Lose/Lose/Lose.

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