Let today mark the inauguration of our new green waste system! I broke a bottle of Cristal across it’s noble prow… I mean, lined it carefully with a biodegradable liner and christened it with a fresh banana peel and two tea bags.
Let me go back a bit. Growing up, we always had a separate place for green waste. We didn’t always use the decomposed soil for growing, but we kept the biodegradables out of the garbage. Paying for garbage by weight will have that effect. So will living in the woods, where leaves aren’t just things that fall on your lawn and get carried away in bags. You can’t live surrounded by trees and not think how weird it is for leaves that happen to come from food to be taken to a landfill and… sit. Just sit. More or less forever. Nothing ever growing out of them again. It’s just plain unnatural.
And by unnatural, I don’t mean a crime against Mother Nature (although it is). I mean just plain weird, like your baby sister going on dates. Weird.
Then I moved to Germany, where garbage is separated into bio-waste, packaging and actual garbage as a matter of course.
Then I went to college. I was lucky to get aluminum cans recycled. One year I set up a recycling bin in our apartment, six inches from the trash can, and my roommate still threw her drink cans in the trash. (Not you, M. dear.) But at least there were bins at school. The suburban apartment I moved to next had no bins. Not for anything. I didn’t even know that was legal. Hm. Considering the landlord, that’s actually a possibility.
In a more reputable suburb, I considered asking for urban compost bins on our wedding registry—we had lovely garden approximately the size of my six-man tent. I know because I once aired the tent in the garden.—but we were moving, so it didn’t seem worthwhile. Besides, who knows if I would have gotten any? My youngest cousins picked a set of Pyrex over the streamlined retro trash can I had listed “so that you won’t think of us when you’re taking out the trash.” I thought they had a point.
So now, through no effort of my own—short of acceptance into a foreign college and moving three thousand miles around the world—my struggles have at last been vindicated. I am the proud owner and user of a little black bio-waste bin. So much delay for what is, in the end, nothing more than a return to the ways of my parents.
Damn, that sounds profound. Sweet. And a nature post just in time for Beltane. I am on fire today.