Friday, March 13, 2009

My landlord started composting (and everyone joined in)

So, remember my landlord? The one that brought me to the baptism party? I mentioned that I was very interested in trash, recycling, and composting. The next day, no joke, there was a bag next to the trash can for organic scraps. I couldn't believe how quick he went for it! One lady who has lived here for a year says she had never seen any food waste composting. Until now...

See? Look at the photos. The first shows the layout of the kitchen, with the water bottle, trash (blue plastic bucket), and the new bag for food scraps, perched below the water bottle. (Someone is pouring out coffee.)

Here's a closeup of the bag of food scraps. This household eats a lot of fruit and drinks a lot of coffee.

By the end of the first week of putting food scraps in the plastic bag, I started to get nervous... fruit flies were starting to arrive, and I couldn't tell if this was a very energetic start that would crash and burn without follow through.

But no. Agustin pulled through like a composting champion.

It turned out that he already new how to compost -- he had put his leaves and yard debris in a layered pile for years at his "rancho", a property out of town. We went out to the ranch together where he showed me his set-up.

A month later, the original plastic-bag-on-the-side has been upgraded to a big bucket under the stairs, labeled, "Basura Organica!" It has a loose fitting top that is easy to pick up and dump your food scraps inside. The best part is that Agustin gets to bring along his assorted tenants on the organic diversion ride. Even though the bucket is 20 feet from the shared kitchen, everyone (at least nine people at the moment) brings their mango peels, coffee grounds, watermelon rinds, and vegetable scraps over to the bucket. Agustin then transports the organic scraps from the house out to his property on the outskirts of town every weekend. (He makes the trip regardless of whether or not he is transporting organics.)

I don't know how much I really influenced this situation -- maybe he was planning to start composting last month -- but it sure feels good to be a part of it.

1 comment:

Jennie and Nate Card said...

This is awesome and truly inspiring. I think you had a lot of influence on making this happen. If nothing else, you push him to get started. Congrats.