Why I Don’t Recycle My Organic Waste
Last October, when the Sanitation Department rolled out its organic waste recycling program, I thought, Oh no! Now, besides separating my glass, plastic, metal, paper, etc., I have to separate my organics. The green biodegradable bags required for this procedure are fairly expensive and not readily available. (Walgreens in Forest Hills sometimes sells them.) The paper lunch bags that can be substituted for these green bags are too small to hold much. But then I thought, Okay, why not? If the City wants to reduce its solid waste accumulation while providing valuable compost for its trees, I might as well help out. So for seven months I bought those expensive green bags, placed them in the kitchen container, and filled them with every dead leaf from my house plants, every scrap of food from my dinner plate, every fruit core, every vegetable peel, every egg shell, etc. I even retrieved organic material from my garbage pail that was inadvertently tossed there by other family members. Around Pesach time, I once had seven full green bags in my brown bin (mostly egg shells and potato peels!).
Do you know what I observed – four times – when the Sanitation Department came to collect the trash? On four separate occasions, I saw them dump my organics into my regular trash can and then dump the whole mess in the garbage section of the truck. (On organics collection days, they use a truck with two sections: one for organics and one for trash.) Yes, this occurred on those four times that I happened to look out my window at collection time. How many other times did it happen when I wasn’t watching?
So, if I am doing my part in separating organics but the City is just dumping this material with the trash, why should I continue to participate in the program? I think if the City is serious about composting, they should (1) make brown bin collection mandatory (not one single family on my entire block puts out the brown bin), and (2) require the Sanitation Department to do its part. Until then, I will dump all my organics into the trash.
Regarding the opinion piece in last week’s issue, entitled “Public School Heart, Part II”:
I note that the author refers to the Christian upcoming observance as Xmas as opposed to Christmas, in an attempt to blot out the name. First of all, and I can prove this if necessary, and you can even find the info online, the term Xmas has more religious significance to Christians than the term Christmas. Also, I find it disturbing that he says he is bothered by the displays of their holiday. Well, America is not a Jewish state, and if he really feels this way, maybe he should live elsewhere. Also, I am sure that he and others in the Orthodox community would (and rightly so) be outraged if a non-Jew would say that he or she is bothered by the Chanukah displays.
Kew Gardens Hills