Rebecca Norman wrote:When my sister lived in a condo in Boston that didn't allow composting, she saved her compost for a pedalling compost guy who would come by with a cart on specified days and pick it up.
This kind of system would require much more involvement from you, but also allows you to strictly control what materials you receive. If anyone puts out yucky mixed crap that was on the "Do not include" list, they can be cut from future collections.
It is sad but true that while some people would be conscientious and deliver only truly compostable things, others would think it's just a convenient place to drop off mixed garbage.
Marco Banks wrote:The largest concern with anything like this is how will you assure that it will be maintained? Having the best intentions are not a sufficient guarantee that it will be kept-up and carefully looked after.
1. People will start use it as a dump for all things organic like their food waste and leaves . . . and then larger stuff like tree limbs and scrap lumber and that giant tree stump that they dug out for two days with a massive excavator.
2. And then one morning you'll show up and there is an old mattress, a dead washer and drier, and 800 lbs. of waste concrete, brick and shingles from a tear-down. So . . . someone will need to police the yard, fence it, inspect loads coming in . . . strict limits on what can or cannot be dropped off.
3. It will smell. It will. Maintaining a large public compost facility is very different from a home pile where you just throw in a handful of browns and turn the pile quickly to absorb odors. You'll want your site downwind from any NIMBY's, and any trucks that are delivering compostables to your site will need access from a non-residential street.
4. Anything of a decent commercial size (like more than 2 acres) will attract pests. Sea gulls, rats, raccoons . . . those sorts of friends. Try keeping sea gulls out once they've found that there is an easy source of food.
5. Cities are worried about liability. If there is the remotest chance that someone might be hurt, they run for legal council and wrap everyone up in bubble wrap. Any plan you present to the city needs to have that base covered. Have your own legal counsel speak to issues of assumption of risk and release of liability.
I wish you well. I don't mean to be a Debbie Downer, but I worked for years to try to get my city to just make the wood chips available from the city tree trimmer. How complicated would that be? Just dump them somewhere and let citizens come by of their own free will and pick them up. 10 years later, they are still considering it. Wood chips. Nothing stinky, nothing needing to be turned, nothing that would attract vermin . . . and they are still so risk averse.
Perhaps an alternative would be to start a compost club, with membership, insiders vs. outsiders . . . only the cool kids get to come in. Membership requires that you show up every two weeks to put in an hour of turning, but membership has its rewards (2 yards of compost every couple of months). If you can only get into the club by membership or application, it would keep the slackers out and you'd be able to maintain quality and keep the expectations up regarding what gets composted.
wayne fajkus wrote:Austinpedallers.com is something you might look into. Their website is down, not sure if that means it is no more. Hopefully just a temporary glitch.
From a permie point of view, its great. People set out their box of compostables. Guys on special rigged bicycles come and pick it up. Its something that would have to be established neighborhood by neighborhood becsuse of the bicycles range. The great part is the regionality means no 2 acre heaps.
I think its a membership. I think they swap out with you, bringing you a share of the compost.
It recieved national exposure when it was on an episode of "growing a greener world".
City wide is huge and a red tape nightmare, something like this that can be scaled neighborhood by neighborhood seems encouraging.