Yes, it's time for the weekly conversation in Portland over proper composting techniques. Only this time the debate is happening in City Council. The city commissioners are weighing a new plan that will let people dump their food scraps in the yard waste bin rather than the regular trash can.
If the plan passes, right around Halloween a brown compost bucket will show up on your porch. You'll be able to put any and all food in it, then dump said food into the big yard waste bin.
This seems like it would be a simple switch, yet it's slated to cost $1.15 million and require hiring seven temporary staffers. It also changes regular, non-compost trash pickup to every other week, because running all three services (trash, recycling, socialist food scrap relocation program) every week would add up to $8 to our monthly bills. The 20 percent of people who are the biggest trash tossers will see their rates increase anyway under the new plan, even with the service switch. City council is hearing the plan today and will vote next week.
A nice touch: The sample compost bin being modeled in city council is lined with with a page of the Oregonian. I'M NOT EVEN KIDDING.
There are clear environmental benefits to the plan: Industrial compost release less greenhouse gasses than regular landfills plus the compost site is closer than our current landfill, so there's less pollution involved in hauling.
But do we really need seven staffers for the first months of the compost rollout on hand to explain to people that they can now put any food into the compost bin?
Bones! Cheese! Meat! Kale! New York Times-lauded novelty pie slices! It can all go in!