Last October, Portlanders made a environmental and controversial change in the way they handle their garbage by (begrudgingly) welcoming compost into their curbside pick-up program. Six months later, people are still getting used to it. So, we're all wondering: Have those little stinky tan buckets made a difference? According to city data released yesterday by compost king (and mayor) Sam Adams, yes.
Since the service began, garbage haulers have reported a 44 percent decrease in the amount of residential garbage collected curbside. Wow! Adams say that means we diverted around 1,800 truckloads of garbage from landfills. And the city's estimate on the amount of compost Portland created in the first year? 89,000 tons.
It looks like some bitter locals are trying to sabotage the cutback in garbage pick-up, though, by sneakily dumping their garbage in their recycling bin. Apparently the city has notified the specific perpetrators of their crime and given them a warning. Awkward.
"Portland has always had one of the best recycling rates in the country and since the introduction of our new curbside collection plan we’ve only gotten better," said Adams in yesterday's release. Here's to decomposing food! Keep it up, Portland.