This Wednesday, Portland City Council is due to hear a report examining at how well the city's year-plus—and pointlessly and irrationally controversial—food-scrap composting experiment has fared. It's about what you'd expect from a document mostly meant to give city commissioners and city planners a chance to wax poetically about trash: A lot less of it is heading to landfills—a lot more food scraps are winding up in yard waste bins.
But the best part? To test out, roughly, how many Portlanders were going along with the compost program, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability commissioned a "field study" wherein intrepid and curious workers actually had to peek inside the garbage cans outside a random sample of 1,000 Portland homes.
"Based a positive identification of food scraps," nine in 10 green garbage cans contained kitchen slop—meaning, if you count homes where no one put out a green cart at all, close to 78 percent of residents participated overall.
Of course, no matter how good the numbers look, a disturbingly vocal and cranky minority of us won't ever be swayed and won't ever come around to the idea that biweekly pickup of regular garbage just isn't a real inconvenience. I say that even after having had, for a while, two kids crapping and pissing into disposable plastic diapers, which makes me one of the hordes of supposedly aggrieved Portlanders critics love to invoke.
Mayor-elect Charlie Hales has mentioned his willingness to find a way to restart some kind of weekly option for people who really want it. I'm just not sure who those people are.