Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Composting on Saturday was insane!
The food bank often receives produce that cannot be distributed because of spoilage. We gather on Saturday mornings, unwrap it and shovel it all into our piles. Generally, we have a few pallets of food to compost each week--around 3-5, sometimes 6-8. This week, we had 25! If you're having a hard time visualizing that amount, the tractor load of blueberries above is about 1/10 of a pallet's worth of food. The volunteer center attempted to recruit some extra help for us, but it is a hot and messy job and we ended up with only 10 people to handle it all. Not only was it a lot to compost, but all of those pallets had been sitting outside in the 100+ degree heat for 2 days before we got to it. There were 4 pallets of bagged lettuce that had liquified and had to be poured into the wheel barrels to be taken to the piles. I think that we were all shocked that we actually managed to clear all of the food and break down each of the cardboard boxes to be recycled.
I don't like to get preachy about things like this, but can everyone please stop buying individually wrapped produce? Do you really need your tomatoes to sit on styrofoam and be covered with plastic wrap? A few months ago, we had tons of individually wrapped sweet potatoes! Why? It is just so unnecessary. I think that most people would be shocked by the amount of plastic that we end up with at the end of a composting session. We're working on finding a recycler for it, but it all goes to the landfill for now...
Posted by megan/mason at 2:49 PM