The city of Mountain View started a Curbside Food Scraps Program this week and our “yard trimmings cart” is now called the “compost cart.” I’m probably more excited about the cute little kitchen pail than I should be—that’s just me. Anything to do with composting is fascinating, whether I’m doing it myself, in my own yard, or participating in our city program, I love it.
There was a pilot program last year, and apparently, those residents did a good job putting their food scraps in the kitchen pail and dumping it in their big “compost cart.” Now the program includes all single family homes in the city, and in 2018, it will expand to include condominiums and apartments.
The pilot participants thought the program was great because it reduced the amount of garbage that their house made, the residents learned more about recycling and composting, and the carts were emptied on a weekly basis so they didn’t have a chance to smell bad.
Once the city picks up our compost, it goes to Recology South Valley Organics compost facility in Gilroy – it becomes nutritious compost for farmers all over California.
The kitchen pails are odor and blemish resistant and have a fancy lid with ventilation holes so the food scraps dry out faster, in order to avoid the stink. I really like that the lid stays open if you want, so you can easily throw scraps in it while you’re preparing food. Along with the kitchen pail that was left at my front door a few weeks ago, was some plastic bags for the pail. They’re biodegradable, so they can be tossed in the outdoor Compost Cart.
The kinds of things that will be inside your compost bin will be food scraps like bread and pasta, dairy products, both solid and semi solid, eggshells, and leftover meat, fish, and bones. Paper plates, coffee filters, used paper towels and pizza boxes will be in the compost cart too. And any kind of yard trimming, except bamboo, should be included in the compost cart.
A second big change is that our big outdoor compost carts (previously the yard trimmings cart) will be emptied every week! Yayyyy! This is great news! In the Autumn, it is difficult to fit all the leaves in the bin and then have to wait two weeks for it to be emptied again. My backyard compost pile won’t even hold all the leaves.
Collection days for garbage and the recycling carts will remain the same.
The new kitchen compost pails are a free program and the fact that our compost carts will be emptied every week is a serious improvement.
Now that I’ve been using the kitchen pail for a few weeks, I find it to be incredibly convenient when we’re preparing a meal. Just pop the lid open (it stays open) and throw all kinds of stuff that I would have previously put in the garbage (cucumber peelings, peach pits, used paper towels, tea leaves). I’m going to have much less garbage! I’m willing to go so far as to say the kitchen pail is kind of cute and it even matches my green wallpapered kitchen.
I love that our city is committed to zero waste and I feel good about doing my part. Thank you to the city of Mountain View and Recology for the new Curbside Food Scraps program. I love Mountain View.