Green Bin Program [General]

2010 Jan 8
So here we are at the end of Week One of the Green Bin Program… any thoughts?

Are you using the program? What are your likes and dislikes… do you see it as a positive addition to your household routine, or is it a hassle?

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In the past, I haven’t composted in the wintertime… and have used my backyard composter only Spring thru Fall… from the moment I could get thru the snow to it, till I tossed out the Hallowe’en Pumpkin in early November. My backyard composter though went the way of the Dodo Bird when I moved to a much smaller property… it took up too much space in my postage stamp yard, produced more compost than I could handle, and all-in-all was ineffective for a one or two person household.

There are certainly elements to the new City of Ottawa Program that are attractive… in that it means everyone regardless of the size of their household will be able to participate... and I can now compost more items than I could in my backyard composter (cooking oils, meats, bones, popcorn bags, select paper products, wax paper, etc) … and because of that more items will be diverted from the landfill. And that is good for all of us (although I have many thoughts on garbage and recycling fees and how we seem now to be paying more for something that is supposed to be saving us money... Huh?)

Todate, we haven’t incorporated the Green Bin into our lives totally... "The Man" read thru the User’s Guide, and was turned off by some of the things that he read (storing garbage in one’s freezer in the summertime, particularly struck a blow against the program in his mind). So he is reluctant to get into collecting food items, the idea of rotting food in the garage definitely bothers him (I know technically the garbage had rotting food in it and was stored in the garage... but I just haven’t been able to get his mind around those items going into the green bin vs the trash as of yet). So far, I am only doing non-food items (except for tea bags and coffee filters) but I hope to ramp it up as he becomes more familiar with the green bin, and separating items. Honestly, I think that is the greatest impediment… he hates separating items… and this applies to all of the Recycling Program (Blue, Black & Green)… he sees that as work… he much preferred the days when one could toss everything into one bin under the sink.

If I have a complaint, it is about the inability to locate paper bag liners prior to Christmas… the City of Ottawa, should have ensured that when they rolled out this new program, that the supplies would be in the stores when people went looking for them, shortly after the delivery of the Green Bins. In the meantime, I have “made do” with a Grass Clipping Bag… had to cram it in a bit to fit, as it is too big, but based on what I’ve heard, the new custom fit bags are really really expensive… so I certainly can make do with the cheaper more available alternative (as far as I know they are acceptable and biodegradable… every home owner knows the little suckers love to rot in the middle of summertime before one can even get them to the curb… how many times I’ve had the bottom fall out of one filled with wet rotting grass clippings!)

Our first Green Bin collection day will be next week… I am intrigued to see the "launch" of the program (if not of the green bins off the back of the truck, lol). Don’t think that I’ll be hauling the bin out to the curb just yet though… there is hardly anything in it as of yet, and because we haven’t been doing food items, no smell. Believe I will wait it out a bit longer.

As an aside, did anyone read the Letters Section of the Ottawa Citizen this week regarding the Green Bin (Wednesday, January 6th)... I got a real chuckle out of the Letter written about how the Green Bin meant buying a lot of extra stuff www.canada.com looks like there could be something to the fact that the Green Bin will help the community economically... particularly the Construction Industry. LOL

2011 Feb 21
On the CBC news last Thursday evening they mentioned that the condos and apartments that will be participating are doing so on a volunteer basis. My building is not one of them. I wish I had investigated earlier so I could have gotten my apartment building on the list.

I grew up in Montreal and they started a blue bin program in the early 80's if memory serves me right. When I moved to Ottawa in the late 80's I was mortified to find out the city did not have a blue bin program. It's amazing how much garbage I would throw out and I live alone. I seem to remember a similar reaction when the blue bin program was introduced. Ahh Ottawa is slow to change. My dad had a big vegetable garden so we saved our fruit and vegetable peelings, egg shells, and coffee beans and tea leaves - everything went in the compost. Our family of three managed to keep the garbage down to one bag per week. Even though my building is not yet on the green bin program I am trying my bit to keep my garbage down to a minimum. I use the blue bin. I recycle glass jars and plastic containers when I can and what I can't use I give away on freecycle. I use the blue bin as a last resort. As for compost I have been giving my organic waste to a coworker that has a garden. It's not hard once you get the hang of it.

spud guy We have a garbage shute in our building for garbage only. We have blue bins as well but they are in the garage so you have to take your recyclables down to the bin. I use a couple of paper bags to transport my recyclables to the blue bin and when the bags are no longer serviceable I recycle them as well. One of my neighbours uses a cardboard box. Some of the tenants in the building have invested in little blue boxes to keep in their units. I know of only one person in my building that does not take her recyclables to the blue bin - she says she can't be bothered. When the green bin is introduced I imagine the bins will be kept in the basement near the blue bins and it will be up to the tennants to decide when/how to get their organic waste to the basement. As for the rodent problem, single family homes are already using the green bins so the city already has that model to work from. I "think" there was talk of more frequent pickups during the summer months but I could be wrong...