Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Monday, July 31, 2017

You know that green pail the city gave you?

I guess they actually want you to use it.  
Mainly for composting food scraps, not for a weed bin or small diaper pail.  

I guess the reason more people aren't using the composting pail is that it so difficult and confusing.  To overcome our city's residents' stupidity, the City got some grant money from the state DEQ to produce instructional videos.  (Even if the money didn't come from the City's general fund, it's still taxpayer money.)

The City didn't consider that people may not be using them because they just don't want to.  Lake Oswegans are not stupid and can get all the information they want from the internet on how to use a compost pail - these are not new inventions.  How do you overcome lack of motivation with a video? How will anyone find the videos on the city website even if they want to see them?  Or how can they  stumble across them in any fashion?
"Following this video, Republic Services will collect data on participation rates in Lake Oswego's composting program and report this information back to DEQ.  The ultimate goal is to reduce the amount of Food scraps going to the landfill, which can be measured by increasing green cart weights and volumes."
Raise your hand if you think weighing the gr en carts will yield much information.  After a storm, during leaf season or after heavy pruning, the cart stays full for a month and is rarely less than 3/4 full - of yard waste.
Below is my version of an educational program the city can use (no credit needed.  ;-)).  The city could put the instructions on their website in case someone didn't want to watch the videos, or put them on cheap (compostavle) paper to be included in the Hello LO mailer.  Without a bunch of fancy prose!  Just the facts mam' - I'm a busy person so don't waste my time.  Fast and easy wins the day in messaging and composting.

Composting Garbage in 5 Simple Steps.  
  1. Line compost pail with paper bag or old newspaper.
  2. Put food scraps the pail. (See list of what to include and what to leave out.)
  3. When pail gets full or on trash pick up day, empty it into your big green yard debris can.  Include the paper pail lining.  
  4. Do not put plastic bags or other inorganic things into pail or yard debris can
  5. Wash the pail in your sink with soap and water, or put into dishwasher to clean.  Wash garden cart with a hose.  
  • If pail smells when food scraps are in it, you should empty and wash the pail.  Use vinegar or baking soda to remove residual smells from pail and wash more often.  See video for more involved odor-reducing methods.  
PS:  If instructional videos don't work, will involuntary use of pails and  heavy-handed enforcement measures prompt usage?
From the City of Lake Oswego website:
Residential Organics Composting 

Hello Lake Oswego! Welcome to our LOComposts information portal! Everything you need to know about composting in our City is located here. Lake Oswego is proud to offer curbside composting to its residents, just like Portland and Forest Grove!
Ok, but what does this even mean? How much extra work will this be for me?
We have put together a series of educational and entertaining videos to help you learn the ins and outs of how the composting program works. Let the Beardirific retired Portland Timber and LO resident, Nat Borchers, teach you how to be a master composter!

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