I Love Legal U-Turns: The Portland Compost Model

I’ve always said you have to love a state that allows you make a legal u-turn (California).  It’s so logical.

Portland, Oregon is an opposite-direction kind of place.  In thinking it through, it’s hard to know where to start.  The city’s commitment to green living is unequaled.  The food culture is astonishing.  Leading-edge restaurants.  Food-cart heaven.  Willamette Valley wine country.  Ecstatic micro-brews.   Free in-city transportation.  High-speed transportation to the ‘burbs.  Bike lanes everywhere.

With all this, compost seems like such a dull subject but, wait… true to Portland, it’s an upside down subject. 

The city’s curbside composting program launched on Mon.  Basically, every city household (and a few outside the city) received a compost bucket, into which go most tablescraps, coffee grounds, bones, rotten vegetables, etc.  The compost bucket is dumped into the large yard waste and recyclables bin for pick-up.

What’s upside down is how the volume of actual garbage vs recyclables in Portland (recyclables = recycs plus compost) is the opposite of the volume of garbage vs recyclables in other cities, Cincinnati included.  The evidence of this truth is that residents are shifting to weekly food and yard debris pick-up and every-other-week pick-up of garbage.  Nice.

When you take the simple step of looking at that item in your hand and deciding where to discard it, the choice is easy and very, very beneficial.

Check out OregonLive.com  http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2011/10/portland_composting_begins_mon.html

I love an upside down city.

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