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Green Bins Are Causing Confusion

First published in the Feb. 16 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

Count me as one of the frustrated residents unsure what to do with my food scraps that are now supposed to go in the green bin.
I was glad to see the article on this topic in the recent Outlook Valley Sun issue, but disappointed with the few answers given. (Where do those greasy pizza boxes go?)
A month or so ago, I noticed my parents, residents of a neighboring city, collecting their table scraps in a clear plastic bag for disposal. They were told to collect scraps in a clear, plastic bag to add to their bin. Since we also have the same trash service (Athens) I started doing the same. Per your article, this seems to be what NASA trash allows, but not what Athens wants here in La Cañada.
The thing is, I don’t mind putting my weekly collection of banana peels, eggshells, chicken bones, moldy leftovers, and whatnot on top of cut grass, leaves or other yard trimmings which will soak up liquids. But at this time of year, I don’t have green trimmings on a weekly basis. I just can’t imagine the disgusting mess of having goopy, molding leftovers slopped all over my otherwise empty green bin. My weekly food waste only fills one of those two plastic bags I get when picking out fruits and veggies at the supermarket, so it’s not much. It feels silly rolling out my trash can with so little in it, but I’m not going to let that kind of waste sit for longer than it has, too.
I don’t expect my trash bin to smell good, but that will put it on a whole other level of stink, which potentially attracts wildlife. I also think it’s a bit ridiculous (and a waste of water) to wash out my trash bins, so I won’t be doing that.
So, Athens, if you’re reading this, how come you won’t let us bag our food waste here in La Cañada, like you do elsewhere? I’m strongly considering switching to NASA for this reason only. I’m not really excited about any of the options, but I’m trying to do my part. There has got to be a better way to make this work.

Kim Blaha
La Cañada Flintridge


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