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Organic Waste Disposal Rules Are Not Transparent

According to your Feb. 9 article about the green waste, for Athens, “all items that go into the green bin must be 100% plant-fiber based with no petroleum-based plastic, wax,” etc. This revelation prompted my letter printed in the Feb. 16 issue; I had been collecting my food waste in a clear plastic bag so it wouldn’t slop all over the bin. I was disappointed to learn I was doing it wrong. Then I saw Pamela Woncik’s letter which had a lot of good information about what goes where. I took her suggestion to switch to compostable bags. All was going fine, until I cleaned up a pile of old mail and came across the Athens Winter 2022 newsletter, which states the following information, contradicting what was written in the first news article:
“Are Bags Allowed? To prevent plastic waste, we prefer organic waste to be unbagged. Consider a paper bag or line container with newspaper. Plastic and ‘compostable/bioplastic’ bags are accepted in the organics container, but they must be CLEAR and contents inside the bag must be visible. Bags will be ripped open to liberate the contents and the bags will not be recycled or composted.”
So it seems what I was doing is acceptable, though not preferable. Since they won’t be composting the compostable bags, then it seems to be a bigger waste to buy them, when I already have a regular supply of clear plastic bags from my produce purchases. (I’m not going to stop bagging fresh green beans and other veggies, though I’m sure California will probably ban produce/meat bags too sometime in the future.) Athens may not prefer it, but I’ll be going back to plastic bags when my roll of compostable ones runs out. That is, of course, until they come out with new rules about what goes where and how to properly dispose of it.

Kim Blaha
La Cañada Flintridge

First published in the March 23 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.


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