Organics recycling – Fresno style: Take two

Landfill, Perth, Western Australia

So, yesterday I received a mailer alerting me (it was addressed to “Resident”) to restart – effective Mar. 1, 2024 – recycling organic wastes, like food scraps. Why? Well, I know why: To keep such out of landfills where it could and presumably does, emit methane – otherwise known as landfill gas – into the air.

On that mailer, listed are three basic instructions:

1. Organics to be kept apart from regular trash
2. Organics to be stored in a container to be kept in the kitchen
3. Organics to be placed in the compost (green) container come refuse curbside collection day.

It’s a laudable program although I don’t quite understand the motivation behind it this late in the game.

For you see it was tried earlier and it did not succeed apparently. Which prompts me to ask why the program was brought back. It’s a City of Fresno program funded by CalRecycle.

In order for this to be a success as I see it, city residents must make a concerted effort to separate out the organics from the everyday trash, store that in a separate container and then place them in the green-waste container on the day the refuse is to be collected.

As to why instructions state placing such organic waste in the so-designated green-waste container on the day of pickup, honestly, that seems a little confusing or contradictory considering, as I understand it, that recommendations are to wheel refuse containers out to the curbside no sooner than 6:00 p.m. the evening before. Maybe the recommendation isn’t to be taken literally.

Next, I’ll know in short order if the program is working in the neighborhood where I live just by the presence or absence of green-waste containers placed curbside. That would be a tell-tale sign that the program is working or not.

Of course, I’ll participate because it’s good for the air and environment, just like I did the first time the program was in effect.

I really want to see this program succeed this time just like I wanted to see it succeed on the first go-around.

The question is: Will my fellow residents step up? We shall see. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

Above and corresponding, connected home-page-featured images: Ashley Felton.

— Alan Kandel

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