Trash in a jar
Trash in a jar: #MakeChangeNotTrash

#MakeChangeNotTrash: Trash in a jar! (Half way composting)

Being inspired by Bea Johnson's talk on Zero Waste Life, I decided to start separating my waste. Bio-degradable waste such as vegetables, fruits, flowers, garden leaves, wood and pencil shavings or other organic or kitchen waste is known as wet waste

The picture you see above showcases my effort to sort the wet waste that is destined to composting. But giving the fact I live on the 5th floor in an Italian city, I am not sure where my organic waste is going to end up. You are lucky if you have a garden and you can compost it accordingly. Or, some countries have farmers markets and special spots were farmers collect the organic waste that would end on their land fields.

In my case, I started putting material for compost (vegetable peels, seeds, food remains, etc) in a plastic bag. When it is hot you cannot keep all this mix in a plastic bag too much, because the combination of scents and process of fermentation is starting. So - it was not the best solution but we kept it like this for a while.

Then my mom sent me a jar with marmalade big enough to store the rests of food to be composted into it for 3 days. We keep it in the fridge until it gets filled. The other difficult part is when you go outside to put the collected waste for composting into a big trash bin with a "organic only" title on it. My curiosity didn't have limits when i saw that this "Organic only" bin was one of the smallest. Besides, when I looked into it for the first time, I saw a mix of paper (thrown by irresponsible people) and organics stored in a plastic bag. My main question was, how organic waste ends up thrown into organic bin IN A PLASTIC BAG. Luckily, every bin has a sticker on it with the name of the company responsible for the waste management. In our region it is called AMIAT.

I called hot line of this company, but without any luck. After dealing this number for a couple of hours, got someone at the end of the line. My first question in my bad spoken Italian was: "Can I know how many people are working in your office to respond the hot line? " The answer was: First we were 19. Now it is just 7 of us. ( 50 Euros every year are paid by citizens in Italy as tax for the waste management.) Then my curiosity raised on the way of collecting the organic food into the main organic bin. There are organic, biodegradable plastic bags with the "OK to Compost" note. Such a relief!  But the joy did not last long. We looked into our plastic bag collection and we discovered just one of those we needed. Where to get the rest?

Most of the plastic bags in the Italian supermarkets are now having the sign "OK to compost". This doesn't happen in the open farmers markets. And the bags are not for free of charge. On Internet biodegradable bags are also not very rentable to purchase. So with this, we are trying to keep the regular thing, putting as much organic remains into "OK to compost" bags we have. And dreaming that one day we can live in a house with land for gardening. Not an easy way to Zero Waste, but at least we are trying to make the change in our habits. With this, now I stopped counting and taking photos of the jars I filled in with food remnants. I still do it but without a track. But it makes our house different. And, much more could be done with One can always look into other alternative solutions for organic waste management.

Comments and suggestions are most appreciated and are welcome!! REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE, AND COMPOST ORGANIC WASTE 


Take action! This post was submitted in response to #MakeChangeNotTrash.