The Portland City Council took up the discussion Wednesday of introducing a curbside food composting alongside trash and recycling. This follows a year-long pilot food scrap composting program. Instead of sending apple cores, coffee grounds and other items to the landfill, residents will collect compostable items and ditch them weekly in their yard waste bins. At the same time, trash pickup would scale back from weekly to biweekly.
Many people testified at City Hall Wednesday and not everyone is on board with the idea of composting weekly while reducing trash pickups. Concerns range from the expense of larger trash bins to the possible “ick” factor of holding on to rotten food. A vote on the ordinance is scheduled for Aug. 17.
Portland is not the only city experimenting with waste reduction. Seattle is boasting an all-time high for recycling, claiming single-family homes recycle 70 percent of their waste. In 2009, the city increased pickup of compostable items from biweekly to weekly.
Do you compost? Would you compost if there were weekly pickup services? How would reduced trash pickup affect your household?
- Lisa Libby: Director of planning and sustainability for Portland Mayor Sam Adams
- Eric Fruits: President of the Laurelhurst Neighborhood Association, president of Economics International and adjunct professor of urban economics at Portland State University