San Francisco might be the greenest city in the country – remember, in 2012 they diverted 80% of their solid waste from landfills and incinerators – but right now we still send too much to the landfill. Half of the “trash” we throw away could have been diverted away. We can do better. Even if we never hit 100% diverted, we can easily get above 90% if we stay focused. After that – a few changes to consumer habits could get us to 100%! Bearing that 2020 goal in mind, today we’re focusing on one type of waste that’s a no-brainer for improvement: Green Waste.
Green Waste – So Easy, So Beneficial!
Green Waste is probably one of the easiest, most beneficial types of waste to responsibly dispose of, yet we’re missing the mark. Either the compostable items are ending up in landfills, or the compost stream gets contaminated by plastics, glass, and even little produce stickers. Yes, produce stickers are usually not compostable or recyclable.
You wouldn’t think that something so small could do that kind of damage, but those small things add up.
Think of all the times you’ve been tired, or under a time crunch, so you tossed things in the wrong bin, or put everything into the trash. Sure, you’re usually good about it. It’s not going to happen again but how many people think the same thing? How many times a day?
On the other hand, think of all the times someone took an extra moment to do it right, and multiply that by all of the other tiny moments where someone responsibly disposed of waste, bought something with no packaging, and the like. Tiny decisions that, for the San Francisco Bay Area at least, have amounted to around 80% of waste diverted from landfills. That’s just incredible, isn’t it? Drops make up the ocean, folks!
Zero Waste means that we send zero discards to the landfill or high-temperature destruction. Instead, products are designed and used according to the principle of highest and best use and the waste reduction hierarchy: Prevent waste. Reduce and reuse first.
What is Responsible Green Waste Disposal?
Responsible green waste disposal means ensuring that green waste is composted at the end of its life. If it ends up in a a refuse bin, it will be incinerated – putting more carbon (at least) into the air. If that green waste goes to the landfill, it will decay in that sealed landfill, producing methane that will have to be burned off for safety. Moreover, it’s wasteful! Composting it gives it a new life in agriculture.
There will always be waste in landfills and incinerators and our oceans if we don’t find new, green products that are compostable, recyclable, or reusable. Zero waste isn’t just about diversion from incineration and landfills – it’s about buying and developing less waste-producing products. Choose something that will not generate hazardous waste for cleaning, for example. Avoid single-use products.
And, call us. Book a time for us to take care of green waste that’s just too much for you to handle. Take a load off. We’ve got it.
What Counts as Green Waste?
Green waste is the biodegradable waste that we create when tending to our gardens, landscaping or cooking. It consists of yard waste and food scraps – things that can be composted. It includes coffee grounds, food scraps, yard waste, landscaping waste, like the stuff in this list:
- Leaves, flowers, and weeds
- Pine needles
- Uncooked fruits and vegetables
- Unpainted wood
- Yard and grass clippings
- Food scraps including meat – even with bones
- More than you think…
Gardening, landscaping, woodworking, and cooking all generate green waste, Although treated wood is not accepted in the compost stream, the first untreated scraps from woodworking or repair projects are acceptable.
If you aren’t sure about what we can take, just ask! Our number is (925) 785-6726. We’ll tell you what is compostable and what’s not, and what we can haul away for you. If you know you have a big landscaping or building project coming up, if you need to clear the yard out, schedule an appointment for planned removals.
We can also properly dispose of green waste as part of a general clean-up on your property. No need to do that part yourself when we’re already hauling out junk from your house.
Check out this short video we posted back in September:
West Coast Junk will take the responsibility of proper green waste disposal off your shoulders.
Fill out this form, or give us a call at (510) 421-1730.
Check out another post about green waste: