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Do you want a third garbage bin?

What are the things that puzzle, enrage, delight and tickle you as you go about your life in Madison?

Re: Do you want a third garbage bin?

Postby jman111 » Thu Jul 15, 2010 4:31 pm

I honestly do not know if there is an absolute standard for effluent organic levels. However, I do believe that our local wastewater treatment is primarily by biological means, not by the more expensive methods of filtration.
I seem to recall a recent article which quoted the head of the treatment facility indicating that increased organic levels coming in to the facility resulted in higher organic levels in the effluent. My searches come up empty.
Ultimately, the treated water that comes out of the Nine Springs plant goes down Badfish Creek. (Somehow, an extremely appropriate name for the location of treatment plant effluent.) Any organics can find their way all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. Sadly, these days the Dead Zone from excessive organics are probably the least of our concerns in the Gulf...
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Re: Do you want a third garbage bin?

Postby dave esmond » Thu Jul 15, 2010 4:37 pm

jman111 wrote:I honestly do not know if there is an absolute standard for effluent organic levels. However, I do believe that our local wastewater treatment is primarily by biological means, not by the more expensive methods of filtration.


You're right. I think I might be thinking of the more expensive system we have down in Stoughton.

Still I can't believe actual meat can be all that much worse then meat that's been converted to poop.
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Re: Do you want a third garbage bin?

Postby jman111 » Thu Jul 15, 2010 4:53 pm

I would think it would be worse. Our bodies extract the useful organics out of our food for our nutrition.
The main point is that we should try to keep organics out of our waste streams, both solid (going to the landfill) and liquid (going to wastewater treatment). People tend to think that toxic substances are the only dangers. However, anyone that tries to swim in Madison lakes a few days after a rainstorm knows that too much of a "good thing" (organics) can be very bad.
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Re: Do you want a third garbage bin?

Postby rabble » Thu Jul 15, 2010 5:42 pm

Michael Patrick wrote:We eat meat, but the vast majority of it are things like boneless/skinless chicken breasts and to a lesser extent hamburger, neither of which generates any waste.

Ah. Okay, that makes sense. We often buy meat that needs trimming, and whole birds, etc. Use as much as we can but even after it's been rendered into soup stock, there's waste. Wish we could compost it but we already have enough critters running around here.
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Re: Do you want a third garbage bin?

Postby snoqueen » Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:48 pm

I think the idea of using organic waste for methane (natural gas) production is valuable. If you've been following the news about natural gas exploration, you know what extreme measures are presently being taken to get at gas reserves. I have relatives who live in eastern Ohio near coal country where a lot of gas is thought to be, and they are fighting hard against the companies that want to come in and extract natural gas. The extraction process seriously messes up the groundwater and causes a lot of environmental damage.

So any safer way of generating natural gas from refuse, even a small amount, sounds good to me.

Compliance with existing recycling rules is pretty abysmal, though. Where I work they do not seem to recycle anything at all. I don't know why it's so hard to get people to do it, but it is. We separate office paper from other garbage, but then half the time they empty all the wastebaskets into the same dumpster at the end of the day.
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Re: Do you want a third garbage bin?

Postby Crockett » Fri Jul 16, 2010 7:29 am

jman111 wrote: However, anyone that tries to swim in Madison lakes a few days after a rainstorm knows that too much of a "good thing" (organics) can be very bad.


Garbage disposals are the LEAST of the lakes' worries...
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Re: Do you want a third garbage bin?

Postby O.J. » Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:29 am

snoqueen wrote:I think the idea of using organic waste for methane (natural gas) production is valuable.


I couldn't agree more with this. It certainly wouldn't be large enough to crowd out traditional energy generation, but should be sufficient to power individual farms or even small communities. Moreso, it would help prevent manure from affecting groundwater. Wisconsin should be a major player in this.
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Re: Do you want a third garbage bin?

Postby dave esmond » Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:04 am

jman111 wrote:The main point is that we should try to keep organics out of our waste streams, both solid (going to the landfill) and liquid (going to wastewater treatment).


True. And like someone else said there's plenty of other good reasons to not be putting meat down the drain in the first place.
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Re: Do you want a third garbage bin?

Postby Nick Berigan » Fri Jul 16, 2010 1:18 pm

I was surprised to see this in place in some Canadian cities I visited in June. I have no info on how well it is working there. The list of things they want to compost is broader than I would have expected.
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Re: Do you want a third garbage bin?

Postby Madsci » Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:58 pm

Ann Arbor tried the 3rd bin for compost a few years ago. There were many bins still left on the curb in August. Most residents didn't need them it seemed.

I could use a compost bin for tree/shrub trimmings, weeds, and dog poo. Once a month pick-up in the warm months would be fine.
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Re: Do you want a third garbage bin?

Postby KidCapitol » Mon Jul 19, 2010 5:32 am

There are too many problems with this.
1) It would get disgusting and reek really really bad.
2) There will be a new fleet of trucks to use up gas and spew out pollution into the air. (We already have that irony with the recycling ones. One irony is enough, thankyouverymuch.)
3) Two large bins is enough.

Here's what the city should do.
Instead of spending money on another curbside bin, just give each household one for the backyard.
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Re: Do you want a third garbage bin?

Postby gargantua » Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:26 am

KidCapitol wrote:Here's what the city should do.
Instead of spending money on another curbside bin, just give each household one for the backyard.


Motion seconded.
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Re: Do you want a third garbage bin?

Postby TheBookPolice » Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:35 am

What am I, composted liver?

TheBookPolice wrote:If the city sponsored more cheap compost bin sales like the very popular and well-attended one at Alliant a couple months back, I think that'd be a better route. Provide access to citizens to deposit their compost if they don't have use for it, but encourage proper use of home-composted material as the first option.
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Re: Do you want a third garbage bin?

Postby Henry Vilas » Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:37 am

While I do my own composting, for many that is not an option, especially condo/apartment dwellers.
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Re: Do you want a third garbage bin?

Postby TheBookPolice » Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:41 am

Henry Vilas wrote:While I do my own composting, for many that is not an option, especially condo/apartment dwellers.

Backyard bins, no. Countertop bins? Yes.
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