How long have you been separating your food scraps from the trash?
I have been doing this on my own for about one and a half years. My family also composted for a couple years when I was in middle and elementary school.
Why did you start keeping food scraps out of the trash? If you live with other people, do they help?
I have known since taking environmental geography classes in college, that it is unnecessary to trash food scraps as they can be made into soil and compost. My roommate is very enthusiastic about composting, more so than myself sometimes. My partner has never composted so she is getting used to composting, and I am helping teach her about it. They do help, but I am primarily taking care of drop-off.
Has separating your food scraps made you notice anything about your eating or cooking habits? Have you made any changes as a result?
Yes! I use much more of the vegetable or fruit when I am cooking or eating it. I try to buy things which are not in plastic from the store. I also save veggie trimmings in the freezer to make veggie stock once or twice a month.
Please explain your system for collecting food scraps.
I use a countertop tote lined with a paper bag or newspaper. I used to take it to the Addison County Solid Waste Management District (ACSWMD) transfer station weekly but now it is more like monthly or bi-weekly because of Covid. I take overflow that I am unable to drop-off in a sealed 5-gallon bucket that the transfer station supplied to me for free.
Where do you bring your food scraps? ACSWMD transfer station in Middlebury
Do you do anything differently in the winter? Nothing is different because I don't compost at home.
Have you had any problems?
The frequency I was able to drop-off was interrupted by Covid so I got the 5-gallon bucket to have more storage capacity.
What do you like about diverting your food scraps or why are you still doing it?
I feel good knowing that I am diverting waste from the landfill, also I am complying with the new law.
What would you say to encourage someone who is hesitant to start separating their food scraps from the trash?
Get the right equipment, and it is easy. Take the path of least resistance to do it first (such as dropping at transfer station) then slowly make it more complex (start your own compost pile).