Sunday, May 25, 2008

Composting and attempts at recycling

So far as I know there is no true recycling system in the country. I think there are a few places that will take some trash, namely cans or newspaper, in the capital but as far as I can tell that hasn't gotten out here. Our trash goes to the street in plastic bags, the satpam is very particular, no bag, no pickup. He takes it to a larger dumpster which the city collects every so often (fairly regularly, I just don't know the schedule). We've long separated our "wet" trash from our "dry" trash. The wet trash goes out at the end of the day because bugs and vermin are ever present and the dry goes out as needed. When we moved here the construction wasn't entirely finished and so we had women coming by every day to see what the workers had thrown aside. They'd take pretty much anything. One day when they stopped I asked what they wanted. Newspapers, cans, plastics, old electrics whatever. She was happy to take my recycleables and I felt good about it. I suspect that there are some places that they probably sell the recycleables to but I'm guessing it takes a lot to make any real money. Although the re-sale of plastic bottles here is very big.

That took care of that but my bigger problem is goats and others going through the trash. People don't separate out recycleable generally so people will go through the trash bags to get them, normally tearing up my trash bag and leaving a pile of trash everywhere but the can. Very frustrating. Well this week after cleaning up a huge mess on the street and rebagging it I decided to limit the frustration a little more. We started the compost pile! The guy who helps with our yard and the houseworker are on board and the wet garbage can is put away. So I've been reading about composting. It seems I could go devote my life to composting or I could just let the pile be. I'm going the let it be route. Its on the far side of the yard under the banana trees and I don't mind that it probably gets picked through by the cats and rats. I'm fine with that. The cats and rats go through the trash anyway, they are everywhere. Whoever or whatever wants the scraps can have them but it'll be less to end up on the street and maybe one day I'll have some compost for the plants and bushes. Maybe too we'll get more worm activity in the ground. I've thought of buying worms but its too weird for me at the moment.
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