Juggling Garbage And Responsibility In Seattle …

GarbageGarbage appears as an upcoming Lefty crusade. We read increasingly of the deplorable food waste (31%, allegedly) and how not only irresponsible but actually unfashionable that is. The solutions are ‘better’ kitchen efficiency and  Compost.

Being Lefties, to identify a target is to put it into government sights; plaudits to San Francisco for encouraging citizens to waste less and to compost rather than trash what can’t be used somehow. A compost pile or pit in every yard should strengthen those Bay Breezes, right?

Real adulation is reserved for Seattle, which has equipped ‘sanitation workers’ with bright red tags to attach to any trash bins found to contain food waste. The system imposes fines, too. Seattle is serious! (And likely, odrorous …)

We are advised on kitchen efficiency: Chop and use carrot tops, move from prime cuts of meat through hash to soup bones; waste nothing! One restaurant advises that it now cuts up, seasons and serves broccoli stems, feeding the florets to staff as second rate. Right. Old Great Depression standbys are recalled as well, little was wasted then … by housewives who mostly didn’t work? No one seems to be mentioning working women while discussing the time-consuming extra steps to be accomplished in the efficient kitchen. “Sorry I’m late, boss; I had to process a lot of potato peelings for compost.”

They want us to stop insisting on ‘perfect’ fruit and veggies, too. Turning up our noses at small imperfections like rot, wormholes, bruises and disease is wasteful; just trim out the bad parts and carry on … Old, mashed, bruised strawberries (you can pick out the fungus) make delicious smoothies!

There is an issue too regarding condos, apartments and such; how do they deal with these requirements? Do apartment managers have to hang out at Seattle trash bins to see who is tossing in the rotten tomatoes? This seems likely to be a bonanza for sellers and fixers of garbage disposal units; one wonders too how well prepared older city sewage systems are to receive the enhanced load likely to result.

We suppose that this push may have the common Lefty impact: unanticipated negative results. One possibility pops up at once: The food nannies want us to eat less processed food and more “natural” stuff. But the natural stuff takes more time to prepare and throws off more garbage. Cut off the garbage and ring in time-pressed workers; you drive everyone to the unwanted but efficient processed stuff. Typical government solution! Of course, the Right is equally fond of this syndrome.

We recall ancient days when a “garbage can” lined with old newspapers and covered under a tightly fitted lid sat outside the kitchen door. It caught all the food waste and only food waste, which was collected by large, smelly trucks weekly. The city sold it to pig farmers. Even during the Depression. It provided jobs. Big, brawny men stood on the running boards of the trucks as they drove from can to can along the street; the worker would yank off the lid, lift the can over his head and dump it into the truck bin; the truck would proceed to the next can.. (Quick Quiz: Do you know what a “running board” was?)

We would not return to that, but we do think that it would be better for most of us if our compassionate governors cogitated a bit more before acting on this stuff. And we wonder why said governors feel a necessity ti involve themselves in our diets, food preparation and such.

We’ve noted writers extolling the coming ‘smart house’ as well. We visualize  the furnace at half-past January, refusing to light because we used too much heat last month, the microwave refusing to cook the broccoli because we hadn’t left the stems on and the car depositing us at the curb halfway to work as we had forgotten to renew our atmospheric pollution permit.

We are considering purchase of some very dark glasses to wear in restaurants.

About Jack Curtis

Suspicious of government, doubtful of economics, fond of figure skating (but the off-ice part, not so much) Couple of degrees in government, a few medals in figure skating; just reading and suspicion for economics ...
This entry was posted in Efficiency, Food, Government and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Juggling Garbage And Responsibility In Seattle …

  1. i just have to add my personal experience to this. I was in to re-cycling long before it was fashionable. And being a country girl moving to a city flat was a big cultural leap. I had a nice big glass jar composting merrily away with my kitchen scraps under the sink, but when Ieft I forgot to take it. When I left I sent a friend round to collect the bond. (I had left the country by then – another story). The letting agents were incandescent. For some reason they kept my bond. So that recycling didn’t save much money.
    But you are quite right. Where these half-baked policies are applied the spin off problems are often worse – chiefly rats. People dispose of surplus food into the sewers and there is a rat explosion.

    • Jack Curtis says:

      Rental agents go to imaginative lengths to avoid parting with one’s bond! And rats seem always to accompany us everywhere. Soon as the folk signing up for space travel actually go somewhere, I expect there will be space rats. As for in-home composting, I am all for properly composted fruit and grain plus appropriate bit of yeast …

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