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Do most people in Seattle really use the compost bin at home?


Even while composting is required by law, following it is not always simple. If you live in an apartment, composting can be particularly challenging. On the other hand, if you live in a house, it might be simple and advantageous.


To avoid wasting food, Phon Thach and her husband Jim Driscoll began composting a few years ago. A reminder from the City of Seattle also motivated them to compost. According to Thach, she composts practically all of the food, vegetable, and fruit scraps. The amusing part is that they cultivate their garden with compost.


Despite being retired, Thach and Driscoll enjoy working in their South Park yard together. They frequently get many praises for their garden.


"I believed that cleaning all of the remaining food was a wonderful idea. We clean the fruits and veggies when we do this, and I adore the compost because it encourages the growth of our delicious garden crops.

The couple also raises flowers, berries, tomatoes, garlic, onions, broccoli, and kohlrabi.

We consume what we cultivate and share it with our neighbours, Thach remarked.


In order to keep smells and pests from contaminating their waste, she spends a lot of time cleaning the leftovers for composting.


Marc Russell, a proprietor of a small company, is a committed composter. Since 2000, he has had a unit in the Fujisada building, and for the past year, he has been composting.


In addition to being legal, it is also simple and morally correct. One will likely be shocked at how much was being thrown out once they know how to do it properly, according to Russell.


Russell advises purchasing compostable bags such as BioBag for composting.

He suggested using thirteen-gallon bags because they are compact and can be kept in the freezer of his refrigerator until they are completely full.


Many people, according to Russell, make the error of discarding compost in non-compostable plastic bags.

"I keep throwing the plastic bag away and dropping the compost in. Then I have to go wash my hands right now," he said.


When Susan Ammon, who is new to composting, performs it, she follows the exact same procedure. When she gets downstairs, she puts her compost in produce bags, pours it out, and then discards the plastic bag in a different bin. Her apartment complex provides residents with easy bins to separate away compost and old plastic bags.


Facilitating the use of compost


Ammon has acquired composting skills after relocating to Hirabashi Place in the International District in April. She had previously considered composting to be a challenging task.

The first residence Ammon has ever had that truly had compost bins was Hirabashi Place.

Ammon and her roommate could have composted when they previously resided in a house in West Seattle, but they didn't. They would simply flush food waste down the disposal. Ammon further blamed it on ignorance of proper composting techniques. Even if they tried, they wouldn't know where to throw it because they didn't have access to compost containers.


There is no longer any justification for not composting, she added, noting that it can take a lot of time and that it is simpler to simply throw everything away.


Ammon acknowledged that she had previously given little thought to the composting-related mail she had previously received from Seattle Public Utilities. But after she moved into her present building, the management made a point of emphasising their efforts to go green and increasing the amount of information provided to tenants.


People will copy what their peers are doing, according to this theory. We must take care of the resources we have for the environment. People may be more inclined to compost if they are reminded of how simple it is to compost and the significant influence one person can have, according to the speaker.


Ammon stated that the building managers do a fantastic job of encouraging and instructing people on how to compost by posting signs. For the locals, they even have flyers in many languages.


She emphasised, "Having access to the compost bin makes a significant impact.


Too much trouble?

It's not always so simple or convenient for inhabitants of Seattle's apartment complexes to compost.

Fuzz Azni has spent a year residing in his Columbia City apartment complex. He composted when he lived in a single-family home with a yard trash can, but he no longer does so because it is inconvenient.

Currently, it takes me roughly five minutes to go to the opposite end of my building. As opposed to the trash chute, which is directly at the end of the corridor, he said.


Although there is a compost bin and recycling bins in Azni's building, composting is difficult due to the distance.


Azni is aware of the value of composting, but there aren't enough incentives or repercussions to motivate him to do it. He did, however, remark that he would compost if buildings provided more compost bins near the flat.


In addition, he mentioned that he would be more inclined to compost if the city had incentives like offering sewage or garbage rebates or even providing compost bins and bags for everyone.

Composting may not be on everyone’s mind right now, but it could get easier for Seattle residents.

Ammon compared the act of composting to the resistance that was met when people were first asked to recycle. It may be hard to do at first, but over time, people will start to understand the ease and benefits of composting.


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