I was a parent chaperone on the six-year-old's field trip to the Marin County dump yesterday. It was such a cool experience, one I'd been wanting to have since I saw the facility featured on TV several years ago. Our local dump is a model for the rest of the country. Their goal is to make Marin residents waste-free by 2025, the year our landfil is set to reach mazimum capacity. They are certainly off to a great start!
Here are some of the other things I learned:
1. You can put my baby in front of a huge bundle of sinky, dirty plastic bottles and I will still find him to be one of the most beautiful things in this world to look at.
2. Paper coffee cups are recyclable! That means you can confidently drop your paper Starbuck's coffee cup in the paper recycling now as the coating on the cup is not enough to cause a problem. Totally didn't know that! :)
3. In Marin, you can now recycle ALL numbers, 1 - 7! They actually separate all the bottles and ship out bundles of each number for various other uses. (No. 6 is the only plastic that can't truely be recycled but they still sort it, bundle it and store it in hopes that someday, someone will want to buy it from them. So nice...
4. In Marin, you can now throw ALL your food into your green compost can!!! The county then takes it up to a giant compost pile outside of Davis where is can break down far enough away from people that the stinks, rodents and magots don't bother a soul. I'm so excited about this! I will now break down our compost bin and use the space for something else. There is just no point in having one bucket in the sink for chickens, one for our compost and one for the county's compost.
5. The owner of the dump always loved pigs and decided to raise them. When he noticed that grocery stores were tossing tons of quality produce each day, he organized for the days old produce to be given to his 50 pigs. They live a wonderful life at the dump until they are ready for slaughter.
6. Now I want a pig.
7. Also living at the dump are peacocks, turkeys and chickens! They were roaming free everywhere. The eggs are collected daily and given to the employees.
For more information or to schedule your own tour: www.marinsanitary.com