June 1, 2016
THIS ISN’T THE 21st CENTURY I WAS PROMISED: James Lileks on the “joys” of mandatory composting in Minneapolis:
The amusing part, in an utterly non-amusing sort of way — the grass blankets, which had been tight rolls a few inches thick when I bought them, were now huge wet bloaty piles that required four lawn trash bags to remove, and they’re not lawn trash because they have nylon string. I will have to put them out with signs that say NOT LAWN TRASH — IGNORE THE CONTEXTUAL IMPLICATIONS OF THE CONTAINER this week, or they’ll go to the place where they put the lawn waste and nylon will enter the equation and everything will be ruined.
Except . . . I don’t know what they do with lawn waste. We have new bins now for composting, which suggests the old lawn waste is probably fed to a compactor, turned into incredibly dense cubes, shipped to China and thrown down a bottomless well. I don’t know. As for the composting bin, so far we’ve composted exactly Zero Molecules, because I don’t have a bin under the sink to dump my Organics. There isn’t any room for the bin. In a recent work meeting when the subject came up, a co-worker said she had a pail on the counter where the organics went, and I was incredulous: you have a bucket of rotten vegetables on your counter?
I am from a different country. I’d say different age, but we’re contemporaries. I am from the land where the growling grinding teeth in the hole of the sink reduce everything to fluid and hasten it along to the treatment plant, because we are not living in huts on the edge of a field and sharpening sticks in case the sabre-toothed tigers come at night, again. Save the pepper cores! They can be mixed with out filth and heaped around the gourds!
Always thought the future would be a bit more elegant than that. Growing up in the Seventies, I had residual childhood utopian sci-fi visions from the Sixties arguing with the new doomed future of scarcity. Save that apple core! The fiber can be turned into a nutritious paste to be spread over wounds! I thought we’d be tossing apple cores into the Home Disintegrator, which would reduce it to nothingness with a zap and a short sizzle.
Blue State busybodies sure love ordering the rest of us around to fulfill their apocalyptic enviro-fantasies, don’t they? For them, it’s always 1973 and Soylent Green is playing at the drive-in.