Sunday, December 4, 2011

The dirt on composting plastic bags!

This is re-posted from Thad Curtz's OlyBlog post! Biobags, of course, are available at the Co-op.

The City's citizen Utility Advisory Committee got an update on various recycling issues from staff at our monthly meeting yesterday. Thanks at least in part to some steady negotiating by our Public Works staff, the company that composts the yard waste and organics from our big green bins has decided that it can deal with several additional brands of compostable bags.

(Unfortunately, lots of the plastic items that are advertised as "compostable" don't actually break down in the particular fast hot processes that commercial facilities use. Silver Springs goes from dumping to finished compost in 30 days. (They have some photos here. If scraps of plastic are left, they're completely sterile, but customers apparently hate how they look, so it's a big problem for the companies.)

You can now use:

1. All sizes of 1.0 and 1.2 mil Heritage Bio-Tuf bags
2. All sizes of EcoSafe bags (S011)
3. All sizes of BIOBAGS
4. All sizes of GLAD Compostable bags (78162, 78163)

(I'm relieved, because I really like using one of these as a liner in the plastic tub for kitchen scraps that the City hands out. You can just pull the bag out and throw it in the green bin when it gets full, and it makes keeping the tub clean a lot easier.) The Coop and Bayview both stopped stocking the ones I was using, because they had trouble getting them, so I hope this change will mean it's easy to buy some brand that works locally again.