Contamination - Trash in the Compost
Before I get started here, I want to thank everyone that is doing their part to keep food waste and other compostable items out of our landfill! Thank you!
While we are here to discuss contamination, along with ways to improve, we are not here to ridicule ANYONE. We all have room to improve, and that goal of continual improvement is our focus today.
So, why is contamination such a problem? It will all just decompose, right? NO.
There are several great reasons to worry about contamination. Anything under the "NO" section of your Purple Bucket's label will either attract wildlife, slow or stop the pile from processing, or reduce the quality of the finished compost. All of these, along with the increased labor required to removed contaminants, serve to drive costs upward. We are working towards reducing our limitations, as we increase our capacity and capabilities. Please be patient, keep checking the quick reference label on your Purple Bucket, and don't hesitate to reach out with any questions. Thank you!
PRIMARY CONTAMINATION SOURCES:
1. Certain foods can draw in local wildlife, which can further contaminate piles and/or destroy critical equipment. This is why we can't accept meat, bones, dairy, fats/oils, cookies, breads, crackers, pasta, or any mix of these such as the pizza below. Yes, they can be composted at industrial processing facilities, but we cannot process these items at our facility, as it stands today. We will advise when we have the capabilities to remove these limitations, though it will take some time.
2. Non-compostable items such as plastic, metal, rubber, waxed paper/cardboard, etc... WE CANNOT ACCEPT ANY PLASTIC, EVEN IF LABELED AS COMPOSTABLE, INCLUDING "COMPOSTABLE" BAGS. "Compostable" plastics require grinding and sifting operations that we are not able to support YET. Waxed cardboard, like the cardboard used in cereal boxes and soap boxes (see below), is not accepted because it takes much longer to break down due to the added inks, dyes, wax, etc....
3. PRODUCE LABELS ARE (BY FAR) THE #1 CONTAMINANT!!! They WILL NOT break down and they're difficult and time-consuming to identify and remove. Please remove these labels from each individual fruit or vegetable before dropping it into your Purple Bucket. Thank you!
THANK YOU for doing your part to help keep the compost piles clean!
HAVE A GREAT DAY!