the pathetic tale of the compost and me


It’s ridiculously hard to do the right thing!

The big kids have moved back in, and they belong to a fruit and veggie co-op. So, for both those reasons we have more veggie peels, and bits of fruit you don’t want to eat, in the garbage each week. A lot more.

Let’s start a compost in the backyard and use these scraps. Logical, good for the environment, and the local council encourages recycling of all kinds, gives out free compost bins. Sounds simple?

Go to the council’s website to find a number to ring and ask for one but instead you find a quiz to fill out. The quiz determines whether you need a compost bin or a worm farm, and whether you know how to use it. I passed and it automatically orders the bin for you. Next day an email welcoming you to the compost generation..and letting you know your bin will arrive within three weeks.

Three weeks pass. You ring the council to ask about the hold up to be told it was delivered the day you filled out the survey. Umm that was a Sunday so I don’t think so. Neither does the switchboard girl. She decides the system is flawed and my request was ‘closed’ as soon as ‘opened’ so she then goes through all sorts of digital hoops trying to find the specific thing that I want, and to order it for me. She marks it URGENT.

Because oh yeah we have an URGENT compost situation going on here.

Next day I’m sitting right here typing as I am now and I can see a council truck pull up and a nice man gets out and I see him bringing across the street exactly what I did not order. I jump out of my skin seat and rush to head him off… Just shake my head when I open the door and he stops in the middle of the road. I explain what I was expecting and he yells, for the neighbourhood to hear while I fail composting 101, ‘do you KNOW how big they are?’ me ‘well no, I’ve never seen one’ him ‘imagine 220 litres of milk in your car’ me…stunned silence. Not only does my non mathematical brain have no clue what 220 litres looks like but I’m busy trying to fathom what milk, or milk in my car has to do with this situation!

Please reread the conversation, using the most condescending voice you can for mr council man’s part and the blankest bemused face for me in reply.

So much for the encouragement of council in composting and recycling, the providing of free materials to do such, and just the general politeness of fellow humans…I am left with the suggestion of going to a hardware store and buying myself a much smaller one.

Thanks. Thanks so much, I’ll do that. I WILL have fresh dirt.


(PS My car is tiny – pretty sure I’d have no hope of fitting 220 litres of milk in it…)



15 thoughts on “the pathetic tale of the compost and me

  1. Always something to learn, usually the hard way. 🙂

  2. Vicki (from Victoria A Photography)

    This is sooooo typical of things (in general) today. Communications (to do with council, utilities & so on) are slow & inadequate.

    Here you are trying to do the right thing with recycling and………..

    These days (in retirement), I usually end doing everything myself.

  3. yikes…you try to do the right thing and….

  4. Laughed out loud and I needed it this morning cuz I’m in such a pissy mood! 220 litres of milk in your car? Wha??!!!

    What is a “council”?

  5. Local councils can be a right royal pain in the b….

    I can imagine the size of the thing – how frustrating 😦 *sigh*

  6. Well, composting is so gratifying – sounds like the pre-compost is turning the human mind-soil before anything hits the ground. Can’t you dig a pit and throw in the food bits and cover with leaves, grass, hay?

  7. Sounds like digital bureaucracy to me; totally out of touch with the rate payers 🙂

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