Garbage Disposal or Compost Pile

Which is Best?

By George Leposky

A helpful little pamphlet, The Environmental Kitchen Made Easy, advises against grinding up food wastes in a garbage disposal.

"Look under your sink," it urges. "If you have a garbage disposal, stop using it. Most environmentalists agree that garbage disposals use too much water in the process of grinding up kitchen scraps. Sending all that water and ground kitchen scraps into the sewers places a burden on your city sewage system. It is also better to compost those kitchen scraps."

This pamphlet was published by Keyes Fibre Company, which makes

Chinet (R) disposable, home-compostable paper plates.

Another helpful little pamphlet, An Effective Home Waste Management System, comes from the In-Sink-Erator Division of Emerson Electric Company, which makes garbage disposals. Guess what it says:

"Apartment dwellers and homes with very small lots may lack the necessary space to compost. And, composting requires time, dedication and skill to properly maintain (turn) the compost and to use the final product. Otherwise, compost piles can attract pests and emit foul odors.... Fish and meat scraps, bones, dairy products, and oily and fatty foods should be avoided in backyard compost piles because these materials attract pests.... Disposers effectively and conveniently eliminate all types of biodegradable, organic food wastes -- including those that can't be composted."

To read both pamphlets and decide for yourself, request them from Keyes Fibre Company, PO Box 5317, Norwalk CT 06856, and from In-Sink-Erator Division, Emerson Electric Company, 4700-21st Street, Racine WI 53406-5093. 

Feds Fundamentally Fail Our Fish

An indictment of federal fisheries-management policies came from Amos Eno of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation during a recent interdisciplinary scientific conference at the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga.

"Small, wet, and cold aquatic resources have failed to generate the public interest and momentum for conservation like many game species such as elephants, bears, or wolves," Enos said. "In the face of an uninformed public, the federal government has a responsibility to demonstrate leadership in conservation. Nowhere has federal management failed more fundamentally than in fisheries and aquatic species management."

Enos urged federal officials to manage entire ecosystems instead of focusing on single species.

George Benz, the aquarium's curator of fishes, said siltation of river and lake bottoms from industrial dumping and runoff from farms, construction sites, and timbering areas is a major problem plaguing the southeast's aquatic life. "It's a problem that can't be blamed on one group or be enforced with a court order because there are so many sources," he said. "We have to realign people's mentality and rethink the way we're doing things." 

An Uncommon Bag for the Common Good

E-Z Pac., Inc., of La Jolla, California, has designed and manufactures a line of shopping bags that are easy to carry, reuse, and launder. These unique bags help to eliminiate the solid-waste problems generated by single-use plastic and paper bags.

Each E-Z Pac nylon bag weighs less than two ounces, carries up to 25 pounds, folds into its own small pouch, and slips easily into a pocket, purse, suitcase, or briefcase.

The company sells three different styles of bags, as well as gift sets combining bags with waist packs and carrying handles. E-Z Pac has even designed a key ring that allows you to carry a bag with your keys. For details, phone 619-944-8865.

Ampersand Communications

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