Your Federal Way trash boyfriend

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Trash is new. During the nineteenth century, New York was dirty but much of its garbage consisted of leftovers and scraps and other items to reuse. Pigs roamed the streets, eating old lettuce and radish tops.

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Bones became glue. Old grease was turned into tallow candles, or mixed with ashes to make soap. Disposable packaging was almost nonexistent. New York began to dump its excess into the Atlantic Ocean. InGeorge Waring, a former military officer, became sanitation commissioner. Waring made New York households and businesses separate out food waste and ashes; he diverted horse manure for use as fertilizer.

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Food waste was turned into soap, grease, or compost, or carted to pig farms in New Jersey. Some of the ash became cinder blocks. Some went for expanding the footprint of Rikers Island. Three years after his appointment, Waring died, of yellow fever. His sorting program continued until the First World War, when it was abandoned because of labor and material shortages. Bythe city was again dumping waste into the ocean.

Or depositing it in landfills. Composting transforms raw organic waste into a humus-like substance that enriches soil and enhances carbon capture. In landfills, starved of oxygen, decomposing organics release methane, a greenhouse gas whose warming effects, in the long run, are fifty-six times those of CO 2.

The United States has greater landfill emissions than any other country, the equivalent of thirty-seven million cars on the road each year. Last April, the New York State legislature enacted laws requiring large businesses and institutions to recycle their food waste, but New York City is exempt from the new rules.

Inwhen Michael Bloomberg was in his final year as mayor of New York, he instituted an organics-recycling program, which officials said could become mandatory in a few years. Bill de Blasio, who was the public advocate at the time, supported that vision, but as mayor he has failed to fund it. I live not far from Times Square, near a food-cart-storage facility, a family-run butcher shop, and a La Quinta hotel; one of the lower floors of my building houses a catering business.

Instead, each night a low wall of piled garbage bags appears, as if left by malign elves. Sometimes there are bags of kaiser rolls and tired fruit. A caramel-colored goo oozes onto the sidewalk. Walking Your Federal Way trash boyfriend the trash embankment the other evening, I startled one of our neighborhood rats, which sped across the curb and down a sewer drain. I landed in Seoul, South Korea, on a hazy morning in early October, the day before Typhoon Mitag was expected to hit the southern coast of the Korean Peninsula. Today, South Korea recycles ninety-five per cent of its food waste, but twenty-five years ago almost nothing was recycled.

Poor families lived near the dumps; many of them picked through the garbage for plastics and metals to sell. Food scraps, an incidental petri dish for disease, made the dumps foul, sickening the garbage pickers. The K. I arrived with Lucia Lee, my interpreter. We set our shoes among a small crowd of slippers near the door. Kim, a youthful fifty-seven-year-old woman dressed in a blue-and-white striped button-up, pulled folding wooden chairs out from under a small central table. A young woman brought the three of us ceramic mugs of buckwheat tea. She became involved in the pro-democracy student movements, and was a leader campaigning for equal rights for women.

InSouth Korea replaced its flat tax for waste disposal with a new system. Recycling materials were picked up free of charge, but for all other trash the city imposed a Your Federal Way trash boyfriend, which was calculated by measuring the size and of bags. Byit was illegal to send food waste to landfills and dumps; citizens were required to separate it out.

The new waste policies were supported with grants to the then nascent recycling industry. These measures have led to a decrease in food waste, per person, of about three-quarters of a pound a day—the weight of a Big Mac and fries, or a couple of grapefruits. The country estimates the economic benefit of these policies to be, over the years, in the billions of dollars. The bins weigh and charge per kilogram of organic waste. The bin resembled an industrial washer-dryer with a cheerful teal top, and had instructions for use in both Korean and English.

She waved a small card, which looked like my grocery-store points card, in front of a scanner. The lid opened in a slow, smooth, and slightly uncanny fashion. In went the waste. A weight registered in red L. Then the lid lowered, with similar robotic indifference.

Nearby was a separate cannister for used cooking oil.

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A tidy latticed structure covered the area, like a bus stop. For a Seoul family, the cost of food-scrap recycling averages around six dollars a month. The thirteen thousand tons of food waste produced daily in South Korea now become one of three things: compost thirty per centanimal feed sixty per centor biofuel ten per cent. Sometimes it is attributed to the fancy technology that weighs and tracks the compost, and to the R. There needs to be an intermediary between the government and the people. Groups like us. That can explain back and forth.

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We would bring people in for a tour of the food-waste facility. We would educate people about how it was healthy. People are used to it now. These days, we focus on offering seminars at local centers, or wherever people gather. Before becoming an interpreter, Lucia had worked at a hospital reading pathology slides, a job she chose because her sister had died of cancer. Living abroad, she soon learned other languages, including English, and decided to go to school in order to work as an interpreter. She paid for her schooling herself.

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On our way to meet Lee Eun-Su, the founder of the Nowon Urban Farming Network, an organization that has a hundred and thirty members, Lucia told me that she had loved reading up on composting—she wanted to make sure that she would be familiar with any specialized vocabulary. She said that Seoul is now also imposing limits on plastic straws. For her birthday, she bought gifts for her friends—reusable water bottles. At the end of our subway ride, she showed me where the tickets were recycled.

His parents moved to Seoul from the countryside when he was young. He comes from a family of four children. His father was too ill to work, and his mother made money selling things in the street. The Nowon district, where Lee lives, is a middle-class neighborhood known for its good schools.

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Lee used to work installing cable in apartment buildings. He found himself in basements and on roofs. He tapped his chest and grinned. Sunnier urban-farm spaces grow lettuces, cabbages, peppers, peas, and flowers. Many of the organics-recycling bins in Seoul have the capacity to transform waste into compost, which can then be distributed to urban farms, sometimes in the same apartment complex.

In the past decade, the of such farms in Seoul has increased from sixty-six to more than two thousand. In a concrete high-rise bordered by a covered highway, we headed into the basement by ducking beneath a staircase lined with pictures of four varieties of mushroom. They were mostly older women, faces brightened with lipstick. They led us around their projects, small rooms lit by bluish lights.

Cylinders of gauze-wrapped compost sat on metal racks; from the cylinders emerged what looked like sepia alien hands: deer-horn mushrooms. The rooms were humid and cool, and smelled like loam. A delicate tubular watering system wove throughout the metal racks. The effect was part sci-fi, part night club. On a table in an adjacent space, a crowd of full-grown deer-horn mushrooms, potted and wrapped in cellophane, might have been cousins to Christmas poinsettias.

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We were each given a pot. The holiday commemorates the founding myth of the Korean people, which involves a bear and a tiger that both wanted to be human. Only the bear was patient enough. One of the women explained that the mushrooms are often used to make a tea that is sometimes sweetened with dates. Later, Lee showed us the composting system he had set up in a building where he keeps a tiny, crowded office. He has a lot of uses for compost: he has transformed the entire roof area—and a platform above it, near the cable and the water system—into a garden, where he grows marigolds, squash, mint, a date tree, and more.

Under an eave, a Your Federal Way trash boyfriend barrel had been set up on a rotating metal stand, like a Foosball figure on a pole; this makes it easy to turn the compost, to aerate it. Lee unscrewed the lid of the barrel, revealing a dark mixture inside that smelled slightly of cleaning product. In the course of weeks or months, billions of microorganisms feed on the carbon and nitrogen in the composting mixture.

Dry and brown organic matter provides carbon; green matter provides nitrogen. As the microorganisms process the mixture, they need oxygen, which is usually generated by stirring. Not enough oxygen, and the compost will smell like rotten eggs; too much nitrogen, and the compost will smell like ammonia; a good ratio of elements, and the compost will simply smell like fresh earth. Lee deposited a small bucket of food scraps into the barrel, sprinkling wood chips for more carbon on top.

Your Federal Way trash boyfriend

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