Compost and the neighbours

I’ve never been a fan of food waste, but when you’re living alone, it’s really hard to avoid wasting fresh food. Usual culprits of what I throw in the bin are spinach, curly kale, mushrooms and potatoes. I’d like to blame the supermarkets for packaging them all in plastic bags rather than selling them individually, but I’m just as much to blame, since I could cook them into meals and freeze them, but never get around to.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been reading up on composting. A blog post came into my inbox about composting and it seemed like a logic thing to do. I would love to compost myself, but there are several issues: compost takes 9-12 months to create and I haven’t lived in the same house for longer than that for a long time, gardening isn’t a hobby of mine and lastly, I live in a contained flat and the house is a corner house without a garden. So yeah, I know the landlord has a rule that says no pets or smoking, and I’m sure indoor composting wouldn’t be approved of either.

But I’m still on a quest to compost the spinach I never get to eat, and the odd apple I throw away after not eating it. I’ve decided the best course of action will be to find someone else in my local area that composts, and simply add my scraps to their compost bin, this is a good idea right? Surely if you’re creating compost, the more stuff you put in, the more stuff you get out? I am slightly concerned it could turn into a situation a bit like a charity shop where this poor composting neighbour keeps receiving my unwanted goods (50 Shades of Grey) that he’s unable to use (or sell) but he still feels obliged to take them, cos every little helps.

Either way, it will give me an opportunity to get to know my neighbours, even if it is just them remembering me as ‘the strange girl who wants to dump her bags of rotting veg on our pile’, it’s worth a go. I’ve got two places that I’m going to target first of all – one is a large house on my road that had a very well kept garden. There are potted plants of all colours and it looks like the person likes gardening. I’m not sure whether to snoop around their bins at the back to see if they have a compost bin, or whether to just knock the door and ask.

Then, there’s Arthur Street. For some reason the postman confuses my street with Arthur Street. I started to think the postman fancied me when he kept accidentally delivering packages for Arthur Street to my door, but he hasn’t been in a few weeks, so either he’s found Arthur Street or they’re not ordering parcels anymore. Anyway, there is an undelivered package for someone on Arthur Street in our hallway. Nobody here (there are 5 flats) have gone to take it round (such good neighbours we are) and when I looked earlier, the package was dated November. So I will take the parcel to their house and whilst delivering their missing parcel, I’ll ask them if they compost, or know anyone on the street who does.

So I’ve got a mission – to find a compost bin in my area that I can add my food scraps to AND to try to get to know my neighbours a bit better. Which will be easiest? Will they come hand in hand? I’ll keep you updated.

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