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Posted: 04/11/2014
We compost all our vegetable and fruit scraps and whatever else can be put in the compost. So, we have reduced the volume of our tan trash bin substantially. We anticipate purchasing a leaf shredder so that we can shred leaves and small branches for our compost. Then you will not need to pick them up and we won't have to deliver to the plant off of Fish Hatchery.
We do a lot of home remodeling and use our tan bin for debris. At times it may be a hardship not to have weekly pick up of the tan bin. On the other hand, all the big rehab will be done by 2016.
Thanks for all your great work!!

City Staff Response:
Libby,

Thank you for all your efforts at home.

George
Posted: 04/11/2014
I would like to take part in the expanded program if possible. I'm also wondering if I can put pet waste in the Organic Collection?

Thank you,

Sandy

City Staff Response:
Sandy,

We will accept pet waste in the organics program.

We have selected the areas for the pilot expansion.  What is your address?

George
Posted: 04/07/2014
I would not like to have another garbage container in my garage, as it would be a hardship for storing in our garage. We live in a condo, and are restricted from storing anything outside on our property, plus it looks ugly.
I understand what you are trying to accomplish, but I hope you will look at a different method. I can not emphasize this situation to the degree where it would be very difficult to store another container in our garage.
Thank You for taking this situation in consideration.
James H McNeil
5605 Calico Drive
Madison,WI 53718

City Staff Response:
James,

We,see the need for storage of a third cart to be the biggest obstacle,for the,program, after finances., Most people will not have an issue finding space, but for others, such as yourself, it will be a challenge.

There really is no other method for collection of this material., The Streets Division is totally committed to automated collection as it saves money and protects our workers from injuries., That means we will have to look at carts.

We have looked at ways to separate the organics form the regular trash and have found those methods to be very expensive and the material separated has an unacceptably high rate of contamination.

We will continue to explore alternatives, but right now it looks like we will be going with the third cart.

We are looking at getting the smallest possible cart to minimize the space that will be required., There is also the option of trading your current refuse cart for a smaller size, which will be possible once the organics are removed.,

George
Posted: 04/07/2014
I can't wait for the composting program to be available city-wide. I think it's a great idea.

City Staff Response:
Beth,

Neither can I.

George
Posted: 04/03/2014
Can I place yard clippings into my compost bin?

City Staff Response:
Corina,

Yes you can.

George
Posted: 04/03/2014
Are the Natur-Tec bags you gave us during the last pick-up the same bags as you've been sending out for a couple months now? I think it's been about two months since I emailed my request for bags and they seem to be the same. Thanks!

City Staff Response:
Teresa,

These bags are from a different manufacturer that some of the bags we have used in the past., All of the bags we have sent out are compostable.

George
Posted: 03/21/2014
I've never seen a "black cart". What is the size volume and dimensions of the organic collection carts? If this is going to be required in the city in the upcoming years, we need to how to plan for storage. Is it expected that each house will have three carts? Do you expect the existing carts sizes to remain the same? Will there be anything smaller than today? Even if uncertain, at least provide some indication of what is being considered.

City Staff Response:
Steve,

We are curretnly using a 35 gallon cart for the organics program.  It is the same size as the smallest cart we use for refuse adn recycling.  It may be tht we will use a smaller cart.  However, to date, we have not found a smaller cart that is fully compatable with our sutomated collection system.  That said, we will continue to explore smaller options as they come on the market.

If the organics program does go citywide, residents would be required to have a third cart for the organics.  At this time, we anticipate that this iwll happen in 2017 if the program is approved.

I hope this information is helpful.

George Dreckmann
Posted: 03/17/2014
Just requesting more green bags if you all still provide them...
221 N. Seventh st
Madison 52704

Thanks!

City Staff Response:
Hi,

I will get you some int he mail.

George
Posted: 03/10/2014
Hello,

We are in need of green compost bags at 2418 Sommers Ave. Madison, WI 53704. We greatly enjoy the program. Thank you.

City Staff Response:
I will get you some in the mail.

George
Posted: 03/10/2014
I live at 2217 Oakridge Ave. I am in the Tuesday pick up area, and have seen the black carts just a block away. I hope that when you are choosing your expansion areas for the pilot program in May, that you will consider additional expansion in the Tuesday area. You would already be collecting in that area, which would be cost efficient, and I know that my neighbors and I would be very excited to get a jump on the program, and contributing to it's success! Our neighborhood is very motivated for green solutions.

Thanks!
-Kari
2217 Oakridge Ave.

City Staff Response:
Kari,

It is very unlikely that we will expand the pilot project in areas we are already serving.  We do not have extra capacity in our east side pilot to add any households and our expansion will not be adding any staff for Tusedays.

I am sorry that we cannot expand in your area.

George
Posted: 02/26/2014
I own and live in a 4-plex apt building at 1640 Sherman Ave. I see that the next phase-in of the program will include some multi-family dwellings.

I have 2 questions:

Could we be considered for the program?

What size are the indoor bins? I'm remodeling one of the kitchens and want to allow for storage of a bin regardless of whether we're included now or later.

Thank you,
Jean Espenshade


City Staff Response:
Jean,

We are going to decide on the areas for expansion in May.  I am not sure where we be yet, but your area is possible.

The kitchen collectors are about 6" tall and about 6" across and 4" deep.

George
Posted: 02/26/2014
I live in an 8-unit condo building on the 1100 block of E. Dayton Street. Will we be eligible to join the pilot program in its next phase?

Just checking!

Thanks,

Erin

City Staff Response:
Erin,

I don't think that you will be in the expansion area.  However, if you are we will let you know.

We expect to decide on residential ares in early May.

George
Posted: 01/21/2014
Unfortunately, I am not in the pilot program area. Is there a place I can drop off my organics? If not, is that in the plans? Is there a tentative date planned? I know that composting at home is the best option but isn't an option I have. I'd love to be able to participate by dropping those items off and planning those trips with other errands otherwise those items go in the trash. Please advise. Thanks.

City Staff Response:
Elaine,

At this time we have not established a drop off site for organics.  It is something we have discussed, but we do not currently have space or equipment to properly handle the material at our sites.

Sorry.

George
Posted: 01/21/2014
My wife and I just moved into the area and have been looking for ways to keep composting even though we haven't yet set up any sort of system for ourselves. Our address is 2567 Hoard St. Is that by any chance within the pilot space?

City Staff Response:
Unfortunately, no.

We will be holding a home compost bin ssale on Saturday May 4th.  Watch our web site for more details.
Posted: 01/09/2014
More Green bags please! And hey, is there a better way to get these than to post on this public forum? 178 Talmadge ST thanks!


City Staff Response:
You can contact me directly at gdreckmann@cityofmadison.com or call 267-2626.

George
Posted: 12/30/2013
I'm participating in the Organics Collection Pilot Program, and I LOVE it! What can we do to help expand this program and ensure its long-term implementation?
Thanks!

City Staff Response:
Brenna,

We have received approval to expand the pilot program in 2014.  We are looking at starting a full time program no later than 2017.  The best thing you can do is to share information with family and friends in Madison about your experiences.

Thanks for helping us out.

George
Posted: 12/30/2013
How can we find out what areas are able to participate in the pilot program? Is there a listing or a map somewhere? I'm having trouble finding this information online.
Thank you!

City Staff Response:
Brenna,

Send me your address and I can check and see if you are in the area.

George

gdreckmann@cityofmadison.com
Posted: 12/30/2013
Hello,

We are in need of some more green compost bags, can you please send some? 6209 Jeffers Drive, Madison, WI 53719. Thank you!

City Staff Response:
Dana,

I will get some out in the mail.

George
Posted: 12/12/2013
Hello,

We just moved to 534 S Midvale Blvd. I have a feeling we're not in the pilot program are but wanted to check just in case...are we in luck?

Thanks!
Carolyn

City Staff Response:
Carolyn,

Unfortunately, you are not in the pilot area.

George
Posted: 12/12/2013
Hi there,

We just moved into Nichols Station, at 311 N. Hancock. Are we in the pilot area? We're very close to the Madison Children's museum, if that is a drop-off site. We would love to participate.

Regards!

City Staff Response:
Unfortunatley you are not in the pilot area.

The Children's Museum is not a drop off site.  We are just takeing material they generate.

George
Posted: 12/08/2013
I am in need of more little green compost bags for my black kitchen compost box. Would you please send me some also?

6405 pizarro cir
Madison

Thanks

Bill

City Staff Response:
They are on the way.

George
Posted: 12/05/2013
Hello,

We have gone through all of our green bags. Can I get another batch?

116 N. 6th St.
Madison

Thanks,
Tracy

City Staff Response:
I will get you some in the mail.

george
Posted: 11/15/2013
Am I still able to get compost bags for my countertop?
Thanks so much

1305 Rosedale Avenue
Madison, WI 53714

City Staff Response:
Michelle,

Your address is not in the pilot area.

George
Posted: 11/14/2013
We are just moving to Madison and I am very interested in your pilot composting program. We are on a private street, with private garbage collection. I am wondering if there is any way we can get this program introduced on our street, which is White Oaks Lane in the Meadowwood neighborhood. Thank you.

Judi Duncan

City Staff Response:
Judi,

Right now we cannot get you in the pilot program.  Sorry.

George
Posted: 11/14/2013
Could you please send some of the compost bags for the small countertop bin to:

30 Arial Cir
Madison, WI
53719

Thanks!

City Staff Response:
Calvin,

Will do.

George
Posted: 11/04/2013
Could you please send green compostable bags for the countertop container?

Thanks in advance. This is a great program.

My address:
2137E Dayton st.
Madison, Wi. 53704


City Staff Response:
Fabio,

I will be happy to send you some bags.

Thanks

George
Posted: 11/04/2013
Please send me bags for my countertop container:
210 N. 6th St.
Madison, WI 53704

Thank you! I love the composting program.

City Staff Response:
Rebecca,

We love the program as well.  I will get some bags in the mail for you.

Thanks

George
Posted: 11/04/2013
Hi, I live at 22 Coffey Circle on the east side. Just wondering if we are eligible for the composting program. Also we have 2 large apple trees with a lot of fallen/rotten apples to dispose of. Is this included in yard waste? Should we put the apples in bags or boxes or something else.
Thanks,
Sheila

City Staff Response:
Sheila,

Unfortunately, you are not in the pilot area.  However, we can get your apples composted.  We will take them as part of our fall leaf collection.  You can place them in your leaf pile and we will pick them up.  You can also bring them to our yard waste drop off sites.

George
Posted: 10/30/2013
I also need household waste recycling bags. i live at 2708 Lakeland Ave, 53704. Can do? Bill

PS i love this program.

City Staff Response:
Bill,

I will get you some int he mail.

George
Posted: 10/29/2013
I desperately need bags for my organics. Thanks so much. I love this program!

Beth Bremer
169 Jackson
53704

City Staff Response:
Beth,

I will get you some int he mail.

George
Posted: 10/29/2013
Moving sometime in November. Do I get to keep the kitchen countertop bin? I know to leave the cart and call for pick up. Just wondering about the little bin.

City Staff Response:
Judy,

Sorry to see you go.  You may keep the kitchen collector.

Let me know your address so I can alert our field staff.

George

gdreckmann@cityofmadison.com

Posted: 10/15/2013
Hello again,

In case you're able to send them, my address is:

2410 Willard Ave
Madison, Wi. 53704

City Staff Response:
Marta,

I will get you some in the mail.

George
Posted: 10/11/2013
I could use more of the biodegradable trash bags for the counter top container. Is there somewhere in the city where I could purchase these?

Beth

City Staff Response:
Beth,

Not sure about where to buy them.

We have some available that I can mail to you if you send me your adress.

George

Posted: 10/11/2013
Hi George. Just moved into 201 Ohio Ave 53704 and would love to get some composting bags. Thanks, Eric

City Staff Response:
Eric,
Do you have a black cart and a kitchen collector?  I will definately mail you some bags.

George

Posted: 10/07/2013
George,
Is it possible to get more green compostable bags for the countertop container?? Please, and thank you.

Carlson/Draper
177 Ohio Ave. Madison 53704

City Staff Response:
Will do
Posted: 10/01/2013
How do i get another couple of rolls of the green compost bags? I am close to running out and would love it if some could be sent to me.

238 waubesa st apt 2 madison wi 53704

Thanks!

Ash

City Staff Response:
Ash,

I will get some off int eh mail.

George
Posted: 10/01/2013
Please send more compost bags to:

2518 E. Mifflin Street
53704


I am double bagging some compost in the summer so the contents don't leak as easily and smell up the bin, so I am using more bags.

We're so happy to be part of this program.
Thanks

City Staff Response:
Kathy,

I will get some off in the mail.

George
Posted: 10/01/2013
Hello, I am new to composting in this program, and I read the home page of the pilot program and it says you are accepting pet waste. Is this still true?

I use compostable poop bags for my pup also so it would be great to compost them rather than throw them in the dump.

I thought i may have seen a post a while back saying you stopped allowing this, but am unsure.

Thanks!

Ash

City Staff Response:
Ash,

we are still accepting pet waste.  We are no longer taking diapers.

George
Posted: 09/26/2013
Can you please send more green compost bags to 205 N. Second St, 53704.

Thank you.

City Staff Response:
Your Welcome
Posted: 09/25/2013
Hi,

I recently received this message from a pilot participant. I'd like to hear your experiences. Please post them on the forum.

George-
One observation about the biodegradable bin liners, we use the liners we got from the city, but they seem a little small. If they were a little bit bigger, we could fill the bin and then tie off the top of the bag to better contain their contents. As things are now, we need to make a point to empty the bin before it is all the way full so we can still tie them off.
Thanks,
Paul


Thanks

George
Posted: 09/23/2013
Hello,

Could I please get some more green compost bags? If you want to send them, my address is: 1921 E Dayton St. Otherwise, if there is a place I could pick some up I would be happy to do that too.

Thanks,
Laurie

City Staff Response:
Will do
Posted: 09/20/2013
Can expired vitamins and supplements be composted?



City Staff Response:
kathy,

Yes they can.  We cannot take medications but vitamin supplements would be fine.

George
Posted: 09/18/2013
Can I add the shiny paper food wrappers to the organic waste? IE ice cream bar wrappers.
Love the program & the waste collector hangs perfectly inside top of my regular trash bin, while it still allows easy access to it, I hardly use it anymore.
Thanks,
Sue

City Staff Response:
Sue,

If the wrappers you are talking about have a foil like appearence or are foil, I am think of the wrappers on Klondike Bars, then no.  But it they are shinny paper like the wrappers on other frozen treats then yes.

Glad you are enjoying your experience.  Could you send me a photo of your kitchen collector inside your trash bin?  I think that would be a neat thing to share.  You can send it directly to me email gdreckmann@cityofmadison.com.

Thanks

George
Posted: 09/18/2013
Hi,

For readers who are not part of the pilot program, this web site has some great tips on dealing with the orders and pest associated with seperating organics for compost at home.

http://earth911.com/food/compost-curbside-without-smells-flies-pests/

We welomce your thoughts and ideas on our pilot program, our proposal for citywide organics diversion, anaerobic digestion or your home composting experiences.

George Dreckmann
Posted: 09/05/2013
I am a student at UW Madison, and I was wondering if the pilot program included any of the campus area. I live on Langdon street and my apartment building has trash bins collected by the city, and I was wondering if I could get my landlord to provide us with an organic collection bin to participate in the program. My address is 10 Langdon Street, and the building is operated by Steve Brown Apartments.

I understand that the program is still in pilot scale, but I know that a lot of student are action-minded. If service was available at many housing units, a simple flyer around the building or in the move-in packet of information would generate a great deal of participation.

City Staff Response:
Kyle,

At this time we are not running the pilot program in your area., We have requested funds to expand the pilot in 2014 but right now I do not know if we will get the requested money., I am also not sure we would select your area for expansion due to the high annual turn over in residents.

We do plan to add some multi family properties to the pilot, should it expand., Right now I am just not sure where that would take place., There are a lot of logistical issues that have to be considered when we expand the pilot.

Thank you for your interest.

George
Posted: 09/04/2013
We are part of the compost program. I have run out of the green compost bags. Will you send me more?
13 Prescott Cir.
Thanks.

City Staff Response:
I will get some off for you in the mail.

By the way, if any of your nieghbors on the southwest side are interesting in joining the pilot we do have room for them.
Posted: 08/23/2013
Can you please send more organic collection bagsaddress is:
129 Division St., Madison, 53704

City Staff Response:
I will send some out on Monday
Posted: 08/22/2013
Hi, we are running out of green compost bags. From past questions, it looks like this is the place to request more. Can you send some, please?

1937 E Mifflin St, 53704

Thanks,
Matt

City Staff Response:
I will get you some in the mail.
Posted: 08/19/2013
Please send me more organic bags. My address is:
Marian Teson
6434 Pizarro Circle
Madison, WI 53719


City Staff Response:
Will do
Posted: 08/12/2013
I need more green compost bags. Could you please send me some?

City Staff Response:
Marian,

Send me you address and I can mail you more bags.

George
Posted: 08/06/2013
I am a Madison resident, living in the area served by the Organics Collection Pilot Program....I have run out of compost bags. Could you provide me with some more?

My house address is as follows:

Martin griffin
221 N. 7th st
Madison, WI 53704

Thank you.

City Staff Response:
We will get you some in the mail
Posted: 08/06/2013
We need more green compost bags, please.

213 N. 5th Street
Madison, WI 53704

Thanks in advance!

City Staff Response:
They are in the mail
Posted: 08/06/2013
Could I please get some new green bags?
30 N. 4th St.
Madison, WI 53704
Thanks.
Jason

City Staff Response:
They are in the mail.
Posted: 08/06/2013
Hello!
It sounds like you have plans for a compost/organic material pilot for businesses in the works. What would we need to do to get a school or two, or more included in such a pilot?

Thanks, as always, for your work!

Jennifer

City Staff Response:
Jennifer,

At this time, none of the schools int he pilot area have expressed any interest in getting involved.  It is going to take more than a few itnerested partenst to make it happen.  A program like this will require a full commiement from the staff in order for it to take place.

George
Posted: 07/19/2013
Hi there,
We are out of compost bags. Please send some more.
Many thanks!

2314 Center Ave.
Madison, WI 53704

City Staff Response:
Will do
Posted: 07/19/2013
I just bought a house on E Mifflin St. where the compost collection pilot is going on. The prior owners didn't participate in the compost collection pilot, but I would like to. Is it possible to get a bin? 1933 E Mifflin St.

Thank you for your consideration.

City Staff Response:
Joshua,

We will get you signed up.  This brings out east side pilot up to 302 households which is over our limit so we cannot add any more right now.

George
Posted: 07/08/2013
Hello,

I am a Madison resident, living in the area served by the Organics Collection Pilot Program....I have run out of compost bags. Could you provide me with some more?

My house address is as follows:

Wade Thompson
221 N. 6th St. #1
Madison, WI 53704

Thank you. and please note my email address should be wdthomps1@excite.com

wade

City Staff Response:

I will send you some inthe mail.

Posted: 07/01/2013
I'm running low on green compost bags. Could you please send more ?

My address is 2303 Willard Ave., Madison WI 53704




City Staff Response:
Will Do
Posted: 06/10/2013
I'm running low on green compost bags. Could you please send more ?

My address is 33 Kresteller Cr. 53719



City Staff Response:
I will get some out to you.
Posted: 05/20/2013
Hi, I need more green bags at 116 N. 6th st.

Thank you! I love the program.

Tracy

City Staff Response:
They will go out in the mail
Posted: 05/20/2013
Hi.

I'm enjoying being a part of the compost pilot program. How do I get more green bags?

Thanks,
Tracy

City Staff Response:
Tracy,

Send me your address and I can get you some int he mail.

George
Posted: 04/23/2013
Should we stop putting diapers and pet waste into the black bins now?

City Staff Response:
Judy,

While we are almost certain that we will not be able to compost these items in a full scale program, we can continue to accept them in the pilot program.

The compost generated from the pilot material is very low grade and is given away by Columbia County.  There are other regulations concerning its use so they do not have a problem with pet waste and diapers.

George
Posted: 04/23/2013
The latest newsletter indicates that the most efficient process would disallow diapers and pet waste. I think if you're going to get wider acceptance of composting, you definitely need to include diapers and pet waste. Those two items compose about 60% of our compostable waste. If you are serious about reducing the amount of inputs into the landfill, you have deafinitely got to consider what people are willing to compost and your calculations of how much it will reduce waste added to the landfill.

City Staff Response:
Matt,

Thanks for your comments.

The issue with diapers and pet waste diseases that can be transmitted via feces.  We are exploring options to pretreat the material, but they may be cost prohibitive.  They may also not get the compost certified.

Another issue with diapers is that they contain less cellulose than in the past so there is more contamination of the compost from plastic which is hard to remove because it is so small.

As I stated earlier, we will continue to pursue these options, but pet waste and diapers are only about 12% of the organics we could divert from a full scale program so there is still a lot of material to capture.

George
Posted: 04/23/2013
I love the organics program, and I am glad it is continuing, but the bad news you posted on the newsletter really is bad news about not including pet waste. That is a large portion of our weekly compost. I understand about the regulations and all, but I also wonder how much the amount of material diverted from landfills will go down because of this restriction, and the impact that will have on the feasibility of the biodigester.

I hope there is a serious effort to pursue options that would allow these materials to be included in the collection program.

Thanks for all the work put into this program

City Staff Response:
C.L.,

Thank you for your comments.

Our study showed that we had about 1,500 tons of pet waste per year in our landfill bound trash.  And, about an equal amount of disposable diapers.  Not being able to take those int he organics porgram will have an impact.

However, we still had over 15,000 tons of other organic material each year that we can collect from households and about the same amount fro restuarants and gorcers so we will still be diverting an awful lot of material.

George
Posted: 04/23/2013
I love the program and, like other posters, have found I have cut way down on the amount of regular trash that I put out.

It's bad news about pet waste. I used to have a big dog and found this easily the best way to dispose of her waste.

City Staff Response:
Pat,

Good to hear from you.  We have not given up on pet waste, but right now it looks like it will be hard to keep it in.

We will keep you posted on any changes and on our progress towards our goals.

George
Posted: 04/23/2013
Completely love this program. Separating the compostable material from the rest of the kitchen waste is no problem at all.

I understand that you have little control about whether you'll be able to continue to accept pet waste, but I can't tell you how much I love chucking the cat litter into the black bin. I will be very sorry if this part goes away.

I have never bothered with the special bags. I never received any, and the info from streets said special bags weren't necessarythat regular plastic could be used and would just be filtered out.

I, too, put out my "regular" trash much less often. Could probably move to a smaller tan cart with no trouble at all.

City Staff Response:
Thank you for your comments.

George
Posted: 04/22/2013
The organics collection is amazing. What is so interesting that I now only take out "regular" garbage about once a month!!

City Staff Response:
Beth,

We have heard from others who are putting out trash less frequently.  Glad this is working for you.

Thanks for your help.

George
Posted: 04/22/2013
It would be really helpful if the handout was online to print. I often forget what can and can't be put in the bin but I misplaced the handout.

It would be nice to have an online order form for more bags. I don't need any now but if I ever did I don't know how to request more.

The possible pet waste news is not good news for our family. We have a big dog and take full advantage of the bin.

Overall we love the program. Thanks for making it happen!

City Staff Response:
Jessica,

Excellent idea about the flyer.  I will add it to the Pilot Web Page.

When you run out of bags just drop me an e-mail at gdreckmann@cityofmadison.com or call 267-2626

Thanks for your help.

George
Posted: 04/22/2013
I have found that the program will send replacement bags whenever you ask. I also have found them for purchase at Jenifer Street Market and Willy Street Coop. They are a bit pricey, however. I am willing and able to pay to buy them, but not everyone will. That might be an issue for the long term when considering expansion...who will provide the bags.

City Staff Response:
We will indeed mail bags to you.  You can also stop by our offices at either 4602 Sycamore AV or 1501 W. Badger RD, M-F between 7 A.M.. and 4 P.M.. and pick some up.

Our long term plans are to have approved bags available at most retail outlets that sell trash/recycling bags/  There are several different manufacturers so there should be competition to keep prices as low as possible.  For those of you who remember our old recycling program with Madisonpride bags, this was how that program worked.

George
Posted: 04/16/2013
Hi,
What do I do with old plastic bottles of hair shampoo/conditioner. I don't want to throw down the drain and I don't want to toss in the trash to be sent to the landfill. I also have old bars of soap.
Thanks

City Staff Response:
Hi,

You could check with Porchlight.  They offer services to the homeless and might be able to use the matertial.  however, since it has been opened I do have my doubts. You best bet migth be to drina the material and recycle the bottles.

 If the soap is still in packages you can definately donate it to them.  Otherwise it will end up as trash as well.

George
Posted: 04/16/2013
Please send me some more of the green bags. Thanks a lot!
2418 Center Ave. 53704

City Staff Response:
We will mail some out to you.
Posted: 04/16/2013
I am running low on the green compost bags. How can I get more?

Donald Pustz
6234 Thornebury Drive
Madison 53719

City Staff Response:
We will mail some out to you.

George
Posted: 10/08/2012
Hey,

I don't think my house is currently a part of the pilot area for the composting program North Franklin Street, Thursday pick-up, but I would love to divert my food waste for some helpful purpose. Is there any way or place where I can do this?

Thanks for your help.

City Staff Response:
Eric,

Unfortunately, our current efforts are restricted to the pilot area and we cannot expand the area this year.

Thank you for your interest.

George
Posted: 10/02/2012
The composting program continues to work very well for us. Could you send more biodegradable bags for the countertop bucket to:

142 Jackson St., Madison, WI 53704

Thank you!

City Staff Response:
Heike,

I will get you some in the mail.

George
Posted: 10/02/2012
I am running low on the green bags needed for the compost bin. Could you please send me some ? My address is : 33 Kresteller Cr.

Thank-you !!!

City Staff Response:
Susan,

I will get some out in the mail.

George
Posted: 09/24/2012
Thanks for continuing the organics collection program. We may have to get rid of our garbage disposal :
If possible could more green bags be sent to 221 N. Seventh St.?
Thanks!
Btw still waiting for an opportunity to tour the digester facility

City Staff Response:
I willg et some to you in the mail.

George
Posted: 09/19/2012
Can you start pickup at this address:

933 E Gorham St

?

City Staff Response:
Unfortunatley, you are not int he pilot area.

George
Posted: 09/19/2012
I am running out of the biodegradable bags for the collection container.
Is there somewhere I can purchase more bags or can I receive more through the program? I love my kitchen waste collector.

Thank you.

City Staff Response:
Colleen,

Send me you address and I can get you some.

George
Posted: 09/06/2012
Are either of these two addresses in the pilot areas?
2001 Taft Street
4619 Jenewein Drive

Thank you.

City Staff Response:
Cassandra,

Unfortunately, no.

George
Posted: 09/05/2012
We need more small green bags t 2621 E. Johnson, please.

And may we use paper grocery bags for large quantities like cat litter and paper towels?

Awesome program, BTW. I hope it pays for itself soon so it can expand to the whole world.

City Staff Response:
Lorece,

You can use paper grocery bags.

I will get some bags to you in the mail.

George
Posted: 09/04/2012
Is 819 Kottke Dr. included in the pilot program service area? If so, what is the link to the sign up form I'm not seeing it on the main pilot program page?

City Staff Response:
Unfortunately, you are not in the pilot area. 

Due to budget constraints we are not able to expand the pilot project for households in 2013 either.  We will be looking to add commercial customers in order to test the concept with businesses.

Thank you for your interest.

George
Posted: 09/04/2012
I just bought a house in the pilot area and have a question about the yard waste. Can I put sticks and yard waste into the black bin without a plastic bag? If I need to put them in a bad can I use any yard trash bag, or does it need to be under a certain size.

Thanks,

Dave

City Staff Response:
Dave,

No need to bag yard waste or twigs.  If you need a bag you can use a regular plastic bag.

George
Posted: 08/13/2012
I do not live in Madison but am interested in this pilot. can you please tell me who the hauling company is that you are collaborating with and are they running a seperate route to pick up the organics?

City Staff Response:
Michael,

The City of Madison does its own colelction in City owned vehicles with City employees.  We do run a seperate route for organics.

George
Posted: 08/08/2012
I had received the black bucket and would like to switch to the smaller bucket because the bio-degradable bags just don't fit the black bucket. There was a previous post about the black buckets being too big.

Address: 6 Tamarron Court

Thanks




City Staff Response:
Indu,

We would be happy to get you a different collector.  If you can stop by our office at 1501 W. Badger rd we can get you a different one.

George
Posted: 08/08/2012
Is there a way to participate in the pilot program?? We would love to participate.

Thank you


City Staff Response:
Carol,

Our pilot program is operating in a fairly small area.  I would need your address to see if you are in that area.

George
Posted: 08/08/2012
Dear Organics Collection Pilot Program,

Like another poster on this forum, I just moved to Madison from San Francisco and I really miss my compost bin! I would be so grateful to participate in this program if you are still accepting volunteers and I am in the pilot area. I live at 2550 University Ave.

Thanks so much!
Kate

City Staff Response:
Kate,

Unfortunately, you are not int he pilot area.  Thank youf or your itnerest though.

George
Posted: 07/20/2012
I live at 1151 E Johnson and would be interested in participating. If possible please let me know how. Thanks.

City Staff Response:
Mary Lou,

Unfortunately, you are not in the pilot area.

Thank you for your interest.

George
Posted: 07/20/2012
can you please send more green bags to 169 Talmadge Street 53704? sorry if this is not the correct avenue for the request - I saw lots of other similar comments on the forum.

Thanks for a great program - we process a lot of veggies these days for consumption and preservation, and feel very good about being able to separate organics through the municipal pilot program

Alan



City Staff Response:
Alan,

We will send you some.

George
Posted: 07/20/2012
A webpage detailing what bags can/cannot be used for composting and where to get the biodegradable bags would be useful. We're out as well and don't know where to get new ones. Any input would be helpful.

Also, is it necessary to use bags? Could we just throw the compost in the black bin?

Thanks.

Erin

City Staff Response:
Erin,

You can use any type of bag you like for the pilot program.  The composting system we are using for the pilot material takes regular household trash that has not been seperated and composts it.  It is designed to screen out regular plastic bags that will not compost so it can handle any type of bag you use.

If this program goes citywide and we build a digester we may have specific bag requirements.  However, during the pilot there are no specific requirements.

George
Posted: 07/05/2012
It seems paper napkins/plates soiled with food is accepted but there is nothing specifically mentioned about soiled pizza boxes.

City Staff Response:
We do take pizza boxes.
Posted: 07/03/2012
Are all the green bio-degradable bags of same size or are there different sizes of buckets. The green bags only cover 3 corners of black bucket making dumping content into the bucket a mess. Any attempt to stretch the bag simply rips it.

City Staff Response:
Indu,

I will be happy to exchange collectors for you.

Based upon the experience we have had in the pilot, we feel the black containers are too big.

I welcome others who have the black collectors to share their experiences.

George
Posted: 07/02/2012
We just moved into a house that collects compost. The previous owners did not leave any bags behind or any information on this program, just the black bins. From the websites I've gleaned quite a bit of information. Would you please send me some of those composting bags? Thanks
13 Prescott Circle, 53719

City Staff Response:
Jillian,

I will get some information to you in the mail today.

Thank you for your interest.

George
Posted: 06/29/2012
Hi,

I'll be moving to Madison on August first, and my address will be 121 E. Gorham st, and I'm wondering if that is within the pilot program, and if I would still be eligible to sign up.

I've been collecting compost in my kitchen for years, but I'll be moving to an apartment without space for me to put it outside, so either some sort of pick-up service, or at least somewhere that I would be able to take the organic waste and drop it off would be a big help!

Thanks,

-Jordan Wilson

City Staff Response:
Jordan,

Unfortunately, you are not in our pilot area.  We do not have a drop off program at this time.

Thank you for your interest though and welcome to Madison.

George
Posted: 06/08/2012
Are there any plans to set up a request form similar to the one at www.cityofmadison.com/organicspilot for people to sign up and let the city know that they're interested in Organics Collection coming to their neighborhood? I live on Iris Bloom and am VERY interested in having this program come to my neighborhood.

City Staff Response:

Hi,



Thanks you for your itnerest in the program.


At this time we have no definite plans to expand the pilot program due to budget concerns.  However, funds for expansion could be part of the 2013 City budget.  I suggest you let our elected officials know you support expansion.

George Dreckmann
Recycling Coordinator

 

Posted: 06/04/2012
A previous e-mail mentioned more composting bags coming within two weeks. It's been two collections and no bags. Can I pick them up or will they be coming or can I buy them somewhere? We're out!

Thanks,
Mary

City Staff Response:

Mary,


I hope to get them out next week.


George Dreckmann
Recycling Coordinator
 

Posted: 06/04/2012
I'm interested in participating in this pilot program however, it appears my the Westmorland Neighborhood is not included. Are there plans to expand the pilot program?
How can local neighborhoods participate?
How can I help promote this program?

City Staff Response:

Jenn,


At this time we are limited to the current pilot area for the program.  We will try to get funds to expand the program in the 2013 budget.  However, the areas we choose will be largely determined by our current workload on refuse and recycling.  That is because we will not be getting any funds to add staff and trucks.  For that reason we will have to choose areas we can cover using our current staff and fleet.


As far as promoting the program is concerned, I think it would be wonderful if you would talk to your neighbors about what we are doing and refer them to our web site to get more information.  You could also let our elected officials know that you support the concept.


Thank you for contacting us.


George Dreckmann
Recycling Coordinator
 

Posted: 05/31/2012
I'm excited to read about the pilot program. Is there a way to get on a list if a pilot comes to my neighborhood? I'm on the 1200 block of Jenifer Street in 53703.

City Staff Response:

Jennifer,

We are keeping a list for future areas as we have no idea where we will be expanding.


Thanks
George
 

Posted: 05/25/2012
Hi

I have written asking if we are able to join the pilot program. Our address is 5 Hartford Ct, Madison 53719. "George" requested our address. Thank you for your quick response.

City Staff Response:

Amy,

You are in the pilot area.  To register go to www.cityofmadison.com/organicspilot


George

Posted: 05/23/2012
Hi
We are interested in participating in the organics compost project. Our zip code is 53719. Please let us know if we can still join the project, and how we go about it.

Thanks

City Staff Response:

Amy,


I need your address.


George

Posted: 01/23/2012
Hello, Mr. Dreckmann,
our neighborhood we live on Willard Ave. has been included in the pilot program for the Organics Collection and Recycling experiment.
We thoroughly approve of this, and thank you for doing it. And it's no trouble at all to collect our organic refuse as we cook, or wash dishes. I hope you'll make this a city-wide permanent program.
Sincerely,
Buck Trawicky


City Staff Response:

Buck,

Unfortunately, you are one block outside our pilot area.  Thanks for your interest.


George

Posted: 01/17/2012
Just moved to Madison from San Francisco, where there is city-wide composting. I support city composting programs 100%! If there is a way I could join the pilot program, please let me know we live at 113 Elm St, 53726.

City Staff Response:

Unfortunately, you are not in the pilot area, but I appreciate your interest.  For folks who are interested in the San Francisco program you will find information at http://www.sfenvironment.org/our_programs/topics.html?ssi=3&ti=6


George

Posted: 01/09/2012
I'm thrilled that the program is good well. This composting effort really makes me stop and think about what I prepare for mealstrying to eat more natural and organic. I'm so proud our city is taking the lead, once again, on a great project!

City Staff Response:

Fran,


Thank you for your kind words and for helping us on this project.


George

Posted: 01/06/2012
I've been using both biodegradable and store plastic bags for dog poop and placing them in the cart. Is this okay? I've read about the green bags, but don't know what those are or where to get them. Are they preferred?

City Staff Response:

Kevin,


Please continue to use the bags your are using.  We are currently out of the green bags.  I am working on getting a new supply and will keep everyone posted when they arrive.


George

Posted: 12/31/2011
We absolutely love the program and hope it never goes away.

City Staff Response:

Ted,


Thank you for your kind words.  We will be working hard this year to make sure we have a permanate program in the next few years.


George

Posted: 12/31/2011
I have been putting cat urine and feces in the green bags. That is correct?

City Staff Response:

MC,


That is fine.  However, since one often ends up with quite a bit of cat litter, you can use regular plastic bags for that during the pilot.  This will make your green bags last longer.

George Dreckmann
 

Posted: 12/30/2011
Soon after starting this program, we had to make it easy for everyone in our family to fully participate and for the kids to still be able to empty the trash as part of their weekly chores so, we added "side bins" to each of our trash cans bedrooms, bathrooms, home office, etc.. We've labeled all of the main bins "Organics" and the side bins "Trash." We just wanted to share the idea. The program has been great, and we have reduced what we now call our "trash trash" to roughly 1/4 of what it was previously. Our tan bin is almost always nearly empty now.

We got the side bins from Lab Safety in Janesville: http://www.labsafety.com/rubbermaid-side-bin-recycling-receptacles_27709429/?searchterm=side%2bbin

City Staff Response:

Baxter,


What a great way to keep the kinds involved.  Thanks for sharing.


George Dreckmannn

Posted: 12/30/2011
Great Program I am very happy with it good to see Madison moving forward even with the Governor and Republican Legislature we have that are not concerned with the environment.

City Staff Response:

Dan,
 

Madison and Dane County are faced with some serious solid waste issues that we
have to tackle ourselves.  We keep hoping that we might see some financial help with the project from either the state or federal governments.  While we have no reason to expect help at this time, we also think that we might get some assistance as me move slocer to implementation.


Thanks


George Dreckmann
 

Posted: 10/27/2011
I'm all out of the green composting bags..who do I need to contact to get some more?


City Staff Response:
Heather,

Send me your address and I can mail some to you.  Or you can stop by our office at 1501 W. Badger Rd M-F from 7-4.

George
Posted: 10/27/2011
I have a cat. I don't care to flush the litter clumps nor do I have a place to bury it. Is there a central collection point I can bring my pet waste to or ask for a suitable cart to be picked up?

City Staff Response:
We do not have a central collection point.  As long as you double bag the litter, with the outer bag being plastic you should be fine putting that in your tan refuse cart.
Posted: 10/11/2011
I've been composting for years and just love to pilot program! I just wanted to suggest a particular compost pail that has worked really well:

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=compost+pail&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=T7i&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=imvns&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&biw=1014&bih=431&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=2972783191639102658&sa=X&ei=PGSTTvOaB4OLsQLsktSjAQ&ved=0CHIQ8wIwAA

It's stainless steel and has a couple of carbon filters. We've had no problems with odor or fruit flies since switching over to this. We even use this kind of pail at my office, as it's nice enough to keep out on the counter, although we use our home one underneath the kitchen sink.

If you do get fruit flies around your bin, here's a great solution, especially using a sweet juice as bait: http://www.instructables.com/id/Easy-Fruit-Fly-Trap/

City Staff Response:
Danielle,

Thanks for the ideas.

We are testing three different kitchen collectors.  If you are using the open one and would like to try a different model let me know and I can arrange to let you try something else.

George
Posted: 10/11/2011
Excellent.
I haven't participated much myself as I already compost. But many people do
not, so this is a boon. I can always add the infrequent pizza box to someone
else's bin. Speaking of which, I hope that people are open to collaboration.
Seems like a waste for sanitation workers to empty half-full bins, whether
they are recyclables, trash, or organics.

Kathy Esposito
Recycling good old furniture, keeping it OUT of the landfill!!

Kathy



Home & Office Upholstery, Inc.

2307 Atwood Avenue

Madison, Wisconsin 53704

608.244.8761


City Staff Response:
Kathy,

As long as the automated trucks are coming down the street, it is no problem to pick up a half full cart.  However, we are seriously considering using carts that are just over half the size fo the black carts if we get a full scale program going.  The volume of material we are collecting indicates that the smaller carts would work very well.

George
Posted: 10/11/2011
I just want to tell you how great this program has worked for us, and I hope it expands, citywide. I am grateful for the containers and bags which have made it so simple to use.

We have not had a problem with bugs, maggots, or flies, using the inside collector - and we've put some pretty rotten stuff in there. With the more than ample supply of bags, we have made it a habit to change the bag every two days, or so. It could be that the constant layers of coffee grounds and filters helped with that, I suppose.

It's been great to have the bags for dog waste, and miscellaneous soiled paper. We couldn't bring ourselves to put in ALL the soiled paper types we generate in the house, but might experiment with placing a special container with the greenbags in our bathroom in the future.

It takes some time to focus on where each type of waste goes, but I truly feel it is time well spent. I just hope that this continues and expands because I really don't want to give it up!

Thanks!

City Staff Response:
Mary,

Thank you for being a part of the program.

George
Posted: 10/10/2011
Went to scrape my dinner plate into our small indoor bin this evening and it was crawling with maggots! Sorry, but maggots in my home is a deal breaker for me. Both bins will remain outside from now on and our continued participation in the program is questionable.

City Staff Response:
Katie,

I hope things are better.  I know that it will improve come winter. 

Unfortunately, maggots and food scraps go together.  There are a few things you can do to prevent them or at least minimize them.  Here is a web site from Hamilton, Ontario that offers some tips on maggots.

http://www.hamilton.ca/CityServices/Garbage-and-Recycling/Green-bins-composting/Green-bin-avoid-maggots.htm

George
Posted: 10/10/2011
Hi! We have not received green bags. How can we obtain a supply?

City Staff Response:
Emily,

Send my your address and I will get some to you.

George
Posted: 10/10/2011
I love being part of this pilot program! I see you are going to be expanding the pilot program. Can I still remain as a part of it?

City Staff Response:
Fay,

Everyone who is currently in the program will remain in the program as long as they like.

George
Posted: 09/07/2011
I saw one of the composting bins a few blocks from my house. Is the pilot program on the near west side of Madison? 2500 block of Van Hise? Thanks

City Staff Response:
Hi,

No, the organics program is operating on the south west side.

Sorry, but that you for your interest.

George
Posted: 09/06/2011
Thanks for tris interesting information! I found it very useful =
Posted: 08/29/2011
Really great article with very interesting information. You might want to follow up to this topic!?! 2012

City Staff Response:
Will do.
Posted: 08/29/2011
Really interesting blog, keep up the good work!

City Staff Response:
Thank you.
Posted: 08/10/2011
another tip on maggot control: this week was the first time i encountered the issue, and boy did i ever! went out to drop off another compost bag and the entire black bininside and outwas crawling with hundreds of them. ugh!

my solution was to carefully drag the bin out into a sunny spot in my yard and leave it open in the sun. after just a few hours most of the little buggers had dried up. a thorough rinse with the hose and it's all clean. pity the birds don't care for Maggot Crispies.

City Staff Response:
Thanks for the idea.  of course, I will not be eating rice krispies for a while.
George
Posted: 08/03/2011
I don't have a problem with the maggots/flies well, I get them in my cart, but don't consider them to be too much of a problem. My trouble is with fruit flies! Anyone have an idea to keep them out of my kitchen? I've tried covering the top of my collector with a couple pieces of papertowel, but am still getting them.

Thanks!

City Staff Response:
You might want to try using the two sided sticky fly tape that is sold at some hardware stores and Farm and Fleet.  Apply it to the inside of the lids on your cart and kitchen collector.

Anyone else have suggestions?

George
Posted: 08/02/2011
Several local cafes are using "earthchoice" cups and they say they are compostable. They look so much like plastic I was scared to put them in my compost bin until I asked. I love the program! Thank you!

City Staff Response:
We will accept those in the pilot.

George
Posted: 08/02/2011
George - Happy to share our experience with you and other composters. We loved the program in SF and found it extremely easy. We purchased a waste can with a lid - like one you would use for indoor garbage - and lined it with a plastic garbage bag. We would fill it all week long and then dump it into our compost bin for once a week pick up. We lived up 2 flight of stairs so it saved us the running up and down to empty a small pail every day. Amazingly, it didn't get smelly but perhaps the cooler climate of SF helped with that.

I noticed that someone inquired about diapers. So diapers are accepted in your compost program? I also saw that pet waste is being accepted. These items were not allowed in SF. What is the future of the compost material? Are there plans to sell it or give it back to participating residents?

City Staff Response:
Welcome to Madison and thank you for sharing your experience.

George
Posted: 07/25/2011
I've heard of folks having problems with maggots. I had no problem with maggots until I put meat scraps in the mix. It was gross!!!
Consider FREEZING all meatscraps and bones until collection day.
My parents did this to prvent racoons from getting into their trash.
I put a comparable piece of meat into my regular compost bin with NO maggot problem. The difference seems to be the depth of "dirt" around the meat.
LOVE the program. Didn't need the extra bags.
Wm.


City Staff Response:
Thank you for your comments.  A great idea.

George
Posted: 07/19/2011
Are all types of disposable diapers accepted? Is a certain brand recommended? For example, the 7th generation brand does not have bleach or dyes, which I am guessing is preferable for the compost. Also, is sod accepted? We just recently removed part of our lawn for perennial beds and wonder if we can put the sod in to the compost bin. Thanks!

City Staff Response:
We can accept any disposable diaper but the bleach and dye free versions would in fact be better.

We will take small amounts of sod.

George
Posted: 07/19/2011
Hello -

We just moved here from San Francisco. I understand you are modeling your compost program after theirs. We miss our compost bin very much and would love to be part of your pilot program! We have years of experience from living in SF. Thank you - Cindy

City Staff Response:

Welcome to Madison.  Please send me your address and I will check if you are in the pilot area.

If you get a chance, I would love to have you share your san Francisco experience with our volunteers on this forum.

For those who want to learn some more about the san Francisco program you can follow this link  http://www.sunsetscavenger.com/residentialCompost.htm

George

Posted: 07/13/2011
Perhaps this has already been asked, but I'm assuming the "bioselect" deli containers from the Co-op can be put in? the website for the company www.bioselect.com says they are 100% biodegradable and 100% compostable.

City Staff Response:
Yes, we can take those.

George
Posted: 07/08/2011
I'm getting married on Friday, August 12, and would like to use Solo Bare compostable dishes for my wedding reception, but I'd need to get the compostable waste to an appropriate facility afterward. Therefore, I'd like to ask if anyone that is part of the 'Organic's Collection Pilot Program' would be willing to let me place compostable materials in their collection bins after the reception. If you would be willing or could offer a suitable alternative suggestion, please contact me at suttonvr@yahoo.com. Thanks very much for your consideration!

City Staff Response:
Hi,

If you can help out, please contact suttonvr@yahoo.com  The couple has found a perfect match.  let's see if there is another match between their plates and your black bin.

George
Posted: 07/08/2011
i really, really, REALLY wanted to be a part of this program - neighbors on either side of us and up and down the street are participating but we weren't selected. is there any way that we can be added?

City Staff Response:
We are working on your request.  This is a reminder that we can still accommodate more volunteers, especially on the west side.  So, if you are chatting with your neighbors you can see if they would like to join us.  Just remember, they have to live in your immediate area.

Thanks

George
Posted: 07/06/2011
Are bones acceptable, like chicken bones?

Also, thanks for your hard work on this program. We appreciate it a great deal.

j.

City Staff Response:
You are welcome.
Posted: 07/06/2011
Today our organics can was not emptied, even though it was sitting on the curb and our neighbors' cans were emptied. I am thinking that the can will be really stinking by next week. What should we do?

City Staff Response:
When your cart is missed you can hold it for the following week of call to get it collected as trash the following day.  east side residents should call 246-4532 west side 266-4681.

Sorry for the problem.  Yesterday was a hectic day with double collection due to Independence Day.

George
Posted: 07/05/2011
This looks like an interesting project. Please consider subm,itting a video if you like doing that type of thing. If not, go look and see what others may have posted.

George

“Enthusiasm for Your Curb” is a new video project from the editors of Waste360.com and Waste Age magazine that asks you to think about what happens at your curb on trash and recycling collection day. We want your video description of how your garbage and recycling is collected, what you like about it and what you’d change if you could.

Everyone is welcome to submit a video, from private citizens, to small businesses, to corporations. Whether you live in a suburban cul-de-sac, a huge apartment block, or a farm miles from the next house, we want to hear your thoughts on what you throw away. Be as creative as possible, as we will be sharing these videos with our readers and anyone else interested in the subject.

Just upload your video to YouTube be sure to include "Enthusiasm for Your Curb" in the title or description and make sure it’s embeddable then email a link to yourcurb@waste360.com. By submitting your video, you give Waste Age, waste360.com and Penton Media permission to republish it and make use of it in promotions and other efforts.


Possible questions to tackle in your video:

· What makes your area’s trash and recycling collection unique?

· What do you like about the way waste is handled in your area? Is it particularly convenient? Do you have single-stream recycling all recyclables in one bin? Does your recycler accept all numbers of plastic?

· What don’t you like about waste collection in your area? Too expensive? Too infrequent? Lack of recycling? Lack of yard waste collection and composting?

· If you had your druthers, what would you change? Would you add more collection days? Would you be interested in curbside food waste collection? E-waste recycling?

So grab your video camera, sidle up to a trashcan, and show us some enthusiasm for your curb!

Posted: 07/05/2011
Overall I love the program. I have been using paper bags to put everything in the black bin. Every time I empty my small black bin in the house I wash it so it doesn't smell in the kitchen. Although, maggots have become a problem. I don't know if this is possible, but during the summer months maybe have two pick-ups during the week. If this becomes a mandatory or even stays volunteer, I am sure once people get maggots they will be done. Maybe some people will only participate during the cooler months. They are gross! My family is not appreciating the little critters either! I have let the birds feed off of them but there are always some left and the smell of them does not go away easily. I googled how to prevent maggots and thought I would share them. I hope they work!

Preventing Maggots
1 Coat can with mint rub or mint oil
2 KEEP LID SEALED TIGHT!
3 Wash can each week with vinegar and water solution: 1 part white vinegar and 2 parts water. Apply to all surfaces using a scrub brush. Let it air dry with lid open, do not let moisture be trapped.
4 Put newspaper at the bottom of the can to absorb liquid
5 Place black tarp over the top during hot spells to prevent flies from getting in
6 Coat outside of can with vinegar to repel flies
7 Crush bay leaves or eucalyptus leaves and hang outside of the can
8 garden lime
9 sticky fly tape around can to prevent flies from entering

Any more ideas?
Thanks



City Staff Response:
Great ideas.  Thanks for sharing.

George
Posted: 07/05/2011
Love participating in this program! The kitchen collector with green bags is working well for our family and no problems thus far.
A couple of questions:
1-can we put bbq grill charcoal/ash directly into the bin?
2-if we put cat litter/dog doo into paper bags, would that save the need for you to weed out plastic bags later & would you prefer that?
3-are the green bags to be used regularly for dog doo or just kitchen compost? we'll run out quickly if we are to use for dog doo on walks Also, how about leftover bags from the dog park that say they're compostable-are those preferable to a regular plastic bag for this program?
4-used kleenex: ok or no?
5-soiled pizza box: prefer whole box in the compost bin or tear apart the box so the part that touched food goes into compost bin and the rest goes into recycling?
Thank you for this great program!

City Staff Response:
1) Charcoal ash should be bagged.  This prevents the material from blowing around.
You can use paper bags.

2) Paper bags for pet waste are fine.  You can also use green bags if you like and we cans end you more.

3) Dog park bags are fine.

4) Kleenex is fine.

5) Either way is fine.  Prefer to have the clean portion in the recycling.

George
Posted: 07/05/2011
1 Cat poop. We typically scoop it we use non-clumping litter and flush it. That's easier/cleaner than putting it in the black bin. Is it better for the environment to put it in the black bin than to flush it?
2 Could you perhaps post and regularly update a comprehensive list of all the stuff that can go in the black bins?
3 Screening plastic bags - how does that work? Does a person have to remove plastic bags from dog poop etc?? What a crummy job that would be!

City Staff Response:
It would be better for your pipes and the sewers if you put the cat litter clumps in the black cart.

The plastic bags are taken out using mechanical screens at the end of the compost process and again when the material is set out and turned in the finishing process.


I will try to update the list on the main PIlot web page.

George
Posted: 07/05/2011
Hi! I just bought a new house yay me! on the North side of Madison- off Delaware and I would love to join if available. Are you still taking participants?

Thanks,
Samantha


City Staff Response:
Smanatha,

Unfortunately, we must keep the pilot to a small area and teh northside is not in the pilot zone.

Thanks for you interest though.

George
Posted: 06/30/2011
One comment and two questions.
I agree with one of the older posts I think it would be good to have 2 of the small indoor bins as we are missing some of items just due to placements of the indoor bin I would even be willing to purchase the extra depending on the cost.
Is a more detailed FAQ being generated per this Q&A forum as I love reading all the questions and it helps me use my bin more effectively I feel if this were to go live in the city a nice booklet with things of this nature would really help people hit the ground running.
Do you still need more people on the west side I would be willing to go door to door on my street to try to bring them into the program if that would help.
Also I will be emailing to get some of the Biobags to try out and a 2nd indoor bin if you still have some available.
Kim

City Staff Response:
We can get you a second collector.  Send your address to gdreckmann@cityofmadison.com

Ultimately, we will use the information we are getting on this forum to guide our instructional material for a full time program.  We are getting great feedback that is very useful to us and I am sure will benefit future participants.

We are still looking for participants on the west side.  Your offer of help is greatly appreciated.

George
Posted: 06/29/2011
Is the black cart organics being collected every week same as the tan cart normal garbage? Or is it every other week like the green cart recycling. Reason why I ask is that this week week of June 27th the black cart did not get collected which is also an off week for recycling but the previous weeks it got collected every week...

City Staff Response:
The black cart should be collected ever week.  If we miss you cart call our offices 246-4532 (east) or 266-4681 (west) and we will get it picked up.

George
Posted: 06/29/2011
Just a quick question/comment. My black cart was not picked up today. Any reason? BTW love, love, LOVE this pilot!

City Staff Response:
Thank you for your kind words and for being a part of the program.;

George
Posted: 06/29/2011
Thanks for running the pilot program, I've been curious since it started how to dispose of all the food in the indoor bin and putting it into the black cart and thanks to the forum I discovered that there were green bags that were supplied, but I never got those, so it's been pretty messy and smelly with me just throwing food and peels into the bins. Is there anyway I can get some to use or is there a specific type we should buy that's compatible?

Thank you!

Jeff

City Staff Response:

I can get you some of the green bags.  Just send your address to me at gdreckmann@cityofmadison.com

Goorge

Posted: 06/28/2011
I am generating small amounts of waste soil in my garden. Previously, I was told that I could bag this up and put it in the tan cart. Now that I am part of this pilot program, should I put these small amounts of waste soil in my black cart instead? And, how much soil at one time can I put into the appropriate cart?

City Staff Response:
Small amounts of soil are fine for the black cart.  I would say that a reasonable limit would be 1 to 2 gallons.

Soil will not "decompose in the system".  It will, however, enrich the end product.

George
Posted: 06/28/2011
I saw where you said that the wax paper from butter is ok to put in the bins but what about standard wax paper? I put some in mine recently but my friend said he didn't think it was biodegradable. I want to put everything in there I can but I don't want to muck up the program.

Also, can you put animal fur in the bins. I have been brushing our cats often and they are shedding like crazy so i have lots of it!

I have a bagless vacuum. Can I dump all the cat hair and dust bunnies in one of the green bags?

Like many other people, I did not know the green bags would break down so quickly. The second week I was trying to conserve my bags until I realized that the bag that was in the kitchen container had already degraded, thanks to some juicy mango peels. I am hoping the wax paper is OK because putting that in the bottom of the green bag helped slow that down a bit. If wax paper isn't ok I will just change the bag more often.

I love, love love that pet waste is included in the program. I would think this was an excellent program even if that was the only thing you were picking up.

Thanks so much!

City Staff Response:
The wax paper should not be a problem.  Some things that degrade very slowly in a compost bin can break down faster in large scale systems.

Animal hair is a perfect addition to the compost.  Dust bunnies and vacuum cleaner material is also fine to add.

I am using the green bags at home for my backyard compost material.  We have found that lining the container with a plastic produce bag helps.  We then put the green bag inside the produce bag.  We change the produce bag occaisionally.

George
Posted: 06/28/2011
Now that this Q & A is getting longer, can you sort it by most recent at the top, instead of most recent at the bottom?

City Staff Response:
As you can see your great IT staff has made the change you requested.  Thansk for the great idea. 

George
Posted: 06/27/2011
I live on Dunning St and would love to join the pilot. How do I request a cart?

City Staff Response:
I would need your exact address.

George
Posted: 06/27/2011
What is the benefit of putting food scraps into the organic collection system rather than putting it down into the garbage disposal?
I understand that the organic collection program collects a greater variety of things, but I am curious about the benefit of this for food scraps.

City Staff Response:
The main benefit is that the food scraps are not mixed with other material that enters the waste water system.  This material can contain heavy metals and other contaminates that are not removed during the treatment process.  For that reason there are strict limits on how much sewerage sludge can be spread on from land and how often it can be spread.  These limits do not apply to compost.

Depending on where you live, putting food waste down the drain can strees treatment plants near capacity.  That is not an issue here in Madison.

Also, food waste can pose problems in sewer pipes which can lead to back ups.

Good question.

George
Posted: 06/27/2011
This sounds like an amazing program! I was just feeling bad the other day that I can't compost my food waste because I live in an apartment. I'm a busy student, so it's not uncommon for me to forget about the occasional loaf of bread or container of leftovers until they get moldy. Thank you so much for testing the possibility for people in Madison, especially apartment-dwellers without the space for a compost bin, to be able to dispose of organic waste in a safer and more sustainable way. I look forward with great interest to the results of the pilot!

City Staff Response:
Thank you for your comments.

we look forward to the day when we can offer this to all Madison residents and businesses.

George
Posted: 06/27/2011
Is is okay to put cotton based towels/clothes and paper towels used with bio-degradable cleaners?

City Staff Response:

Hi,

We can take them in the pilot.  Not sure if we will be able to once we have a full time program.  But we should test them and see what happens.

FYI, we also accept old clothes and towels for recycling at our drop off sites at 1501 W. Badger Rd and 4602 Sycamore Av.

George

Posted: 06/27/2011
I love this program, especially for kitty litter. I no longer have to double bag to put in the regular refuse container, so that saves money. I wish you success in this project, I'm happy to participate. It's amazing how little goes into the refuse anymore, with this program and recycling.

City Staff Response:
Thank you.

George
Posted: 06/27/2011
Can we put wine corks in the bin? Real cork, not the fake kind.

City Staff Response:
We can take the butcher paper and the paper squares in the organics program. You also find these paper squares at bakeries.

You can take natural cork stoppers to Whole Foods or visit

http://www.yemmhart.com/pdf_files/winecorkrecycling/wine_cork_recycling_brochure.pdf

We will also take them in the black organics cart.

George
Posted: 06/24/2011
Are the following items compostable?
1 - butcher paper that's coated on one side
2- natural wine corks
3- the semi-transparent papery-plasticy squares that delis use for picking up meat and cheese products

Thanks!

I really like the program so far, especially for cat litter. My regular garbage bin is now hopelessly huge. I think it would take me two months to fill it now.

City Staff Response:
We can take the butcher paper and the paper squares in the organics program.  You also find these paper squares at bakeries.

You can take natural cork stoppers to Whole Foods or visit

http://www.yemmhart.com/pdf_files/winecorkrecycling/wine_cork_recycling_brochure.pdf

We will also take them in the black organics cart.

George



Posted: 06/24/2011
Maybe I have missed something here...I got the notes that there was the 6/7/2011 collection...but then I can not find when the next one is. Is this an every week, every other week or possibly a monthly collection?

City Staff Response:
The collection is weekly.  You can put your black cart out every Tuesday by 7 a.m. for collection.

George
Posted: 06/24/2011
We love the program! The small bin with the bags works well and it is gratifying to be able to compost more of our household waste, such as bones and paper that we would not have put into our regular compost. I hope this catches on and can go city-wide. Thanks!

City Staff Response:
Thank you for helping us test this idea.

George
Posted: 06/24/2011
We've been putting all our used tissues Kleenex in the compost bin. Can waxed floss be included?

On another note, the inside compost collector works well with the green bags for us, but for those who wish to eliminate the potential smells or have leakage problems, we used to use a Foldger's plastic coffee container which had a fairly tight-fitting lid for all our food scraps. We just kept it in the fridge until it got full and then emptied it in our backyard compost bin. If smell becomes a problem with the new city-provided indoor compost bin, we might revert back to this container and line it with one of the green plastic liners provided.

City Staff Response:
I see no problem with dental floss.

Good idea using the coffee container.

George
Posted: 06/24/2011
Just an FYI. Our container was not picked up last monday 20th even though it was out front the night before. Keep up the good work though.

City Staff Response:
Sorry to hear that.  If you happen to be home, call us right away and we can send someone to get it.

George
Posted: 06/24/2011
How can I learn more about volunteering? Thank you so much for your accommodating and imaginative approach! It has been fun to see how little is going into the trash.

City Staff Response:
As the pilot moves forward we will be seeking people who will want to help us with more detailed studies such as weighing their material or trying monthly collection of their tan cart.

George
Posted: 06/24/2011
I am a little confused about cat litter. From reading the public comments, it seems to be okay to put the litter in a plastic bag and put it in the recycling bin. Is that correct?
I was going to request a second green container and more bags to put the litter in so not to contaminate the container at my sink. But if it's okay to use a plastic bag for litter, a second container isn't needed.
Please let me know. Thanks.

City Staff Response:
It is okay to put the litter in a regular plastic bag.  We screen out the plastic that does not decompose as the material leaves the composter.

George
Posted: 06/24/2011
I am curious about putting things in the compost collector vs putting them down the garbage disposal. Some of my most devoted compost collector friends refuse to even have a garbage disposal in their kitchen...they argue then it goes into waste water. Given such things as lettuce leaves, is there a preference for where it would go...compost collector or garbage disposal?

City Staff Response:

I believe the best way to dispose fo the material is in the compost cart.  However, if you had to choose between refuse or the disposal then the dispoal is a better choice as the solids are captured at the treatment plant and used as a fertilizer by farmers.

George

Posted: 06/24/2011
Are the green bags you provide us biodegradable? I didn't see an answer to the question about it. Thanks!

City Staff Response:
The bags are compostable.

George
Posted: 06/24/2011
I have placed only dog crap in the bins as I compost everything else on my own. I'm using the green bags you gave out.

I am confused about why you would take dog crap in any kind of plastic bag, as those won't decompose. Maybe there is a special process that you are using?

City Staff Response:
We screen out the regular plastic bags as part of the process.

George
Posted: 06/24/2011
The diapers are the best part. How well are they breaking down?

Will there be tours of the digester site soon?

City Staff Response:
The diapers do breakdown.  The outer plastic shell remains. 

I will discuss the idea of tours at the Portage facilty.  You should know that this is not a digester, but what is called an in vessel system.  They do not capture biogas from their process.  The process is also not anearoic.  The material is aireated while is composted.

George
Posted: 06/24/2011
I don't mean to gross people out. But, can I include used tampons and toilet papers? This program rules! Thanks.

City Staff Response:
We cannot accept those materials.

Sorry

George
Posted: 06/23/2011
Hey There,

Just wanted to say thanks for this program. I hope that it can be expanded and continued on into the future.

Matt

City Staff Response:
You are quite welcome.  Thank you for volunteering.

By the way, we can still use more volunteers,especially on the west side.

George 
Posted: 06/23/2011
Our household will soon be generating dirty diapers again and I have a quick question. For this program do we need to get compostable diapers or will any disposable diaper do?

City Staff Response:
Any diapers will do.  I suppose that compostabel ones would be best, but I don't know what the difference in price is.  There is no need to take on added expense for the compostable ones.  I am sure you will have more than a few other new expenses with a new child.
Posted: 06/23/2011
I am happy that this program can accommodate small amounts of yard waste. We do not have a lawn, but we have gardens which generate a lot of debris over the course of the season. It will be much easier to put the debris into our black cart rather than save it all to take to a yard waste drop off site. The regular collection program, during the spring and fall, are great for major yard clean up, but this will make it easier to keep up with regular yard maintenance during the growing season.
Posted: 06/22/2011
Can I put small amounts of organic yard debris in my black container? Weeds, small plants, clippings, miscellaneous small branches, etc.?

City Staff Response:
Yes, small amounts of yard waste are allowed.  If we set up a full scale program we will explore the option of allow more yard waste in the program.

If we allow lots of yard waste we will obviously need larger carts.  We also need to explore the impacts of lots of grass clippings on a digester.  We don't foresee it as an issue, but we need do decide if the investment in greater capacity will be worthwhile as we already have a compost program for yard waste.

George
Posted: 06/21/2011
First of all, thank you for putting this program together. We have basically been doing everything already in our backyard, but I like the idea of a community effort.

I have a question about plastic bags. How is it that regular plastic bags can go into the system? Don't they muck up the decomposition process? I have so far avoided putting my dog waste collected in regular plastic bags into the bin. I would like to move into using biodegradable plastic bags to pick up after my dog, but haven't yet.

Are the green bags fully biodegradable? or do they break down into plastic particles that are still around forever? Thanks for your help.

City Staff Response:
Hi,

During the pilot program, regular plastic bags are screened out at the end of the compost process.  Then, smaller bits are screened out when the compost is cured and turned several times outdoors.

When we set up a full scale program, we intend to screen out plastic bags before they enter the system and again at the end.  Depending upon what type of system we use, we may require compostable plastic bags.

Compostable plastic bags are made using corn instead of petroleum and they do break down in large scale composting systems.  I am testing them in my backyard composter but I cannot report any results yet.  Generally, the backyard system will not get hot enough to fully break down the bags, but we shall see.

George
Posted: 06/21/2011
Are you picking up the food organics separately, or will the food be collected and mixed with yard waste in trucks picking up a yard-waste route? If so, is the truck then treated as all food waste that is then processed in the anaerobic digester?
thanks.

City Staff Response:
We are keeping the food waste separate during the pilot program.  The pilot material is going to an in vessel compost system.

If we get to a full program with a digester, there would be little yard waste going in the digester.  We would mix the digestate with yard waste and compost it for an additional 6 months or so.

George
Posted: 06/21/2011
I have 3 hens and clean the coop regularly. We have been composting the marsh hay and droppings. Can these be included in the bin when my home composters are full?

City Staff Response:
Yes.
Posted: 06/21/2011
Can I put food scraps into the black cart directly, without first putting it into a green bag? For example, melon rinds would not fit into a green bag.

City Staff Response:
Yes you can.

George
Posted: 06/17/2011
My first reaction to seeing my black collection cart was the size. So huge. In fact, I really only generate one to two small green bags a week. I did put the cart out the first week, but I didn't the second week. I will be next week. I am sure the contents of my cart is beginning to rot. Even with regular refuse collection and recycling, I only put the carts out when they are close to full. My reasoning on waiting until full is, it is one less stop for the city to make thus saving gas. Hope this is ok. Some of my neighbors also thought these outdoor collection carts are big. We considered sharing.

Regarding the smaller kitchen collectors. I don't like them too much for indoor use. I have seepage through the green bags and yucky liquid collects in the bottom between the collector grates. If you move a full collector that has been sitting for awhile, it is easy to spill out this yucky liquid. I understand the rationale of having the ability for the scraps to dry out with these new kitchen collectors. But in all honesty they don't really dry out the scraps. So I have placed it outside to collect dog poop in the green bags of course. I used to flush dog poop down the toilet, but I appreciate not having to walk through the house with a bucket full of dog poop. So now I do like my new system of collecting my dog poop. I reverted back to my old old compost bucket with the green bags for kitchen use. Much easier to collect and clean afterwords. I have had my compost bucket for some time. Got it at Orange Tree Imports. They're stainless steel and the have a nice charcoal filter system. That's another thing, the city supplied kitchen collectors smell. I don't smell my kitchen scraps with my old system. I figured that some adaptation within households is necessary to get this great city program to work.

I added a link to the kind of compost bucket I use.

http://www.cleanairgardening.com/stainless-steel-compost-pail.html

Thanks,

I love this program!

City Staff Response:
Thank you for your comments.  We are testing these kitchen collectors and feedback form the users is very important. 

We are using the 35 gallon carts because they fit our semi automated collection system.  We have to use semi automated collection on the day after holidays.  If we advance to a full scale program we will explore smaller carts designed specifically for household organics collection.  These carts are about 22 gallons.  They are approximately 2/3 as tall as the black carts but they have the same floor dimensions.

George
Posted: 06/16/2011
Can we put used charcoal in the compost?

City Staff Response:
Yes.  Be sure to bag it.

George
Posted: 06/16/2011
Could you please repost the 1st email about plastic bags in the organics collection program

City Staff Response:
Hi,

You can use regular plastic bag for your material.  May people use plastic bags to pick up after their pets.  You can just deposit those directly in the black carts.  You can also use regular plastic bags for diapers or any material you put in the black cart.

We realize that organic material can get quit messy and that plastic bags help keep your cart and home cleaner.  If we move forward with a full scale program we will design our systems to remove regular plastic bags so they do not contaminate the process.  Depending on the system we end up using, we may require the use of compostable plastic bags or we may allow regular plastic bags.

Either way, we recognize how important they are for many people and that they make the program cleaner and more acceptable to most people.

George Dreckmann
Posted: 06/16/2011
Rather than throwing my full bags of organic waste in the trash bin, I freeze them until garbage day thus, no rotting food, bugs or maggots!

City Staff Response:
Great idea.

George
Posted: 06/16/2011
This week we didn't have any trash in our regular garbage can. I couldn't believe it.
The small container works well - and is really convenient right by the sink.
The small bags however do not work too well for diapers though. We started lining our diaper pails with biodegradable trash bags which solved this issue.
We haven't done anything about pet waste, though. We typically use a plastic scooper and flush it down the toilet. Has anyone tried the small green bags for dog waste. They look/feel a little flimsy to me?

City Staff Response:
You can use regular plastic bags for pet waste.
Posted: 06/16/2011
Are baby wipes able to go into our organic cart?


City Staff Response:
We are accepting them in the pilot.  We don't know if we will be able to accept them once if we do a full scale program.  But, now is the time to test things and this is one of the things we are testing.

George Dreckmann
Posted: 06/16/2011
I have two questions:
1 - where do we get more of the green bags when our initial supply is depleted.
2 - can we use other thin, small plastic bags to collect the material for the organics collection program.

City Staff Response:
The answer to both questions is Yes.  If you want more green bags contact us and we will get them to you.

George Dreckmann
Posted: 06/16/2011
Can we get more of the inside containers? One for the nursery and one for the bathroom?

City Staff Response:
We do have some available.  Drop me a note with your address.

George Dreckmann
Posted: 06/15/2011
What about waxy-type paper butter wrappers, fast food wrappers?

City Staff Response:
We can accept the butter wrappers.

George
Posted: 06/15/2011
regarding maggots: i had this problem with my garbage bin previous to using compost bins anyway! and solved it by keeping flies out of garbage in the first place: i affixed thick "weather stripping" the kind you'd put around door frames inside around outside of lid of can, under lipto help "seal" the garbage bin lid when closed. this worked and has kept the fliesand therefore maggotsout of my garbage can for years.

City Staff Response:
Julie,

Great idea.  Those sticky fly tapes also work and we can compost the dead flies.....

George
Posted: 06/15/2011
Can we also put our diaper wipes in the collector?

City Staff Response:
Darren,

Yes.  We are going to try them in the pilot and see what happens.

George

Posted: 06/14/2011
Hello,

I was wondering if the organics collection pilot program was still going on? Is there a way that we can get involved in the project?

City Staff Response:
Jackie,

That would depend on your address.  Due to a tight budget we have had to restrict the program to a tight geographic area.

Let me know where you live and I'll check.

George Dreckmann