Written by Will Affleck
I owe many of you wonderful community focused Humm readers an apology. In last month's article "The Importance and Power of Compost" (pg. 20), I outlined the many environmental harms caused by placing organics into the landfill, and the corresponding benefits that result from composting. Then, after briefly discussing the hassles and limitations of the back yard bin, I abruptly ended the article with an unsatisfying "If only there was another way ...". I know that many of you haven't slept for the last month in anticipation, and for this I am sorry.
I'm glad to say that the wait is over. Today, we formally introduce Just Good Compost (JGC), a new pilot project in Almonte that converts our everyday food scraps into valuable usable soil for local farmers. The process is simple. We give you a small, refurbished bucket for your kitchen scraps. Each week we pick up this bucket and replace it with a clean one. Your scraps are then taken to local farmers for compost. Simple, effective. No pests, no mess, no trekking out in the snow in -40 weather in your housecoat (sorry Mom). What is more, unlike your backyard compost, we take most everything, including meat, bones, coffee grounds, and greens covered in salad dressings. Our motto is "If you would eat it, we will take it".
As important as healthy soil and clear air are to our world, the goals of this project are more than environmental. Healthy, social-connected communities are extremely important for individual wellbeing. They help prevent and mitigate common mental health challenges such as depression and anxiety, and delay the onset of many age-related conditions, including serious disorders such as Alzheimer's and... People living in tight knit communities are less likely to become socially isolated, and as a whole, they bounce back faster in times of disaster.
Unfortunately, in this era of Netflix and online shopping, fewer and fewer opportunities exist for people to get to know their neighbours; it is easy for the vulnerable people to fall through the cracks. In its own small way, Just Good Compost can help. This service will act as a weekly check- in for those citizens at risk for becoming isolated, such as seniors or people with intellectual or physical disabilities. Next, once the service is up and running, we plan to hire vulnerable people from our community to help with the pick-up and processing of the compost; Lastly, in the spirit of community, we encourage neighbours to share a bucket in the hope that they will visit and chat while doing so.
If you live in Almonte and would like more information, or would like to sign up for our service, please visit the website: justgoodcompost.com