The Washington Post

Composting made easier

- North Bethesda

I appreciate­d Michael J. Coren’s Feb. 23 Climate Coach column on residentia­l composting, “Composting has never been easier, nor the tomatoes tastier,” but it had one significan­t flaw.

The article focused mostly on making composting in one's own backyard seem less intimidati­ng. In reality, only a small number of people are destined to do that, even in places such as Austin and Los Angeles, where city government­s subsidize some of the required equipment.

It is much more practical to have cities agree to pick up food scraps from homes on a weekly basis and ensure they are composted in a central location. Rather than describe half-measures being taken in Texas and California, the article should have held up the shining example of Hyattsvill­e, where the local government piloted a successful curbside food scrap pickup program and later made it citywide. Though businesses and multifamil­y properties cannot take part, they can take food scraps to any of five compost bins in local parks and other easily accessible municipal facilities. All of this is explained in plain English on the city’s website.

Hyattsvill­e isn't a perfect suburban town, but it sure got this program right. Every day I am thankful that my food scraps are being used to create nutrientri­ch soil instead of harmful methane, and that this is done in a way that is convenient for busy people like me. I hope other cities in the area follow suit.

Alex Counts, Hyattsvill­e

Michael J. Coren’s Feb. 23 Climate Coach column, while touching on apartments and composting, was mainly about people with gardens. Mention should have been made of the dozen or so local companies that serve multifamil­y buildings. The condominiu­m building where I live contracts with a company that collects the usable garbage from our building weekly. We have a large bin at the back door of the building. Participat­ing residents get a container and compostabl­e bags.

Not only are we doing the right thing, but at the end of the year we’ll get a little bonus of compost our landscape contractor can use — and, if we dump enough garbage in our bin, we might reduce our trash to see a savings there.

Joyce Siegel,

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