Guess what everyone neglected to tell us about Malden?
That's right, we have a pay-as-you-throw policy for garbage. Traash only gets picked up if it's in a blue bag that costs $1 (!!!). Recycling is free.
We will ignore the fact that last week on the City of Malden website it said up to 10 bags of trash/week will be picked up for free. Perhaps I somehow misread it.
We will also ignore the fact that while it would not have been a deal-breaker when it came to moving out here, I sure as heck would have liked to /know/ about this policy. Preferably before we'd been here for two weeks!
What we will discuss is my immediate and, I must admit, continued sense of outrage regarding this policy. How could they do this to us! We (will) pay taxes! We have a right to... and there's where I trail off. A right to? A right to waste, to dump things into landfills, to drill holes under our own seats on the boat? I've been an environmentalist for as long as I can remember. I've been using fabric grocery bags for nine years (since I began doing my own shopping), and have been taking small but significant steps in the last few months, including switching to cloth handkerchiefs and other things. I've also been pressuring Phillip to let me put the baby in cloth diapers. I resist raising the thermostat and try to turn off lights and unplug appliances when they're not in use. I try to use private vehicles as little as possible (and yes, this is one reason I don't yet have a driver's license). However, in certain regards I've been lazy: when a friend told me that many cities have composting centers where I could drop off any and all food-related waste, I thought, "Isn't that nice!" and started thinking maybe I'd try it someday. Lining baking sheets with aluminum foil makes it so easy to clean up after baking that I've been weak and rarely bake directly on the sheet anymore.
I'm ashamed to say that Pay As You Throw seems to be the kick I need. I am so outraged by the policy that I can't bear the thought of putting out trash, although I'm sure it will sometimes be impossible to avoid (cellophane wrappers from food, for one thing). Phillip finally gave in on the cloth diapers and I'm going to go order some now (BumGenius seems to be the top-of-the-line? And I found another company that makes far less attractive 'economy packs' all in white. I'm thinking an economy pack and then a few BGs for when she needs to look extra cute). I'll start cooking directly on baking sheets again (thank GOD I found this out after I made this week's cookies and bread! Although the breads themselves are in those wonderful rubbery loaf pans that don't stick at all, and only the rolls are on foil...) And I'm going to look up nearby composting centers. Oh, and Phillip can do what he wants but I'm going to pick up handkerchiefs for the kids. Even though I'm sure Shlomo will attempt to lose them as fast as he does mittens.
I'm ashamed, and my contrarian streak just HATES playing into the city's hands, but I have to admit this is a push I've been needing.
In other news, it's our second Shabbat here and the first since I kashered the stove and oven. Kept things simple, because it's been a rough week, too: bread, mock-beef roll-up (with a wonderful tomato-flavored dough I adore), carrots-green beans-walnuts salad, and cookies. Tomorrow, repeat of the same plus a chulent. I'm trying to restrain myself from randomly starting something else now. Potato kugel? Chocolate pudding cake? There's over an hour left till Shabbat and both kids are asleep, which is a story in itself and one I do not understand. If I'm smart I'll clean rather than cook.
I'm off to buy diapers (which had better not come in packaging that requires disposal!) and look up composting!
Have a great weekend, all.
PS I am OUTRAGED!