Zero Waste in New York City?

An “anti-garbage” movement called “zero waste” is sweeping the country, according to an article by Leslie Kaufman in the NY Times on October, 20, 2009.

The article states, “The movement is simple in concept if not always in execution: Produce less waste. Shun polystyrene foam containers or any other packaging that is not biodegradable. Recycle or compost whatever you can.”

It turns out that communities don’t want landfills located near them; even residents of rural areas are balking.

So how can we cut down on garbage in an urban environment like New York City?

Vandra Thorburn has found a way in Brooklyn by offering Vokashi™, a product developed in Japan that enables residents to dispose of waste without depositing it in landfills. Landfills contribute to nearly 34 percent of all man-made methane released in the U.S., according to the Vokashi™ fact sheet.

Vokashi-bucket-2

 

Here’s how it works. Thorburn provides a 5 gallon, airtight, Vokashi™ container in which the following can be collected:
fresh fruits and vegetables
prepared foods and leftovers
cooked or uncooked chicken & fish bones
cheese, eggs, and eggshells
coffee grinds and teabags
dried leaves and wilted flowers
biodegradable paper products

After the scraps are fermented with bran inoculated with Effective Microorganisms™ for at least seven days, the waste can be planted in a garden or Thorburn will pick it up and plant it in a dedicated composting site in Brooklyn. The organic matter decomposes in the ground within three to four weeks.

The costs:
Vokashi™ bucket $18
32 oz. Vokashi™ bran $12
5 gallon Vokashi™ bran $65
Pick up service for 1 apartment or house $40 a month
Pick up service for multiple apartments at one address, each apartment $25 a month

For more information, call Thorburn at 1-866-989-9848, vokashi@gmail.com, or go to http://www.vokashi.com.

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