A little while ago I wrote a blog post on the changes that we have made to our waste disposal in the Ferry household. All of these choices focus on keeping waste out of the landfill that can be used, reduced or recycled somewhere else. One of these biggest changes has been the addition of the FoodPlus! service that our curbside garbage and recycle company offers. It is a 60-gallon garbage can that costs $3.62/month to have picked up every two weeks. We can fill it with all our yard waste, food waste and any paper product that has been used in food production or storage. Needless to say, this service has reduced A LOT of our household waste. But, after being involved in the FoodPlus! program and watching as Beckett waved to the beeping garbage truck every other Tuesday morning, I started to wonder…where does it all go?
Well, it goes to Green Earth Technology (GET) in Lynden, Washington. Green Earth Technology is a division of S&W Rock Products. After cooking the green waste, they are left with a high grade compost that is sold to consumers in Whatcom County. It is the ultimate example of sustainability on a local scale. The waste is created in Whatcom County, broken down in Whatcom County and used in Whatcom County!
It may be a statement of the obvious, but compost is one of the most important ingredients to any successful garden. Gardeners have long nicknamed it “black gold”. Making your own compost at home is easy, very inexpensive and a truly “hands-off” type of project. But, I can’t compost all the things that GET can. GET takes the organic matter that consumers and waste disposal companies bring to them and utilizes state of the art technology to produce compost, quickly, odor-free and sustainably, in vast quantities. GET’s proficiency relies on Gore Technology, a patented system of Gore-Tex layers sandwiched between polyester, allowing the organic matter to breathe.
The fine-tuned skill involved in compost success relies on getting the right temperature. You need to cook the organic matter to break it down, but it also needs to breath. If it can’t breathe – you get a horrible, water-logged, rotten, stinky mess. Yuck! But, once you get the right combination of nitrogen and carbon – mixed with a little bit of mother nature’s goodness: sunshine – you are set! If you can’t do it on your own or are limited to the natural cycle of Washington seasons – a lot of gray means not a lot of warmth – then you might find the services of GET to be just what the garden ordered the rest of the year!