Canada Free Press
All of the Latest Poop on Compost
Sunday, April 8, 2012
“It’s hard to compost in a hotel room,” Bette Midler observed last year in a fit of green gloom. Equally difficult, although some taxpayers might not believe this, for their representatives at city hall. But at least in Toronto, councillors can buy the stuff to give away to rapturous residents ”“ using their office budget, of course. Last year, for example, Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker spent $5,500 on compost to constituents, no small portion of his total 2011 spending of $31,077.34.
Alas, nearby elephants of the Metro Toronto Zoo have departed for greener and less stressful pastures, leaving local gardeners bereft of pachyderm poop. Composted and applied around the base of trees it is claimed to encourage strong trunks.
Residents within driving distance of Riverbanks Zoo and Garden in Columbia, South Carolina, are luckier. Not only can they obtain elephant manure but also that of giraffes and zebras. Trees round those neck of the woods will doubtlessly be growing strong and tall trunks while hostas and other plants featuring foliage with stripes will flourish. But this wondrous stuff does not come free: a cubic yard costs $43 per load limit two years per customer. For those interested in smaller amounts, pint-size and two-gallon buckets are placed at zoo entrances throughout the year. No worry that Riverbanks Zoo will run out: the animals produce some 1,500 pounds per day.
Gardeners in the U.K. do it differently, as might be expected. Early last year, Cambridge City Crematorium called for environmentally more friendly methods of traditional funerals, including a process called “promission” or “cyromatics.” The candidate’s body is chilled to -196ÂºC, fragmented and freeze dried. The resulting dust is used as environmentally friendly compost, according to The Daily Telegraph, that, however, did not include this item in its excellent and extensive gardening section.
For the present though, Brit gardeners must render down their kitchen waste into compost. Making this easier to collect and store until deposited in the compost bin, they can now purchase a stylish porcelain ”˜Ecology Compost Pail’ with two carbon filters for just Â£32.95 or around fifty bucks.
In Germany they are putting a Teutonic twist to composting. Sportswear manufacturer Puma is working on designs for shoes and clothing that can be buried at the bottom of the garden, or so company boss Franz Koch informed the German business magazine Wirtschaftswoche last November. Ein prosit!
But back to the Brits: Robert Milne told New Scientist magazine’s ”˜Feedback’ feature of the message he received from environmentjob.co.uk about courses and events on the topic of “Sustainability.” One of these, at the UK’s Centre for Alternative Technology, was a “Compost toilet taster day.”