At last we have been given the new brown-lidded wheelie bins for organic, compostable waste. The Madrid city council has been rolling out the collection service and the bins for the past six months (if I remember correctly). The waste goes in plastic bags (in some places it has to be in compostable, biodegradable bags, but not here in town).
In England, my family have always had a compost bin to collect raw vegetable waste, which then enriches the soil, and I think accounts in part for the abundant crops of flowers and vegetables we've often had. Living here in Madrid in a flat, there's not much option but to simply throw it away with all the other rubbish. This has always pained me, to see all the organic matter like vegetable peelings that could go into the ground to enrich the soil, so badly needed in a place like Madrid, dumped in landfill. So I'm very happy about the new brown-lid bins.
Maidstone Borough council collects food waste in a very small bin, and garden waste in another, optional bin, perhaps because people there are more likely to have their own compost heaps. But in Madrid the bins can contain not only food waste, but kitchen paper towels, bottle corks, cooked meat and vegetable food (but no raw meat or fish), and even mussel shells.
So now I have expanded the collection of waste bins in the kitchen to four:
- Packaging for recycling
- Food and other organic waste
- Everything else not recyclable
- Paper and cardboard (kept in a box file, not shown)
In Madrid the no-recycle and now the organic bins are put out every night except New Year's eve. The yellow bin for packaging is put out (collected) on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday (in this district). Although the new bin has been put out for a month now, at the recent annual resident's meeting, most confessed they had no idea what it was for, even though there's a label on it.