Keep our green waste piles

By From page A10 | August 31, 2014

Green waste piles give me:
* A sense of what is happening in nature, from a world more varied than my yard and bland greenbelts.
* A chance to appreciate nature’s gifts and to use what others didn’t. To me, this use feels like honoring nature.

Things I’ve taken:
* Plant starts;
* Food. Unripe pears, peaches, persimmons and figs, from split branches, ripen deliciously in a few weeks. Also nopalito, prickly pears and other fruits;
* Evergreens for wreaths, and berries to adorn them;
* Long leaves, vines and sticks for class projects;
* Branches, to make a rose trellis;
* Grass clippings for my compost pile; and
* Tree crosscuts give me wonder, even if I don’t take them. Woodworkers or wood burners might use them.

To confine nature’s gifts in plastic waste containers suggests that they are shameful or dangerous. Nope. Big plastic containers are ugly. They cause space problems unless one has ample space to store them and to pile the excess when tree/shrub trimming waste is too bountiful for one week.

Piling is much easier than packing bins, which I did in Fair Oaks. To avoid chopping tree branches into short lengths and lifting them into a waste bin, many may hire a tree service. Thereby, the Davis economy may contract. No more running down to the local hardware store when my tool seems too dull or inadequate; no more hiring the local youth for what used to be a safer, manual job; no hiring small contractors who don’t have chipping equipment.

(The last tree trimmer I hired hailed from Vacaville. Its big equipment crumbled my curb in two places. That’s a cost, too.)

I bike a lot, using a light at night, and paying attention to the road. No clippings pile has caught me yet, but the plastic bins could catch me, too. Are there particular areas where green waste needs to be handled differently for lane safety? Those exceptions should be addressed separately.

I want to keep green waste piles in the parts of town where I bike. They are good for my soul, good for the Earth and easier for my body.

Susan Casement


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