As I write this, a very light trickle of snow is creating a majestic winter scene in Kingston, and along the northern shore of Lake Ontario. While the flurries took a bit longer to find us this year, winter’s chilling temperatures have been with us for quite some time. Our least favourite season brings with it some irritating challenges and thankless chores ranging from snow shovelling to winterizing your home and safely navigating slippery roads. This year Kingstonians have a brand new obstacle to overcome, as this is the first time we’ve had to care for our green bins during snowy, sub-zero conditions.
A few weeks ago, I noticed that the thin layer of snow on our green bin had thawed, and then re-froze. This effectively created an icy barrier, which prevented our efforts to recycle our household’s organic waste. I used a hammer to gently knock the ice off of the lid and locking mechanism, which put our green bin back in business. This got me thinking about whether or not other Kingstonians would go to such lengths to use theirs. I suppose if you are ambitious enough to diligently use your green bin, a little bit of ice isn’t going to thwart your organic waste recycling efforts.
When the time came to move our green bin out to the curb for collection, it was apparent that the contents had frozen solid, and might be impossible to remove. A few forceful jabs with a hockey stick cleared up the log jam, and the next day my green bin was ceremoniously emptied. I wheeled the container back to its regular spot in our side yard, however this time around I simply closed the lid without engaging the lock. A few weeks later and I have yet to get the hammer out to clear any additional ice.
In light of potential problems, the City of Kingston has offered the following tips so that you may safeguard your green bin from old man winter:
- Line your Green Bin or Kitchen Container to prevent organic waste from freezing to the sides of the Green Bin. Try the organics origami for easy-to-follow instructions on how to fold a Kitchen Container liner out of newsprint.
- Keep the Green Bin in a shed, garage, or in a sheltered spot against an exterior wall of your home.
- Keep it loose: to make sure your Green Bin waste shakes out, keep its contents loose by layering wet and dry waste.
In the end, it seems as though a common sense approach is your best bet. Or a hammer and a hockey stick. But whatever you do, please don’t resort to coating the interior of your green bin with non-stick cooking oil. No offence to our nation’s capital, but promoting the use of aerosol spray cans significantly undermines the purpose of recycling organic waste.
Do you have any advice for keeping your green bin winter friendly? If so, please drop off some comments below.