It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Mary’s Little Helper

Ottawa has an organic collection program — aka the compost collection, or The Green Bin. Here is our Green Bin, being filled with fall leaves.






She kept this up for a solid 25 minutes. She’s not fast, but she’s got FOCUS.


November 17, 2010 - Posted by | Lily, Ottawa, socializing | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Isn’t it wonderful when they are so helpful. My daughter helps pick up lego’s that way. Each one gets its own batch of love and attention.

    Hee. I love that way of describing it. It takes for-EVER, but efficiency isn’t the point, is it?

    Comment by Dani | November 17, 2010 | Reply

  2. Nova Scotia got the green bin program going ten years ago, and they still don’t have one in BC. It felt really weird, when we first moved out here, to throw food garbage away. When my mother was up here in August/September she had real problems with it. “Are you SURE the egg shells go in THIS garbage??”

    I was part of a pilot project here in Ottawa a good eight or ten years ago, but it only started for the city this past January. I LOVE it. Our kitchen garbage can doesn’t even need a plastic liner — because nothing goopy goes into it! The volume of garbage we put out is enormously reduced, and the weight? Practically nothing. I’m sure the garbage men love it, too!

    Comment by IfByYes | November 17, 2010 | Reply

  3. My nephew was at this stage last time I visited. He was underfoot and driving his mother nuts as we tried to do some painting.

    I scattered a box of 100 plastic hooks (small, rounded ones) in the hallways within eyesight and asked Nephew to please pick them all up. He was occupied for forty-five minutes. Yay!

    Good strategy. I’d call it a calculated risk — glad to hear it worked out!

    Comment by Becka | November 17, 2010 | Reply

  4. What happens to the compost? Wouldn’t it be easier just to toss it in a corner of your own property or compost bin outside?

    Just think of the fun composting can bring to those children! My kids, with help of some neighbors, found and collected “dinosaur eggs” in the compost. I had thrown out some rotting potatoes….

    I tried composting, really I did. The back yard, all 80 square feet of it, is so shaded that the compost bin never heated properly, and everything either rotted most anaerobically, or sat there, unchanged, for months. And of course, no real composting happens in the winter. I gave up on it two years ago, after trying all the tricks — rotating, careful balance of wet and dry, bone meal, you name it — for three stinky years. The front yard (all 40 square feet of it), though nice and sunny, is too close to the street (and too small! where would my flowers go???) to have one there.

    The contents of the green bins are taken to a facility just out of town which turns it into sterile compost for gardens. We’ll have to make our dinosaur eggs from playdough and sand. 😀

    Comment by Jill in Atlanta | November 17, 2010 | Reply

  5. That pic is too cute for words. And I’ll take focus over speed any day. 😀

    Comment by Sheri | November 18, 2010 | Reply

  6. I love our green bin program (we’ve had it for over 10 years now in [most] of Durham Region)!

    We can’t put leaves in ours though? Leaves have to go in craft paper bags. I think that they decompose differently so this is how we pre-sort it for the Region. The Region will also give the compost to residents for free in the spring — just show up with a container at a couple of specific locations to receive. And since our program is so picky — it’s apparently really good compost! No diapers/animal waste allowed.

    I love that stage — I remember my niece did that with coasters. She’d stack them away, then take them out and spread them around and then put them back away — and it would occupy her for over an hour!!

    Comment by Cindy | November 18, 2010 | Reply

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