Each week the Keizertimes asks community leaders a question about current events.  To see more of this week’s answers or answers to past questions log onto www.keizertimes.com and click on In the Ring.

This week’s question: “Do you support food waste composting?”

John Morgan, MorganCPS Consulting—
On the surface food waste composting makes a lot of sense as it removes another portion of our waste stream thereby lowering the load at the waste-to-energy facility and creating more recycled resources. However, I still have two questions: Right now, most of our food waste goes down the kitchen disposal and therefore goes to the sewerage treatment plant and ultimately ends up as Bio-Grow, a fertilizer used by many local farmers. Hence, it is already composted and recycled. What’s the advantage of switching away from a system that already works? My second question deals with the fetid odor we can all expect to be wafting from our green cans as food waste putrefies in the summer sun. How are we all going to deal with that?

David Philbrick, retired  educator, park board member—
Yes, I support food waste composting.  I do it now and will continue to do it, using a compost bin in my back yard.  It is easy and everyone should do it.  I am opposed to increasing garbage disposal fees to carry this out, both because the volume is very small and because it would not provide a benefit.  If the $1.68 per month increase in fees resulted in our green bin being picked up weekly, I would support the increase as we generate enough yard debris to utilize such a service and it would reduce the volume from our household going to the waste burner.

Vic Backlund, former state representative—
The question proposed “In the Ring” this week is an intriguing one.  I think the best answer lies in finding out how many people would change their current habits and utilize the option of mixing food wastes with their green garbage.  To add a charge of $1.68 per month to all garbage customers–if just a relatively few customers chose to utilize the composting service–wouldn’t be fair to many of the customers.

I think the city council, before deciding, should spend whatever time is necessary to seek information from garbage customers.  The purpose would be to find out how much interest there is for such a service and also if the $1.68 monthly additional charge is acceptable to them.

Roy Duncan, retired analyst, State of Oregon—
To paraphrase our 42nd President, Bill Clinton, it depends on what (is is) suffer is.  In this case it depends on what suffer is.

Now is one were to ask me how I feel about expanding the urban growth boundary I would explain why I am opposed.  Bigger is not always better.  I doubt if many would be happy if Keizer became the size of Salem, Portland, or (heaven forbid) Los Angeles.

Experiments have proven mankind is less civil and less content in cramped environments so I would rather read about it those circumstances than experience them so I believe now is the time to fish or cut bait.  No to expansion.