You’re not beautiful or fancy or German-engineered. My mother-in-law only had you because the City gave you away for free. But composter, you do a thing of beauty.
You accept all of our food scraps without judgment and ease my conscience about the rotten fruit I find in the back of the fridge. You swallow paper plates, popsicle sticks, and unwanted flyers. You saw us through the garbage strike of ’08 and turned us into some of the only folks on the block who didn’t have to go to the dump every week.
I never realized how much you would do for me, and how little you would ask in return. This spring I feared I had neglected you too long – your contents looked compacted and I wasn’t convinced they had actually broken down – but as I turned the soil and waited to be confronted with evidence of last year’s waste, I found… soil. Just soil, with maybe a few corn cobs (they just take forever to break down, don’t they?) and the printed edge of a Chinet plate as evidence of its origins. I was elated. You work! I throw rotten food into you and you give me back beautiful, nutrient-rich soil! For FREE!
I’m sorry I ever doubted you. I’m sorry about those blue plastic bags (they said they were biodegradable. They lied.) I’m sorry I stabbed a hole in your side with my garden claw (I was just so excited about the dirt I kept uncovering!)
Stick with me, baby. As of tonight, I’m not gonna feed the city’s green bin any more than absolutely necessary (I know you don’t do diapers). I’m gonna start feeding you again, and we’ll make beautiful dirt together.