I live in a 10-unit apartment complex. Why aren't we allowed to compost like single-family homes? Our dumpster is overflowing, and the recycling is stuffed with pizza boxes. Shouldn't we get to compost too?

—Tree-Hugging Compost Worshipper

Before I answer your not-unreasonable question, Tree, let's take a moment to express that most un-American of emotions, gratitude, for the way modern society—nay, hated government itself— has liberated us from a life spent wallowing in our own filth.

For most of human history, the trash you made was the trash you slept in. Shits you took during your bar mitzvah were still around to be used as landmarks for people giving directions to your funeral.

Sanitation is among the finest fruits of modern life. I don't know what Genghis Khan would make of your iPhone, but if you told him you have a magic bowl that never overflows* no matter how many times you crap in it, he'd fall down on his knees and worship you as a god.

Still, I get it; you want to do the right thing. Unfortunately, compost collection in big complexes presents special challenges.

Single-family homes are easy—you drag a bin to the curb and somebody empties it. Apartments, though, are more varied. Some have trash chutes, some have garbage rooms, or dumpsters, or outdoor cages. Each complex needs its own plan.

That said, if you and your fellow tenants have such a plan—and you can sell your landlord on the idea—you're welcome to join the growing cadre (more than 100 properties so far) of voluntarily composting apartment dwellers.

Metro hopes your efforts will coalesce into a movement that clears the way for universal composting. (You'll know each other by your cantaloupe-rind armbands.) Si se puede!

*Yes, fine; they do overflow occasionally. Grab a plunger, you whiner.

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