Friday, August 18, 2006

So That's Why

Many people don't like Democrats...

I live half a block from the lake in Chicago (Rogers Park, not swank) and the city beach at the end of my street is a common place for dogs and owners to hang out (mine and me included). A city provided trash can is there where dog waste accounts for approximately 90% of the trash. The trash can used to be a 55 gallon metal drum. It was recently replaced (probably 3 months ago, and, yes, this has been festering) by a lidded plastic bin of roughly equal size. I've a feeling that similar changes were made in parks throughout my little ward, if not across the city.

So, the city likely spent a fair chunk of cash to replace perfectly serviceable bins, that really didn't look too bad with ones that look like the park is a construction zone, and, moreover, are lidded, and primarily filled with dog shit. For those of you without functioning olfactory systems, scroll down to a different post, but for everyone else... If you take a foul smelling anything and seal it up, then the smell festers and gets worse, and every time you open the sealed vessel you are assaulted by the pungent odors. If, on the other hand, you leave smelly things open to the air then this doesn't happen. Science types are aware that this is due to anaerobic bacteria (which make up ~50% of the dry weight of feces...yours too) which release pungent smelling products when feeding. Exposure to air allows for aerobic bacteria, along with many critters (worms, flys, etc...) that are also aerobic in nature, to process the waste allowing it to be broken down more quickly and with less nasty resulting odors. This is also why compost piles need to be turned, or to be arranged so that they get good air flow through them (adding dry leaves). So the city spent a bunch of money to make things look (subjective) and smell (objective) worse. Wasteful spending, likely because the in-law of some alderman works for the company that makes the plastic bins. And people wonder why Americans think all politicians are corrupt.

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