On Monday nights, I come to the restaurant at closing, after 12:00 in the evening, and I meet the Garbage2Garden volunteers. Together, we gather the 3 or 4, sometimes even 5 big heavy trashbags, lug them down the stairs and into the gracious volunteers' car. I then hop on my bike, and pedal my heart out to arrive at the garden at the same time (the community garden in Florentine where the 24 Rupee compost sits is only a 3 minute ride away, in the bike and the car(.
I know this may sound a little strange, but words can not explain how much I enjoy dumping trash in the garden at 1am with someone different each week! There is actually a bonding moment as we stand around the compost pile, dump the gross slimy leftovers of the restaurant (we only throw the waste from food preparation and what came off peoples plates uneaten, whatever viable food is left over at the end of the night gets collected by an amazing organization, Isuf HaIr איסוף העיר and brought to families who would otherwise be hungry(.
We tear apart the cartons which once brought miscellaneous beverages and supplies to the garden, which we used to carry the heavy bags to the garden, and throw the pieces into the compost as well. As we do this, we talk about compost, we talk about the community garden and what's blooming that particular week, and the volunteers leave not only feeling that they have done a good deed, but knowing a little more about the compost process, eager to return to the garden during the day for a better view of what's growing, and planning the next time they will come into 24 Rupee for a "ecologically responsible" meal out on the town.
At the end of our half-hour journey together, after a round of hugs and Thank-yous on both ends, I hop back on my bike and head home, unable to wipe that huge smile off my face.
Anyone who is interested in volunteering with Garbage2Garden מאשפה לגינה can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org