The following is, hopefully, the best response that I can offer to an anonymous commenter. If you care to read the concern, check out the comment left by Anonymous on September 27, 2010. Be aware that some "colorful" language was used.
Out of principle, I will not delete any comments (unless they are just completely inappropriate), but rather as an offering of transparency, I will address what concerns may arise. That being said, come on out and join us in our work and perhaps what can be made into "concerns" can be alleviated through understanding.
I guess that I am not clear on what part you believe to be ‘cow manure’ (poop is cool by the way). We aren't a perfect system by any stretch of the imagination.
Plastic is very simply explained - society is addicted to it. I suppose that if you don't have any or never use it then you would have every right to be upset.
In the case of our compost pile, yes, plastic happens. It is, for many of us, the least pleasing part of our composting operation. But here is the breakdown:
All of the food scraps are put into 5 gallon buckets and those buckets are then brought to the farm. Now, because of societies addiction to plastic, people want (or demand by way of the FDA, USDA and whatever other health safety regulators you want to pick) individually wrapped butter, grapefruit, spoons, sporks, forks, jelly packets, gloves in the kitchen, etc. Many of these items are small. After 3,000 meals a day, it is likely that some of those items are missed in the process. The buckets are then emptied into the compost pile. We pull out what we can, but sometimes it is just too . . . um . . . gross to be reaching in and pulling it out. Once a month or so, a crew goes through and thoroughly cleans up the grounds around the compost pile. If the plastics that we collect are recyclable, then they are recycled. If they are not, then, sadly, they are thrown into the refuse bin.
When we turn the piles, we pull out what we can. When we sift the finished product, we remove what we can. There is a lot of plastic there. Sometimes we miss stuff. We pick it up when we find it. As I said, we are not a perfect system.
I would offer two options for curing the plastic woe:
1) Ban the use of plastics. They are oil based and, aside from allowing us to live a life of ease, that our children will inevitably pay for, they really do us little good.
2) Rather than offer an anonymous comment that could have benefited from the use of spell check and perhaps a more appropriate use of language, come on over and be part of the solution.
I mean it. BE PART OF THE SOLUTION.