To reduce what my family sends out with the trash I will separate out all of the recyclables the county picks up (glass, plastic, metal, paper, etc) and compost all of my vegetable, fruit and other non meat, oil or carbohydrate (pasta, bread, ec) waste. I also put out the cereal, old nuts and dried fruit, partially eaten peanut butter sandwiches, and a few other similar half-eaten and mutilated foods for the birds and the squirrels that are brave enough to challenge the crows for a portion. Okay so some of that is equivalent to wildlife junk food but it is better then sending it to the land fill and I do supply them with a steady supplement of black oil sunflower seeds and suite blocks.
I have an old soup take out container with a lid that I keep on the counter to hold the ‘critter treats’ until morning so I am less likely to attract animals that might cause more problems, aka mice, raccoons, fox, or worse opossums. Yes, these critters are native to the area and have a right to be in the neighborhood but they tend to be more destructive and ‘nastier (especially the opossums) then the critters that feed in the daylight. The mushed fish sticks that got tossed out under the feeder were obviously nibbled on by mice (probably deer mice) which is okay but I really rather not make them think they can come any closer to the house. During the day it was the crows that flew off with the remains of the fish sticks.
Last night I was exhausted and I tossed a quarter of a warm leftover cheese sandwich from one of the kids' lunches (just cheese and bread) out for the critters. Evidently none of the daytime critters found it before the sun set. I really should have put it in the critter container. This morning it was gone. I went about my normal routine and I did my usual morning check of the kids little pool to scoop bugs and stuff out and I found this strange milky white substance at the bottom of the pool that had gathered in the center and a little floating off to the side. I tried to get it out with the strainer abut it just slid through. After a little more poking and thinking….
The neighborhood raccoon found the cheese sandwich and washed it off in the pool! That ‘stuff’ was the dissolved bread. Mystery solved. We just need to get the stuff out of the 500 gallon pool and remember not to put food stuff out at night.