According to the BBC, the town of Mouscron, in Belgium, has 50 pairs of chickens it plans to give to residents as a way to decrease the waste stream.
I have to say, my chickens have both significantly lowered my household and garden waste, and here in the arid west, they’ve exponentially sped up the composting process. Composting is a real problem here, because it’s so dry. Because there was an 8×10 concrete pad in the back part of the yard, that’s where I built the chicken coop. And because the compost heaps were already in that part of the yard (my very fancy setup built from recycled pallets) we decided it would probably be easier just to enclose the compost in with the chickens. We didn’t really know what we were doing, but it worked out beautifully. The chickens scratch around in the compost piles all day, digging holes, excavating for bugs, and aerating the compost in the process. And cleaning out the coop and yard is really easy — I rake out the shavings from inside the coop, then hurl the shavings and straw (that’s what I use to cover the concrete) into the compost heaps. Then the chickens pull it all down, and I toss it back up. I’m getting compost in months that used to take years. Plus, I think it gives the chickens something to do all day.
I’ve been bartering eggs for all sorts of things, and I’ve gotten big compliments on how delicious my eggs are. If I know the person well I tell them the secret is compost. Compost the chickens, compost the garden, it’s all good.