Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tube for Tuesday: Captain Compost to the Rescue

OK, maybe not, but don’t you wish on the heels of that unfortunate DPW news from the last post? Here’s something to help. Did you know that according the EPA nearly two-thirds of municipal waste streams (our trash) is made up of organics? Food scraps, grass clippings, yard debris – all things that could easily be composted and turned into that magical Brown Gold.

We have been composting for years – both the conventional bin method and worm-based vermi-composting -- even when we lived in the middle of Providence. There is nothing simpler than letting nature do what it does best: Run its course and take care of itself. We use two piles -- one in a plastic Earth Machine, the other made from recycled wood pallets -- alternating piles about every six months, building one while the other breaks down and does its magic.

If our landfill is nearing capacity and two-thirds of our waste stream is made up of things that could be recycled o-natural, then why aren’t we taking advantage of something that could help extend the life of the landfill and save some of that precious municipal budget at the same time? Many communities have municipal composting programs that are a win-win for multiple bottom lines.

URI offers a Master Composter program – something I’ve always wanted to do. Do we have any graduates in town? Maybe, maybe not; but wondering if folks might be interested in some composting how-to clinics to learn how to get started. It’s not hard at all. And you don’t need any fancy equipment either. Could us fellow composters band together to form something here?

The benefits of composting are incredible – less waste, better soil, better plants, compost tea, and worms for the kids to play with. Want a good intro to composting? Check out this great video from Kitchen Gardeners International.


tillerman said...

Great idea. I am composting all I can but I am sure I have a lot to learn. I see that the URI CELS Outreach Center do offer some free workshops on composting. Maybe they would do one in town?

It's also worth pointing out that Tiverton residents may take yard waste, brush, and clean wood waste to the landfill for disposal in a designated area. The separated yard waste materials that are taken to the landfill are processed and used as mulch on closed areas of the landfill. This saves space in the landfill where the yard waste ends up when it is disposed with the regular trash.


Speaking of yard waste, there is one thing I find particularly comical. Not sure where you live in town, but we have woods all around us. I get a kick when I see these people putting those big paper yard waste bags at the end of their driveways. Wouldn't it be easier just to toss everything in the woods???

Tillerman said...

Well, one reason not to dump yard waste in the woods is that this practice is one of the easiest way for invasive species to become established in the woods.

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