Does anyone have their own compost pile?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by NELawnCare, Mar 16, 2007.

  1. NELawnCare

    NELawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 175

    I have the space to create a compost pile on my property. To eliminate dump fees, I am considering creating a compost pile on my property and recycling the compost, maybe even selling it as part of my service? I would use all the spring clean up and grass clippings from my jobs.

    Any thoughts?
  2. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    Do you have the time and equipment to turn the pile several times as needed to stir it?

    Myself - I'd probably keep a lot of composted stuff for my own use if I had the land for it.

    But for work, I like the convenience of a company getting the compost all ready for me, and away from a weed source.
  3. NELawnCare

    NELawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 175

    Ahh. Good point about the weed-source.
  4. Pastaboy62

    Pastaboy62 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 362

    I have a my own compost pile. I really don't keep good care of it. It is my neighbor's backyard. I just back my truck to it and shovel out the clippings, its great
  5. Drew Gemma

    Drew Gemma LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,508

    i have a 70 acer farm so I mix grass clippings, wood chips from buddies tree service and lots of leaves then we chip all branches and trimmings once a year and mix it in. but usually when it is all roten we use as fill around here lots of holes and low spots it works great and holds run off back I 'll get you a pic.
  6. T'S lawncare

    T'S lawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    I have a big compost pile, alomost too big to mix by hand, and what a pain that it. But it's nice when everyting decays, you get rich black dirt!! I've never sold it to my customers, just used it for plantings, etc.
  7. CkLandscapingOrlando

    CkLandscapingOrlando LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 652

    I've got a very small nursery in the back yard and I think I'm gonna start to compost.You pot up 60 Oleanders in 1 gal. pots,it cost money.I take all my trash to the dump, it cost money.Thats 2 places I could save a few dollers,let alone the fert I could save on.
  8. bigmudder77

    bigmudder77 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 297

    i have a compost pile in my back yard i dont turn it or any thing i just let it be and add stuff when i get it it wasnt to smart to put a fence around it or have it so close to the feild that when they plant i wont be able to get to it but its there all i have to do is take the fence down. i sold it to the guy that farms our farm this year and he spreaded it on the feild (he rents it and its to far to haul his cow crap too, it would take almost 2 hours to get it there spread it and take it back for another load) he covered about 5 acres with it a little less than half but he got the front covered and that all you can see from the road when the corn get tall

    RICHIE K LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 647

    We do I use it for my garden
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I remember having this idea more than once, and how the demand for hauling grew to the point, I think I must've hauled 20 - 30 trailer loads one year, wasn't too bad at the time considering 16 acres, but the pile still covered roughly an area 40 x 40 x 6 feet...
    I stopped doing it, because it was a LOT of debris in short order, the rate at which the pile grew was amazing and I wasn't so sure how it would work out in the end and it wasn't my land (thou I was allowed use of it, I could just see a problem coming).

    Then another time, not 10 or so loads into the season, the neighbors started complaining even thou it hardly took up a small corner of an acre lot, and this closing out my 4th year it dawned on me...

    All that work... I still have to unload, I still have to turn it to help decomposition along (and you need a loader to turn a fair pile right), and all this so the customer can always have their discount... And when I finally cave in and give them what they want, I'm the one who suffers, I'm the one who gets to pick up the pieces and deal with the headaches.
    So now it really doesn't matter where it goes, there's a dump fee.

    But if you wish to try, please do, I hate how I gotta hear it about the price when $200 for 5 cubic yards of debris cleaned up, loaded and hauled away really isn't that bad. Even without a dump fee it still comes to $160 and I still gotta hear it, about the only time the complaining finally stops is if I charge like $60 or $70 / load and by then I might as well stay in bed.

    But yeah, I have a small pile, maybe 12 x 12 x 7, of sticks and leaves, for when I got a small load (like 1/4 trailer) or so and I'm just not in the mood for it, I dump it on my own lot once in a moon. Oh, I forgot to mention, it also serves as a nesting ground for skunks, possums, and any other type of mid-size to large rodent.

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