Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by ParadiseLS, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. ParadiseLS

    ParadiseLS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    around here, we have yard waste collection weekly in April and October, bi-weekly for the summer in between. we also have green bin waste collection every week for kitchen scraps. i always see people out on garbage day mornings scavenging blue bins for booze bottles that they can get 10 cents for at the beer store. but i have never seen people scavenging for fresh organic matter for the compsot pile, nor have i been so desperate for OM sources.....

    just curious, do you guys have yard waste and green bin programs in your areas? i have seen a few arguments and concerns relating to cost of compost. some of those concerns relate to the labour of applying the compost, but some also relate to buying it. it seems to me, if i were running through my compost bins too fast and needed to top them up and get a fresh batch going, it would be so easy for me to do. i could drive my truck one direction or another to the neighbourhood that has garbage collection that week and find a big brown bag full of leaves/grass clippings/weeds/shrub trimmings. if i was really desperate, i could scan through green bins to find the ones where the homeowners had just dumped the waste directly into the bins or else used decomposable bags instead of using plastic bags to collect the waste in the kitchen.

    in other words, i'm not worried about my bins going empty. if anything, i'm worried i'll need to spend time building more bins because if i use my sources too fast, i can handle much higher capacity. is anyone out there scavenging? do you have ample sources of OM just begging to be scooped up, in case that ever came to be necessary?
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Compost is better made in large piles... Even with large piles it is labor intensive to do it right... Yes it can be done, but it needs to be done well.... :)
  3. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    we do not have that kind of program here in Maryland only recyclables like bottles, cans, papers no food waste. It all goes in my compost bins in the backyard, the worms love it

    static composting with worms is how I like to do it, I used to turn the compost all of the time and sometimes do when I have a lot of green sources in there all at once, but mostly I just leave piles for the worms and try to keep them fed until I need what they are sleeping in
  4. ChiTownAmateur

    ChiTownAmateur LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    which naturally brings up the interesting question of how do you remove the compost to make the tea without taking your worms with the compost?
  5. ParadiseLS

    ParadiseLS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    if you're making 50G of CT, you only need a small bucket's worth of compost. fill your little bucket, sprinkle it with the hose until the water level hits the top and the worms will wriggle up to the top and wriggle right over the edge of the bucket back into the pile.

    method two: have a multi-bin system. one bin you make the compost, then in the adjacent bin, you put a screen on top with some sort of pivoting frame. shovel the finished compost onto the screen, agitate it so that the finer compost seeps through and the big stuff sits on top, along with worms and macroarthropods. dump the big stuff into a wheelbarrow and throw it in the garden, or throw it back into the first pile.
  6. ParadiseLS

    ParadiseLS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    with regards to curbside pickup....even if we didn't have it.............

    i would just speak to lawn mowing companies and make a deal with them that i will take their grass clippings. most companies are either going to put them into bags and leave them at the customer's home. the customer would be happier if those bags were hauled away, so for me to do it is a benefit to the lawn guy because his customer will be happier. or if they are hauling the crap away in their trailers, they would rather have more space, less junk, and not have to dispose of it later (whether the cost is a disposal fee or just driving it to the nearest environmental wastes centre that will take it for free). i'm saving them time, money, or both.

    of course, i haven't come to require that much organic material to make compost. but when the day comes, that is my plan of action.
  7. bradtf

    bradtf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    An old post I know, but I thought I would ask/comment. If you are using other peoples yard waste for your compost, how do you know if they are using chemicals on their lawns or not? If you don't know, you don't really know what you are putting into your compost. I make the comment, because I have thought of doign the same thing, using my neighbours green bins to add to my compost.
  8. 67ghiaTIV

    67ghiaTIV LawnSite Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 30

    We have a pesticide ban here in Ontario. Most home owners have used up there old pesticides.
    On a side note I decide to try my local municipalities finished compost and spread 3 yards on my own lawn. Glad I tried it on my own lawn. It was contaminated with glass. Everytime it rained I would find more glass the size of a quarter through out the lawn. I called the municipality and they traced the batch and said it had an acceptable level of "foriegn matter". Never again for me.
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Most pesticides are reduced to their constituent components, through the process of 'composting'... Not many common chemicals remain in the environment very long, let alone survive the process of composting...

    List the exceptions to the rule, rather than make the 'rule' the exception, then go from there... :)
  10. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,158

    There are several herbicides that do not breakdown well in compost.

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