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Re: Compost

From: Bill Shear <BILLS@hsc.edu>

>     This county has a policy of allowing people to take their own lawn
>waste to the dumps, which there are several of around the County.  (I have
>found some good plants there too.)  These are actually glorified recycling
>centers where recyclables go into the various bins, and lawn waste goes
>into a separate large bin.
>     Marion County takes this lawn waste to a central site, where it is
>composted, and the product, when a couple of years old, is sold to
>nurseries and other interested parties.  Not only does this generate
>revenue for the County (Florida has no state and local income taxes), it
>also keeps it from filling up the land fill.

This is a great idea that is rapidly spreading around the country.  I think
the city of Cleveland OH was among the first to do this on a large scale.
Here in our little town, people call the town barn and "order" truckloads
of leaves in the fall.  I find that one truckload keeps me going for about
three years, by which time the leaves have become pure, black humus--which
I am going to apply to my newly constructed iris beds this afternoon!

The town manager tells us that only about half of the leaves make it to the
landfill, where they are now piled up separately to compost.  The town then
uses most of the stuff and sells the rest.  So far there is no such
arrangement for lawn clippings.

Many people, me included, now mulch their lawn clippings and let them stay
on the lawn.  A study at the U. of Minnesota (?) some years ago compared
lawn growth with several kinds of fertilizers, as well as lawn clippings
with no fertilizer.  Which plots did best?  Those which got clippings and
nothing else.

Bill Shear
Department of Biology
Hampden-Sydney College
Hampden-Sydney VA 23943
FAX (804)223-6374

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