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GIGO Diary, for 2008-03-14: How to compost

Yesterday's GIGO was on yard waste: How it's good composting material, source of groundwater poison in landfills. Today, Barbara Armitage gives instructions on how to start a compost program for this summer's gardening. Gardening may be the easiest way in the world for Adair Countians to cope with higher food prices, driven by higher fuel prices and do the right thing: Eat what's grown close to home. And whether you garden or not , composting has benefits. -CM

By Barbara Armitage

GIGO Diary of a Recycler: Everyday we are going to follow my garbage to see just how close I can come to eliminating my contribution the landfills in America Today is Friday March 14, 2008. Posted 2008-03-15

Yesterday I talked about the problems of adding yard waste to landfills. The problem with yard waste in landfills is that when it composts it combines with rainwater to form leachate. Landfill leachate is liquid that leaks from a landfill and enters the environment taking potential toxins with it polluting the ground water.

Some say composting is recycling and some say it's reusing but gardeners say its black gold.

The first step in composting is starting a pile. In fact you can have just that a pile. If you are not concerned about the appearance of your compost a space is all you need. If that is the case you have already finished step one.

On the other hand if you have limited space or live in an area where it isn't possible to just pile it up you can build a simple compost bin from about 12 to 15 feet of fencing. Fencing with 2x3 inch openings works very well.

Use a pair of heavy wire cutters to cut the fencing to the length desired. Be sure to cut the horizontal wires so that you have about 2 inches of wire beyond the last vertical wire on one end only. Bend the horizontal wires back on themselves forming a "U".

Bring the two ends of the fencing together forming a circle and hook the "U" into the vertical wire of the opposite end. That's all there is to it. Place the circle of fence where ever you want.

There are dozens of different composting bins ranging from wooden structures to converted garbage cans. You can spend hundreds of dollars buying rotating bins that promise to speed up the process but they all do the same thing.

If the fencing suggestion doesn't meet your need you are welcome to contact me for more ideas.

Turn in tomorrow to learn more about the benefits of composting and what you can start adding to your pile.

FACT: Many landfills are restricting or eliminating the dumping of yard waste.

Here's what happened to the rest of the day's garbage.

  • Plastic bags/cellophane recycle (at Wal-Mart, 809 Jamestown ST, Columbia, KY until the Super Wal-Mart at Holladay Place opens in late 2008)
  • Aluminum cans
  • Printed cardboard
  • Tea bags
  • Paper towels
  • Sweetener wrappers
  • Q-tips used for make up
  • Newspaper
  • Coffee grounds
  • Floss
Today, the biggest volume of my garbage goes to compost for our Tucker's Station Garden.

The next largest will go to the Adair Recycling Center, 62 Service Road, Columbia, KY.

Only a tiny amount will go into the landfill.
REMINDER: Recycle 101 to be offered at Adair Extension OfficeEVENTS

Barbara Armitage of the Garden Club and Kelli Bonifer of the Adair County Extension Service and and are collaborating to offer Recycle 101 on Wednesday, April 30, 2008 at 10:00amCT. A guest lecturer will be famed Kentucky environmentalist A.L. Sinclair. The seminar will train those who attend the ABC's of Recycling.

The purpose of the course is to train Adair County more about living responsibly by recycling and reducing energy use. It will wrap up the Earth Day celebrations in April. The course is designed to train trainers who will in turn train neighbors until everyone in Adair County is a recycler. For more information contact Barbara Armitage at (270) 250-2979 or Kelli Bonifer at (270) 384-2317. The Adair Extension Service is located at 417 Fairgrounds Street, Columbia, KY.

This story was posted on 2008-03-15 03:17:16
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