I have checked the forums and i haven't found anything on this so hopefully i used the search function correctly. If not Moderators please do what you do.
Free Mulch and compost is available in a lot of areas now a days especially if the landfill takes lawn debris and tree trimings. you can go to your states or local governments waste management website you can find where compost and mulch are free for the taking. most places simply want proof of residence in that town or area and some don't care. its usually take all you can, but you will have to sift it at the house to makes sure it doesnt have any "trash".
I live in base housing so i can't really have a compost pile and a bin doesn't cover the amount we needed to fix our burnt soil. and i will not buy compost or mulch if i don't have to. Plus its not dyed with colors and the waste managment office won't spend the money on chemicals to treat something they give away to save space.
i did take a sample of the compost and had it tested to see if it was full of the bad stuff and where we get ours is good to go. you may want to check it where you are just to be safe. I just sent it off with my other soil samples to test as the "back yard" sample.
community compost sites/dumps and garden refuse day.. scare the heck outta me. In fall i drive around town and pick up bagged leaves that folks have raked. but I would never accept any grass clippngs unless I knew the folks. too many folks will apply chems to their grass, but less do it to their maple/oak etc, trees. I have been to the spring lawn and garden waste days.. and shake my head at what is in those bags. dead critters and trash and who knows what chems. Altho i did find a spot where the cemetary dumps all those flower pots that folks leave at the graves. most of the stuff in the pots is the sterile potting mix so i use it as an additive to aerate the soil. tried using it as soil and it was too pourous. my 2 cents
I used to think this was a good idea too, I have since changed my position for some of the items already mentioned by Mr. Day.
I personally will not use any outside sources of stuff unless I personally know the person/people who are the source of material. And even then, one might get an unfortunate side effect due to importation of a disease.
One example, from my first hugel experiment, for not importing anything/very much is horse poop.
Great fertilizer? not if the horse owners put dewormer through the gallut of the horses every month.
I just then imported a bunch of worm killer to my garden where I want a lot of worms.
Eventually worms were in abundance, but I am sure it was slowed down and had negative consequences.
I think trees like figs, which grow crazy fast and can withstand some cold, might work depending on your climate. Alder?
Hairy Vetch, Nasturtium, clover, buckwheat, all are options I would persue b/4 taking in unknown, bulk, yard waste.
Will Allen does a lot of compost diversion in Milwaukee.
Part of me says "Cool, Nice Job" and part of me says "Not for me."
And another part says "That will likely be a problem of unforeseen consequences" and another says:
"I hope this model gets scrapped asap and folks don't through away organic matter b/c they feel it is way to valuable to their own site to truck it away."
A lot of things come out of nowhere, so look everywhere.
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