Nitrogen is the thing I find in shortest supply most of the time despite mowing tthree properties in my street.
Our local greengrocers (produce store) supplies heaps of green leafy scraps, but it's too valuable as chicken feed to compost.
Leaves from work, foraged punky rotten round wood, lawn clippings - I can't pass up something useful.
...realistically I don't cut enough for them to notice, but I can gather material to mulch my garden beds and no one has any complaints.
Many power companies use weed killer to control the growth of weeds.
If you can keep 'their' weeds under control, they don't need to spray in your neighborhood.
By harvesting 'their' weeds, you are doing a great service to yourself, them, and your neighborhood.
I knew a couple who moved into a rural/suburban area, and were shocked by the power company spraying so much that their plantings were dieing. They complained to the 'PC', who basically told them that if they wanted them to quit spraying, they would need to control the weeds. They took the challenge. Their entire block (both sides of the street) does not get sprayed anymore, and they get multiple compost piles from spring through autumn. Their neighbors love them, not so much for the stopping of the spraying (they could care less), but because they are putting in several hours each season making the neighborhood a nicer place to live. (The neighbors even quit complaining about the illegal flock of hens they keep...a dozen eggs here and there makes people forget about the 'nuisance' factor.)
What other great untapped resources are out there?
I help a friend collect firewood. He struggles to understand my liking for rotten logs, buried in the chicken run.
I tried to get a comfrey patch going in a corner of some nearby parkland but it was sprayed
Pine needles, a trip to plantation country.
Seaweed, off to the beach!
What am I missing? I'd love to hear from others that are scrounging soil building materials.
(Doesn't need to be Starbucks. Any coffee shop goes through a lot of grounds per day.)
They can be collected, filter and all...it's biodegradable as well.
Most will gladly hand over bags for free-some even bag them up fancily first (starbucks...)
One I know of is even asking for donations-for a charity, but I balk at buying something they'd otherwise pay to have dumped
While we're on coffee-I can get free burlap coffee sacks from the roasters.
I use them for random garden-related stuff, but crafty people are using the funky printed bits for various things.
We love our coffee in Wellington!
*edit* and John wins the coffee race!
..coffee was the top agricultural export for twelve countries in 2004, and it was the world's seventh-largest
legal agricultural export by value in 2005.
Turns out that the world's 20 largest exporters, export 7,875,180 tonnes. So, if you add in the others, plus what doesn't go for export, there is over 8 million tonnes of coffee beans consumed each year. What a tremendous resource of organic waste!