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Community garden shredding schemes

 
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Was woken up the other day by this unbelievably loud machine. Went outside to see what was going on, and was thrilled to see it was the local council (Gemeinde) shredding scheme - called a "Häckselaktion" here in Germany.

I've been pruning a few weeks now - a posh term for hacking bits off me bushes - and I'd accumulated a huge pile of branches which took up vast amounts of space. Rather than take them to the composty place I decided to put my name down for this scheme. You get fifteen minutes for free and they do around 4 cubic metres, which is around what I had.

So along comes this enormous truck with a huge attachment on the back, and shreds it all up into a cubic metre of lovely mulch. All done in a jiffy.

The shredded stuff will be the basis of a new veg bed I'm planning, on top of which will go rotted horse plop then soil, to build a variant of "Hugelkultur". On that will be an attempt at a polyculture bed.

Do such schemes exist elsewhere? They're brilliant!

 
Posts: 395
Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
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The one the county uses here is called a tub grinder, but I like "hackselaktion".    They haven't started charging here but might in the future.   
 
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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we have a shredder of our own, it will take up to about a 4 to 6" diam tree trunk..we have made some beautiful mulch in the past with it..but haven't used it in a while..probably will need some tune up work when we do..

i'm doing something similar here..see my post on hugel berms or raised beds i just posted..but i don't have the manure right now to put on..i'll fork it in to the top layer when i get it..i generally get a truckload of composted manure in late spring
 
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
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There's a good video about a group trying to start such a thing, and ending up, instead, supplying food to a cafe (and burying lots of un-shredded wood for that purpose, ironically). They still do shred quite a lot of yard waste, but that seems not to be their main focus anymore.

Practical Permaculture in Britain, part 3
 
pollinator
Posts: 446
Location: Zone 8b: SW Washington
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I am fortunate to live near a wildlife refuge, where we use tree branches to build brush pile habitats.  Thus I end up taking a lot of my excess tree trunks and branches out there.  They are quite bulky to move however.  But if you have a winch strap you can compress them quite a bit.

I have some brush piles in my yard as well.  I have always been able to use all the organic materials my yard produces, without a chipper.  But my yard is probably bigger than many (0.7 acre suburban lot).
 
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