new video
hot off the press!  
    more about rocket
mass heaters here.
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Has anyone ever started a community yard waste/veggie scrap bin?  RSS feed

 
Destiny Hagest
gardener
Posts: 1295
Location: Little Belt Mountains, MT
212
chicken dog hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy wofati
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I live in a REALLY small town - like 150 year round residents here, tops. I'd like to put out a (bear proof) container for yard waste and kitchen scraps to compost and put out for chickens, but obviously I have standards about what I want (no pesticides or fertilizers), so how realistic is this given those criteria?

I don't live in a particularly eco-conscious community, but everyone is quite nice and generally likes the outdoors, given the beauty of the place we live in.

Can a community compost pile work? We would reward our generous neighbors with eggs from our expanded flock in the fall, and compost next summer.
 
Dillon Nichols
pollinator
Posts: 597
Location: Victoria BC
27
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Wasn't quite on this scale, but at one place that I rented, there was a shared compost pile for the 8 apartments. Most of the lawn and borders were done over into gardens by the various residents... most them were nice people.

It seemed like a great idea in theory...

In practice, not so hot. Aside from the issue of pesticides/herbicides, and the fact that the resident dealer dumped all the residue from his indoor grow-op in the compost when he moved on... worst of all, someone put bindweed(japanese knotweed) in the compost bin, and it exploded out in all directions. Climbed the hedge, burrowed under the lawn towards my raspberry patch... ugh.

Personally, I'd be inclined to limit participation to people I knew, who would understand what should and should not go in the bin... Of course, many of those people have a use for their scraps already, so kinda a catch 22.
 
Deb Rebel
garden master
Posts: 1469
Location: Zone 6b
163
books cat fish food preservation greening the desert solar trees urban woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here we do take lawn mowings and clean leaves, and just plain compost them. We will take wood chips gladly and just got 6 truckloads of them late fall from the city hired 'tree cleaners' plus they had to resurface the school play yards. I just got some cheapo nitrogen fertilizer to help knock down the wood, no way do I have room for that size hugelkultur. The local truck farmer (1/3 acre) gives us cleanings and we do share compost with him.

It can be problematic about what someone will dump in your compost pile, we got the family that tossed general trash in there (they cleaned yard, house, and tossed bags of stuff in. We had to invoke the local finest to get them to clean up  their mess and dumpster it).
 
Thekla McDaniels
gardener
Posts: 1823
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
90
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Seems like sometime in the last few years there was a video about an organization in Vermont (NORTH EAST USA) which took "all" the village compostables and heaped them up.  Worms grew in the piles, and chickens scratched it up and periodically they used a tractor to "re-heap" it up.   I think they sold eggs and compost out of the operation. 

I wish I could remember more about where I saw it, but the idea seems like it might be workable for you. I think you would need a big enough space that you could have the chickens "penned in", but could also open the gate and drive a small tractor in.  Anyway there might be some inspiration in there for your town.

Also possible, again if there is a suitable location interest and knowledge, you could have a rotating compost/chicken yard and vegetable and cutting flower garden space.  Geoff Lawton and justin rhodes have both put videos on line about this idea.

Good luck
 
Josephine Howland
Posts: 36
Location: White Mountains of New Hampshire zone 5
1
books dog hugelkultur
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Our town is small as well (about 800 residents), but we share the transfer station aka dump with two larger towns, pooling resources.  There is a large pile for yard wastes at the station (we have plenty of room at home to compost) every fall a farmer takes all the yard waste and composts it.  Then in the spring, the farmer brings truckloads of finished compost  and you can take what you want-a bucket full or a truckload.  Is it 100% organic no, does it grow great tomatoes, yes.  The transfer station has a strict recycling program, so there is basically a pile or bin for everything, including shelves for still useable stuff, oh my the treasures I have found! The wood pile always has interesting finds, even if you just take some door hardware for reuse.

Maybe you tiny town should look to hook up with a nearby town a bigger effort might workout better for you.  What about a local community garden everyone can bring their wastes there for composting?
 
Coralee Palmer
Posts: 90
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We have tried a community compost, but gave it up for the same problems as posted in this thread

Our latest effort can be found at Table scraps to soil in three (3) weeks

The project worked, but did not financially support itself.  We are trying to change the costs and will try it again
 
Erwin Decoene
Posts: 91
Location: Courtrai Area, Flanders Region, Belgium Europe
9
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We have several such operations in Belgium. It's ussually associated with city people learning how to garden and grow veggies in allotment style ways. In Belgium allotment style gardening goes back to well in the 1800's. However it is mostly likeminded folks who run this kind of operation. The regional (state level for US-folks), provincial (county) and local governments all put in some effort to promote this even more because it saves a bundle on waste management and transport + healthy for the participants.

The project i know best is 'de Wereldtuin' in Menen where folks learning to do allotment style gardening, learn to compost as well. They receive (mostly in-)formal training from other participants.

http://www.samentuinen.org/
http://beweegt.velt.be/wevelgemmenen/1981/dewereldtuin
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allotment_(gardening)
https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkstuin

We even have schools running their own composting.
 
Anne Miller
pollinator
Posts: 731
Location: USDA Zone 8a
48
bee dog food preservation greening the desert hunting toxin-ectomy
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Dillon Nichols wrote:It seemed like a great idea in theory... In practice, not so hot.... ugh. Personally, I'd be inclined to limit participation to people I knew, who would understand what should and should not go in the bin...


Deb Rebel wrote:It can be problematic about what someone will dump in your compost pile,


I think its a great idea also, maybe try to get started with a few of your close neighbors.


Thekla McDaniels wrote:Also possible, again if there is a suitable location interest and knowledge, you could have a rotating compost/chicken yard and vegetable and cutting flower garden space.  Geoff Lawton and Justin Rhodes have both put videos on line about this idea.Good luck


I feel you will have trouble finding a suitable container for a city to use and a way to dump it. Unless you can convince the local trash service to donate a dumpster.  I recently check on prices to have a small dumpster for my place. They wanted something like $700 to bring it out and $125.00 a month for the rental.  That price is not bad if every resident is will to pay a share.

What are other cities using?  Here is a PDF I found while trying to look at the bins other cities are using.  I wasn't helpful for that but does has some good info.

http://highfieldscomposting.org/sites/default/files/files/resources/growing-local-fertility-4_0.pdf
 
Thekla McDaniels
gardener
Posts: 1823
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
90
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Destiny,
Do you already have a space in mind?  What is it like? location, size, surroundings?
 
Destiny Hagest
gardener
Posts: 1295
Location: Little Belt Mountains, MT
212
chicken dog hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy wofati
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Wow, thank you all so much for your suggestions. This is a tricky one for sure. We actually have a community dump site (called a transfer station) with massive dumpsters that service the two towns (about 15 miles apart). They're open two days a week during certain hours (dump days), and then haul the trash away to town.

With having these containers there, it would definitely have to be bear-proof, and with no public access structures in place, it'd be damned near impossible. I was thinking of just having some bins at the end of my driveway for the people in town here, but then again, with the bears - I'd need to get some sturdy bins and chain them to trees most likely.

I'm wondering if I could arrange a community pickup, where I just come around to a few houses on a route that I set up with them each individually to pick this stuff up? I have an old pickup I could use, and then I could worry about keeping the pile in my greenhouse through the winter.
 
Destiny Hagest
gardener
Posts: 1295
Location: Little Belt Mountains, MT
212
chicken dog hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy wofati
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Oh I should also mention, very cold here - 3b, and we've been sitting at 10 below zero F all morning here. It gets down to -35 sometimes. Also very rural - there's one town up the road 15 miles that's about double our population, but the next one isn't for another 30 miles, and is still only around 2,000 people, if that.
 
Anne Miller
pollinator
Posts: 731
Location: USDA Zone 8a
48
bee dog food preservation greening the desert hunting toxin-ectomy
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Destiny Hagest wrote:With having these containers there, it would definitely have to be bear-proof, and with no public access structures in place, it'd be damned near impossible. I was thinking of just having some bins at the end of my driveway for the people in town here, but then again, with the bears - I'd need to get some sturdy bins and chain them to trees most likely.

I'm wondering if I could arrange a community pickup, where I just come around to a few houses on a route that I set up with them each individually to pick this stuff up? I have an old pickup I could use, and then I could worry about keeping the pile in my greenhouse through the winter.


Either of these ideas might be your best to get started.  You could get something like this or just some tubs with lids to get started.  The container has wheel and could be rolled into the greenhouse at night.  Then what will you do when it is full?

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Rubbermaid-Commercial-Products-Brute-50-Gal-Grey-Rollout-Trash-Can-with-Lid-FG9W2700GRAY/100061889

Maybe if you can get enough support maybe the town or neighbors would help with the cost of the containers.
 
Let's get him boys! We'll make him read this tiny ad!
This is an example of the new permies.com Thread Boost feature
https://permies.com/wiki/61482/Thread-Boost-feature
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!