Alabama Sawyer’s Not So Secret Diary

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Cities with Great Composting Programs

January 10, 2019

Cities with Great Composting Programs

Composting is a simple and easy way to be more eco- conscious, but did you know there are different ways to get involved? One is to participate in a city composting program. Read on to learn about just a few of the cities that offer various compost services and programs. Please note that the information below comes from this Modern Farmer article titled "7 Cities with Awesome Independent Composting Programs". 

Milwaukee (Wisconsin), The company Compost Crusader will help you plan an event that produces little to no waste. What makes the company truly great is that, "the company provides supplies and removes food scraps, which it incorporates into the compost it makes from residential and commercial pickups." What I'm trying to get at is that Compost Crusader will pick up compost from your home or place of work.

Boston (Massachusetts), Bootstrap Compost will haul your food waste (if you are subscribed to their services) to several local farms where they are used to grow crops. However, its subscribers do get an allotment of compost for their own personal use, which I think is an excellent way to encourage participation in the program itself.

Aberdeen (Maryland), The wonderful Veteran Compost company "employs former military servicemen to bring food waste from residences, businesses, and schools in the D.C.-metro area to the firm’s wind-powered farm, where the refuse gets turned into organic compost available for purchase online." We love their practice of hiring veterans, especially when they are hired to do such important work. 

Montpelier (Vermont), Vermont Compost will take your leftover food waste materials but you must drop them off in a bin at the end of the company's driveway. Basically, it's a little easier if you're always forgetting to put out your compost bin since you get to decide when to dispose of your food waste. 

South Jordan (Utah), EcoScraps is a company that "recycles organic matter from stores and restaurants, converting it into compost, fertilizer, and potting soil, all sold nationally." If you run a store or restaurant in the South Jordan area of Utah, then I would encourage you to consider using the services provided by EcoScraps. 

And if you're looking for an elegantly designed kitchen compost bin, feel free to check out our Noaway Counter Top Compost Bin or our Petite Noaway Counter Top Compost Bin.

Noaway Counter Top Compost Bin

Sources & Further Reading

"7 Cities with Awesome Independent Composting Programs" article (please note that all of the information presented in this blog post came from the above article)

Compost Crusader home page

Bootstrap Compost home page

Veteran Compost home page

Vermont Compost home page

EcoScraps home page

Image taken from the Library of Congress

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pallet compost pile

October 22, 2018

How to Build a Pallet Compost Pile

So you want to start composting? The good news is that it’s super easy and rewarding to build a pallet composting bin from scratch. Follow these step by step instructions to get started:

  1. Find a place in your yard to build the pile. At the very least pick a level spot that’s 3’ x 3’. Keep in mind the placement of your bin, do you want it to be easily visible or do you want it tucked away behind a tree so it can’t be spotted?  
  1. You’ll need four pallets of the same size. If you’re looking to spend as little money as possible, I’d suggest embracing your inner raccoon by digging around in an alleyway, or asking a local business for their discarded pallets. Maybe a nearby shopping center will be kind enough to give you some for free when you ask nicely. Consider what you’ll find in the dumpster of a small business.
*stack of pallets*

Another approach is the internet. Keep an eye on Craigslist’s “free” category under the “On Sale” items.

  1. Now that you have your pallets, it’s time to build the bin itself. Stand up three of the pallets and screw the edges together, these will be the sides and back of the bin.
*incomplete compost bin with two sides*

  1. Then, cut your fourth pallet in half and attach it to the bin so there’s a side that’s shorter than the walls and the back. This will be the door. If you want to be able to open and close it like a regular door then attach the door to one side using hinges and tie the other side to the wall to ensure it stays closed.

Another option would be using a latch to keep the door closed so you don’t have to untie & tie a rope every single time you want to open the door. If you did everything correctly, then you should end up with something similar to the bin in the image below:

*fully realized compost bin*

Doesn’t really get much easier than that, huh? Once you’ve collected all your materials, it should only take ten to twenty minutes to build one of these things.

Keep in mind that you'll need to store the compost somewhere before moving it in your backyard pile, so feel free to check out our beautiful Noaway Counter Top Compost Bin. These expertly crafted bins come in magnolia, walnut, and sapwood made using timber sourced almost entirely from the urban forests of Alabama. 

Noaway Compost Bin

And what if you don't have a backyard? Luckily enough, you can still compost. Plenty of cities offer a municipal composting program. If you're itching to know whether or not your city offers one, a quick google search should tell you everything you need to know.

Good luck and happy composting!

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