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- Catherine Rampell, student @ University of Washington
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- Jennifer Hawes, student @ San Jose State
"The best place for brainstorming ideas."
- Michael Majchrowicz, student @ University of Kentucky
What Is Compost?
The process of recycling brush and leaves from curbside collection saves the city lots of money. When residents place their clean brush at the curb,they mustmake sure the pile is no bigger than six feet long and six inches in diameter.All leaves must be placed in clear plastic bags. Brush is collected separately from the leaves because the leaves are taken to the comppost drop-off facility for recycling.
When a waste hauler driver comes to the drop -off facility loaded with brush,he or she must drive onto a scale so the load can be weighed.The driver information,load size and truck weights are then put into the computer for monitoring of driver,location,and weight. This policy helps the city find out which area of the city uses more collection or which area of town was affected more by a storm. THe driver will drive out to the disposal site and bump the brush in a pile.THe piles of brush are then compacted and pushed up until there is no available room on the site.
Roughly every three months,the city contracts a grinding company to come out and grind all of the brush on the site.It generally takes the grinding company three weeks to grind all of the material
After the grinding stage,the material is screened by using trammel with 3/8 inch screens.The materials are placed into windrows,this process speeds up the decomposition process.The small particles are then separated from the larger first grinds. The small material now becomes a product known as mulch fines. Once the first grinds have been screened, they will be reground using a tub grinder. The reground material is known as reground mulch.
The reground material is not treated with any chemicals.It is allowed to cure or sit for 48 to 72 hours after being processed. The much product heats up naturally to temperatures from 140 to180 degrees.The temperture of the leaves is monitored and moisture is added when the leaves start becoming dry.When the leaves start to decompose the temperature can rise up to 200 degrees.After the decomposition process has taken place,the temperature decreaces to about 120 degrees. This natural process eliminates bugs and thier eggs.All trash and plastic bags are taken out of the material and it is now ready to be recycled and sold for public use.
What are the uses of mulch?Mulch is primarily used for top dressing around plants and trees.It helps keep the growth of weeds down,and holds in moisture.
What are the uses of compost? Compost is used to improve the moisture capacity in soil.Compost is also used to improve drainage in heavy clay soils and decrease plant disease and put nutrients back into the soil.Compost is most effective when it is tilled into the soil.People use compost for landscaping,gardens and yard restructuring.
This recycling process saves an enormous amount of landfill space and tax payer money.
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Composting, Organic gardening, Water conservation, Sustainable gardening, Permaculture, Mulch, Uses of compost, Compost, Grinding, Brush, Recycling, Leaf mold
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