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Happy Earth Day, I’m composting

Last year as my first spring as a homeowner in Hamilton County, I participated in the compost bin sale. As soon as I got home, I cleared the ground of grass (it was mostly cleared) and anchored my bin. As the spring and summer progressed, I followed the booklet filling it trying to keep it approximately 60% browns to 40% greens along with fruit and vegetable peels, egg shells and laundry lint. Somehow, I get it in my head that it shouldn’t be wet and it dried out and it hit a stumbling block. I researched my problems and have a new game plan.

I use a mulching mower and for the most part I don’t add much in the way of grass clippings or leaves, just when there’s an abundance. But I do want to produce a decent amount of compost to use for flower beds and landscaping, rather than use mulch.

Now, I work close to my coffee-drinking parents and have set up a plan to stop by weekly for their coffee grinds, which should add moisture and introduce worms. I’ve learned I should wet and ring out my laundry lint before adding as well as sprinkle the pile before adding greens or browns. Makes sense, because the pile should be moist but not soaking wet, which I think was the part I worried about last year.

I need to learn what others do to add water, but not new tap water to their compost bins. I could install a rain barrel, which are available for sale this year from the county, but I’ll be out of town the weekend of the sale. Some say they collect beverage or kitchen water waste, but I need a better idea of what that is, just rinse water, no soap? If I used an earth-friendly detergent could I collect greywater from my washing machine, which currently empties and drains in my basement utility tub? Many questions to research and answer.

If you are a Hamilton County (Cincinnati) resident and would like a compost bin or rain barrel, they will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis.

• Quantities are limited
• Easy assembly
• Fits in most cars for easy transport
Compost bin: 33” h x 31” w
Rain barrel: 34” h x 24” w

Date and Time:
Saturday, May 14, 2011
9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Two Locations:
Village Crossings (MAP)
10400 Reading Rd.
Evendale, Ohio 45241
(Corner of Reading Rd. and Glendale-Milford Rd.)

Green Township Administration Complex
6303 Harrison Ave.
Cincinnati, Ohio 45247
(1 mile south of I-74)

Prices:
The FreeGardenâ„¢ Compost Bin $35
The FreeGardenâ„¢ Rain Barrel $50

Cash, checks, Visa, Mastercard or Discover will be accepted.

Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste District

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Condo Blues April 25, 2011, 5:58 pm

    I have compost bins. I keep them damp by letting the rain rain on them. If it dries out I empty my dog’s water bowl into the bin when I change his water. Sometimes, I’ll save pasta water and add that to the bin too. Most of the time I let Mother Nature take care of watering my bin.

  • Andi April 25, 2011, 6:19 pm

    I was going to try that since we’ve been getting so much rain, but it’s been a downpour so I’m soaked running out and back. I don’t like to leave the lid off too long b/c of my squirrel friends. It doesn’t seem slick enough to keep them from crawling up it or hopping off the fence onto it.

    I can do pasta water and I put water in the blender after I pour my smoothie and blend it, so I’ll collect that too.

  • Maureen April 25, 2011, 9:23 pm

    you’re so green andi! love it. now you just need some pics of the rotting worm pile!

  • Mandi April 26, 2011, 10:11 am

    I am totally afraid to handle the earthworm situation.

    Yay for composting and discovering your blog of craftiness!

    -M