Recycling is a popular topic these days, and for homeowners and gardeners composting is simple way to deal with lawn and garden waste. By combining it with a bit of water, sunlight, and time you end up with “black gold” in the form of compost you can add back into your gardens. It’s the ultimate recycling.
Composting itself is pretty simple. The hardest part is figuring out where and how you’re going to compost. Piles, pens, bins, tumblers and pits – there are all sorts of ways to corral your compost, and ICPL has a variety of books to help you construct your own compost container and learn how to use it.
However, if you don’t have the space, time, or desire to compost yourself, the City of Iowa City will do it for you. Yard waste bags are available from the City or participating grocery stores for $1.25 each – or you can purchase a year-long yard waste sticker for $12.50 at City Hall and put on your own 35 gallon trash can. Just fill up the can or bag with yard or garden waste and leave them by the curb on garbage day and the City will take it from there. As of March 2017 you can now add kitchen and food waste as well! See this news release for details.
As a result of this green recycling program, the City of Iowa City also has finished compost and wood-chip mulch available for purchase. NOTE: Due to the time needed to “cook” compost, availability may be limited. Both products are available in bulk at the City of Iowa City Landfill & Recycle Center (map) or the East Side Recycle Center (map). The City’s Composting & Recycling Guides are available to download here.
The University of Missouri Extension Service has a web page with some simple ways to build a variety of compost bins that include cut lists and instructions.
Composting – Recycling the way Mother Nature does it.