Leaf Composting - And the government

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Ed K, Dec 22, 2005.

  1. Ed K

    Ed K Well-Known Member

    Oct 24, 2003
    For years now I've been collecting composted leaves from a local community.

    They vacuum them off of the streets and pile them up about 4' deep at a local dumpsite. I obtained a key (for the cost of a box of donuts to the township maintenance guy) and have hauled literally tons of compost from the site. The leaves are never turned or watered and are just the way I like them after a year of composting on their own. After 2 years the compost is even finer but I like it better after one year of composting on their own.

    To save gas money on my runs to the leaf dump I've been collecting leaves that would head to the landfill when I drive to and from work.

    The next natural step was to call my municipality since I knew they have a leaf pickup in the fall.

    They checked with the county environmental guy and he said they could bring me a truckload but for more I'd have to fill out the state paperwork to be listed as a permitted dump site.

    I obtained the permit application and it was about 25 pages long.

    I have to promise to take the leaves out of bags within 24 hours, to turn the piles at least once every 3 months, I have to get a gate for my property. I have to tell them how I plan to water the leaves and how I plan to deal with the leachate. Finally I have to sign a paper granting them permission to enter my property at any time.

    If the discussion on the NIAS is any guide I suspect some folks will say "What's the big deal" "Just do it"

    I however, feel that I'm providing a service to the community, helping the environment, saving energy otherwise sent trucking leaves to a far away composting site and that I'm not harming the public in any way. I have 40 acres and the leafpile is currently 400 feet from the road and 700 feet from the nearest neighbor.

    I don't want to fill out the paperwork so I guess I'll just go back to my old methods and let my community waste the fuel to truck the leaves away and me waste my fuel to truck them in from the other site.

    It seems a shame since I haven't heard of too many unsavory leaf composters polluting the local water supply by letting some leaves rot away. Not sure why the permits are necessary
  2. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

    Sep 26, 2005
    that is absolutely rediculous but totally believable. that concerns me because i am planning to build a test compost water heater and am concerned that i may need a large compost heap. if you were a business open to the public i could see the request to enter at any time, but for an average joe to be forced to comply to such measures is just stupid.

  3. birdie_poo

    birdie_poo Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    Around here we have 10 landscaping business for every 1 home. I just ask them for clippings and leaves...they seem happy not to get rid of it themselves, and I'm happy because I have my compst pile. The tricky part of finding an organic company that isn't giving you stuff with chemicals on it.

    VALENT Well-Known Member

    Dec 6, 2004
    just west of Houston Texas
    I'm pretty certain almost all the clippings and leaves will have chemicals on/in them.
    EdK get the truckload without the paperwork and just do like you always have. Nothing lost, a little gained.
  5. JAK

    JAK Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2005
    New Brunswick
    If this world made any sense people wouldn't be bagging leaves and giving them away for free in the first place.
  6. Rocky

    Rocky Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2005
    SW Colorado
    Ed, that is funny, pathetic and true!

    While I'm on the topic - when I lived in Texas I had no problems composting. The stuff would eat itself w/in weeks. Up here in the mtns. of Colorado, it's a whole nother story. Does anyone have any experience with composting in cold and dry climates?
  7. Bresias

    Bresias Restless User

    Aug 30, 2005
    Sounds like they are trying to include you within the municipality, or treat you just like you were applying to be a city dump but just for leaves.

    Is this contract tailored for your "project"? Just curious. Obviously, it is outrageous for what you are asking for.

    Can you ask for this contract to be tailored further? Maybe there is more of a win for you. Why do they need access to your property at their whim, when you are just accepting leaf refuse?? I know you've thought of this, but maybe there is a compromise, that is, if you really want all those leaves.

    I'm a little jealous, up here in evergreen country! Leaves are not as stinky as horse and chicken manoor.

    Anyway, if none of what I suggest is possible, Valent et al have the solution I'd go for.