Tori Carle, MS
Waste Reduction Supervisor
City of Greensboro, NC
Each year, as we begin to come out of hibernation from winter, local garden and hardware stores get busier and busier with shoppers looking to improve their gardens, lawns, and landscapes. Personally, I have big plans for a little plot in my back yard that involves tomatoes, green beans, squash, pumpkins, and more! Yum.
We have set up a compost bin in our backyard. It's made from reused pallets, and garden fabric (my husband's design, picture below). For the past year, we have been slowly adding our fruit and veggie food scraps, and some of our lawn trimmings. As this waste breaks down, it creates an extremely nutrient dense, loamy material with beneficial microorganisms that bring life to your soil. Your food scraps are recycled into something that will make your plants stand up and cheer!
Compost isn't called "gardener's gold" for no reason… head to the store and you'll pay a pretty penny to feed your plants. Consider creating your own gardener's gold for next year's garden. It's really easy, compost is very forgiving if you do mess up, and contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t smell or attract unwanted critters. Personally, I'm pretty sure my pets have no idea that the compost bin contains former food scraps.
If you are interested in learning more about creating your own backyard compost, check out the "Beginner's Guide to Backyard Composting" on our webpage: www.greensboro-nc.gov/compost. Are you interested in taking a backyard composting class? This is an idea that my team and I have had for a while, but haven't put into action just yet. Let us know if you’re interested with a comment below, and we will be sure to update Nextdoor (and Facebook) if a class is scheduled in the future.
If you don't have time to create your own backyard compost for this year's garden, never fear! At the White Street Landfill complex, all of the yard waste collected by City crews is composted using large scale industrial equipment throughout the year. If you would like to purchase compost or mulch, it only costs $20 per truckload or ton, and leaf mulch is free. For details about compost and mulch at White Street, please visit our webpage at: www.greensboro-nc.gov/mulch.
Currently, there are no plans to begin a curbside pick-up program for food waste. If you are interested in seeing that come to Greensboro, I recommend that you reach out to your City Council representatives to let them know.
If you have any additional questions about waste reduction, please do not hesitate to private message or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PS--Email me if you would like to share any of my Ever Wonder Wednesday posts in a community or HOA newsletter. I will be happy to share content and images with you.