Composting rarely enters one’s mind

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When you think of ways to reduce the amount of waste you generate,  you probably think about recycling, and using more reusable items, but people rarely think about composting.  
Composting is one of the major Los Alamos County initiatives in the community-wide effort to reduce waste and create a more sustainable community.  In fact, on an annual basis composting results in the diversion of around 3,000 tons, which is more than double the average tons recycled through the curbside recycling program.  
Composting occurs at the Eco Station, where horse manure, treated sludge from the wastewater treatment plant and green waste are mixed together and allowed to cook until stable compost is generated.   Environmental Services staff spends roughly 25 hours a week on tasks directly dedicated to composting that include: grinding brush, taking temperatures, mixing and turning piles or windrows, stockpiling finished compost and loading outgoing compost for residents of the community. Residents are encouraged to pick up compost from the Los Alamos County Eco Station at no charge.
This significant waste diversion program is dependent upon you and your neighbors setting your brush out for quarterly pickup or hauling it to the Eco Station and picking up finished compost for use in your yard.  Many residents are also going above and beyond, helping to further reduce the waste sent to the landfill by setting up backyard composters.  Backyard composters are for sale at the Eco Station for $40 and they enable residents to divert more waste than what is composted at the Eco Station.  
Currently, the county composting program does not accept food scraps or paperboard but these are materials that can be added to your backyard composter.  With the leaves starting to fall and old jack-o-lanterns a plenty in your near future, it is the perfect time to start a new hobby, backyard composting.

Tom Nagawiecki
Environmental Services Specialist