Get Your Compost!
by Ardyn Ford, spring intern
Bring Your Own
There is a great new way to get locally produced natural fertilizer for your home lawn or garden! The new “Buck a Bucket” program launched this spring by the Salt Lake Valley Landfill will sell five gallons of compost for $1 to anyone who supplies their own bucket. The promotion ends July 31, 2018.
Better yet, this compost is made from our very own green waste that’s put into the curbside compost cans every week.
It’s high-quality stuff and has been certified by the U.S. Composting Council.
Why use compost?
Using compost in yards or gardens helps conserve water and promotes healthy growth without the use of chemicals and fertilizers (Learn more about organic garden care here). Plus, you are buying locally! One full 64-gallon curbside green waste bin yields about 6 gallons of compost. Converting green waste to compost at the landfill takes three to six months, and requires several steps and large industrial machinery such as grinders, shredders and a trommel screen.
In 2017, the landfill sold 6,400 tons, or 13,483 cubic yards of compost. On average, the landfill produces 600 cubic yards of compost each week, and sells compost to everyone from home gardeners to large landscaping and construction companies. While the program has always been available to the public at $45 per scoop (approx. 3 cubic yards per scoop), the $1 Bucket deal allows residents to get this great compost for smaller projects without buying in bulk.
Why is compost good for plants?
Compost energizes the soil food web, which is made up of microscopic bacteria and fungi, along with earthworms, crickets, and many other life forms. Many fungi form symbiotic, or mutually rewarding, partnerships with plant roots, making it possible for vegetables to feed themselves more efficiently.
Research shows that compost enhances the ability of tomatoes and other vegetables to stand up to common diseases and may improve their flavor and nutrition, too. Compost also helps the soil retain moisture. Through composting you enhance your garden’s ability to grow healthy plants while reducing your volume of trash.
How to use compost
One easy way to apply compost is to mulch with it. Spread the compost in a thick layer on top of exposed soil. Worms and other creatures will help the compost meld with the soil. Mulching is not only an easy way to apply compost but also keeps down weeds and helps your soil retain moisture.
Want to make your own compost? Read our full guide to home composting here.
The Salt Lake Valley Landfill is jointly owned by Salt Lake County and Salt Lake City and is operated by Salt Lake County employees. More information is available at slco.org/landfill/compost