Saturday, April 21, 2012

Recycle Useful - Free Mulch and other usefull items

At the Rural Living farm we come up with lots of creative ways to recycle items that would normally be taken to the landfill. It's amazing what you can do with common, ordinary items.

Our electricity comes from a rural co-op. This particular rural co-op has a maintenance crew that keeps lines free from trees and other debris growth. They have to cut the trees or the power lines can be damaged during a storm. Simply put, damaged lines can cut off our electricity. While the Rural-living farm is fully prepared in case of a lengthy power outage with a back up plan, others are not.

Normally, when the maintenance crews cut trees and run them through their chippers they drive across the county and dump the chips at our local landfill. Our local landfill has an area where they stock pile this stuff and over the years have amassed literally tons of it. County residents are welcome to load up on these chips for free but it requires a trailer and limited hours of availability.

However, we offer the use of our property to dump their chips thus cutting back on fuel and the expense it takes to dump it at the landfill. Yes, the landfill charges the electric company and any one else who wants to "dump" their "trash." This also keeps us from driving to the landfill to pick up a trailer load.

The mulch you see in the back of this truck has sat in our pasture for 2 years and it is RICH.

In urban areas you have commercial tree trimming companies who can provide the same service. Keep your eye out on those trucks that are towing a commercial chipper. You'll find them all over the place. However, I have found over the years that some are more willing to dispose of their chips that others. Some companies say it could be a liability problem if a tree they removed and chipped was diseased and the tree disease spreads to your trees or your neighbors trees. It is a risk YOU have to take. However, I have never had a problem with it.

We suggest you ask the driver if you can have the chips or offer your property as a drop off point. If the first person tells you no, keep asking. Once you have a company who is comfortable dropping their chips off you'll have more than you could ever imagine.

We use fresh chips as toppng for gardens and walkways. In gardens we top off landscape fabric. If you let the mulch sit for several months or years in the case of the load in the pick can be wonderful for soil amending.

Pallets - you've heard me say it before...I LOVE pallets. You can construct a lot of useful things around the farm including these compost bins.

Railroad ties - if you talk to the right person who is in control of track maintenance, you can get permission to remove old railroad ties. We just did.....and can load up on as many as we can haul away on from a 200 mile line. I must say it took 2 years to get this permission and some work including convincing a friend who is a conductor on a train to get us in touch with the right person.


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