Intellectual Nourishment

The nice part about living in a small town is that when you don't know what you are doing, someone else does.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Compost Buyer Beware!

By Rachel Campbell
The Washington County Solid Waste management specialists have instituted a recycling program in which residents can recycle their yard trimmings. The trimmings are sorted and composted then sold to the public.
However, recent reports have indicated that the WCSW does not allow the trimmings to compost long enough before sale, resulting in extremely bad smelling compost.
Such was the case with one landscaper in St. George. After the builder he was working with insisted upon the compost, the landscaper bought the compost and spread it around the property. Shortly afterwards, neighbors began complaining about a terrible smell, “like dead, rotting bodies.” The landscaper was cited for Public Disturbance and confronted the WCSW about the problem. The WCSW refused to take responsibility for the compost that had not decomposed long enough and refused to refund the landscaper’s money, but they would, “accept the compost back as recyclable material if the landscaper would bring it to them.”


fordonroaddead said...

I remember this incident. This happened about 3 years ago. I had several conversations with the "Landscaping Company" when they were trying to blame the WCSW for their dilemma. I told him that "it's" compost, "it" smells, and "it" has to be mixed into the soil. You did not mention that the "landscaper" used the compost as a yard decoration (cover and aesthetics). The "landscaper" never mixed "it" into the soil nor covered "it" up. Compost is a fertilizer; a soil amendment. Obviously there was no research done on the subject, and who are you quoting. I also called the WCSW today out of curiosity. Very interesting phone call. This article is a very poor and misleading report!!

Rachel said...

Dear Reader,
Thank you for bringing this to my attention. The fact that you actually were able to talk to a person at the WCSW is wonderful! Before print, the WCSW would not return my calls. The quotes were taken directly from the statement given to the landscaper as recorded by the police department. The reason this article was in this paper was because the landscaper could not get The Spectrum to even publish his upset letter to the editor.

On a side note, I just want to clarify, that yes, I know that compost smells, but I also know that if it has not completed the composting process, it does smell like decaying flesh and that it can have bacteria that can be very harmful to those that use it. I researched several sites that explained the composting process.

I did not say, "Never use WCSW for compost", just to be more informed of what they are buying from the government.

Rachel said...

P.S. Ben, we would love to print your side of the story, if you are with the WCSW, which it sounds like you might be. We print on the first of each month, so if you want your side in the next newsletter, email it to by the 28th and we'll put it in and send you a copy.