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Stop Bagging Money This Fall

Stop bagging leaves and putting them by the curb. Drop them into a bin, creating compost and saving money.

 


September 28, 2007

Mecklenburg County residents love their trees. In fact, Charlotte calls itself the "City of Trees." But it's a passion we pay for every autumn, spending weekends raking, blowing and bagging so can have the perfectly coifed lawn. We pay again for bags, and haul the leaves to the curb. And then we pay again - to purchase bags and truckloads compost, mulch, topsoil and fertilizer to enrich our soil for flowerbeds and lawns!

Mecklenburg County residents love their trees. In fact, Charlotte calls itself the "City of Trees." But it's a passion we pay for every autumn, spending weekends raking, blowing and bagging so can have the perfectly coifed lawn. We pay again for bags, and haul the leaves to the curb. And then we pay again - to purchase bags and truckloads compost, mulch, topsoil and fertilizer to enrich our soil for flowerbeds and lawns!

Did you know that there is an easier way to have a beautiful and natural landscape, plus save money and a lot of time and energy? Instead of bagging those leaves and stacking them by the curb for collection, drop them into a compost bin. By the time spring rolls around, that bin will be full of rich, black compost, ready to use in your garden.

Think about it: Compost currently retails for as much as $5 or more per bag. What's it made of? Exactly the materials that's you are raking and putting out by the curb!

"Home composting is an environmentally friendly and economically wise way to help solve the yard waste "problem", by turning leaves into a valuable resource," says Don Boekelheide of Organic Gardening Magazine, who lives here in Charlotte. "And it isn't hard - with a little know-how, making home compost and mulch actually takes less time, effort and money than dragging those bulging plastic bags to the curb."

Composting is easy to do. You can make an inexpensive bin on your own with some simple wire fencing in corner of your back yard, or purchase a commercial composting unit. After that, build your pile right and let nature take its course.

Mecklenburg County can help.
Enroll now in classes to learn how to use those leaves and yard scraps to save money and give your yard a beautiful and environmentally friendly makeover. Mecklenburg County offers a variety of options.

.Enroll now in classes to learn how to use those leaves and yard scraps to save money and give your yard a beautiful and environmentally friendly makeover. Mecklenburg County offers a variety of options.

PLANT:
Piedmont Landscape and Naturescape Training: The popular expanded version of the composting class is held on Saturdays. You'll learn the basics of composting, plus grasscycling, toxicity reduction, Southern xeriscaping, soil testing and habitat. You receive four hours of hands-on instruction, a how-to manual and wire compost bin. Class locations vary and the cost is typically $10 per session.

: The popular expanded version of the composting class is held on Saturdays. You'll learn the basics of composting, plus grasscycling, toxicity reduction, Southern xeriscaping, soil testing and habitat. You receive four hours of hands-on instruction, a how-to manual and wire compost bin. Class locations vary and the cost is typically $10 per session.

September 29
Charlotte Nature Museum
1658 Sterling Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28209
704-372-6261 ext. 300 or 605
704-337-2671 ext. 300 or 605
Member $12; non-member $15

October 13
Mountain Island Library
4420 Hoyt Galvin Way
Charlotte NC 28214
704-831-5700
$10

October 27
Steele Creek Library
13620 Steele Creek Road
Charlotte, NC 28273
704-588-4345
$10

November 3
Carmel Branch Library
6624 Walsh Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28226
704-542-0401
$10

November 10
Reedy Creek Nature Center
2900 Rocky River Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28215
704-598-8857
$10

November 17
UNC Charlotte Botanical Garden
9201 University City Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28223
704-687-2555
$10

December 1
Latta Plantation Nature Center
6211 Sample Rd.
Huntersville, NC 28078
704-875-1391
$10

McPLANT:
Master Composters Piedmont Landscape and Naturescape Training. Registration is available by application only and will train 25 Master Composter volunteers. Attend a 12 week course in the spring of 2008 to learn about composting, soil stewardship, toxicity reduction, home yard care, piedmont naturescaping and habitat and natural gardening. The training is free, but volunteers will be asked to help with projects in schools, neighborhoods, the Southern Spring Show and others. Classes will be held weekly at the Wing Haven Garden and Bird Sanctuary.

Mecklenburg County also offers home composting and vermicomposting (worm composting) classes.

Registration:
The schedules for these programs and more information are available at www.wipeoutwaste.com (click on PLANT). To register, visit the Web site or call the host site.

The schedules for these programs and more information are available at (click on PLANT). To register, visit the Web site or call the host site.



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