Roger Davis doesn't let much go to waste.
In fact, the Martinez resident has reduced much of his waste during the past 15 years by using a system of bins and barrels to compost.
"One is for all of the material to be composted," said Davis. "I take from that bin and run everything through a chipper/shredder and then place that material in my composting barrel.
"In about two to three weeks, I remove it from the barrel and put it in my second wire bin and leave it there until I use it."
Davis recycles grass clippings, leaves and shredded limbs and branches in his barrel.
The bins -- 30 inches tall, 8 feet long and 4 feet wide -- are supported by 2-by-4 posts at the corners. Chicken wire is stretched across the wire to provide an enclosure. Davis' bins are left open on the top.
Web site www.vegweb.com notes that "composting is not a new idea. In the natural world, composting is what happens as leaves pile up on the forest floor and begin to decay. Eventually, the rotting leaves are returned to the soil, where living roots can finish the recycling process by reclaiming the nutrients from the decomposed leaves."
In addition to yard waste, the Davis household has a smaller barrel composter on their outside deck which houses all of the family's kitchen waste. The only exception: meat products.
"We shred mail and papers and add that as well," said Davis. "It never fills up and does not smell. I clean it out about every three or four months and add that to my finished bin. Since kitchen waste goes in the barrel, our trash cans that go to the street don't smell as bad."
Composting is rapidly increasing in the United States as landfill space becomes scarce and expensive, and as people realize the effect they have on the environment. It is estimated that in 10 years, composting will be as commonplace as recycling aluminum cans.
With so many measures encouraging eco-friendly living, Davis said he feels like he's doing the right thing by composting year round.
"Why do we compost?" he asked. "Have you ever been to the landfill? I never have to buy potting soil; I don't have to put waste on the street until it's picked up, and it's fun. It is amazing how large the pile is when I start and how much it is reduced when it is finished. I am a landscape architect and it is the responsible thing to do."
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