Friday, November 23, 2007

Why shouldn't I locate my compost pile near my fence?

Compost Happens flyer cover
We recently mailed a flyer titled "Compost Happens" to single-family home residents. This mailing has generated lots of phone calls and emails from you to us. Thank you!

Having raked up lots and lots of leaves in and around my own yard over the past two days -- yes, they are finally falling! -- I want to address some of the questions I have fielded from you by phone and email as a result of our mailing.

Your flyer says that compost piles should be located "at least one foot away
from any fence". Why?
Following this recommendation can be a challenge, especially in a small yard. But, it's an important recommendation to heed. See, the industrious decomposers in your compost pile are not terribly picky. To them, a piece of dead wood is a piece of dead wood. Whether the wood is question is a twig you've raked up into the compost pile, or a fence post is of little consequence to them. Keeping a little distance between (wooden) fences and compost piles is therefore good practice. For this reason, it is also wise to avoid siting your compost pile right next to your house, garage, or shed.

Now, if your fence or structure is made from a non-decomposing material (recycled plastic, for example!), then there is no problem in putting your compost pile close to it.

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