Spring is the time of year for gardening and community clean up events. Dirt Hugger supports many of these events through composting and collection of organic debris. Check out the list below of events near you.
Community Pride Cleanup
Bingen Collection Center Bingen, WA
April 26, noon – 4 PM
April 27-28, 10 AM – 4 PM
The Dalles Disposal
April is free yard debris month!
Monday-Saturday 9AM – 5 PM
1317 W 1st St, The Dalles
The Dalles Community Clean Up
Saturday May 4th, 9AM – 3PM
The Dalles Armory, 6th & Webber St.s
We know many of you drive from good distances to come to Dirt Hugger to pick up compost and we appreciate the effort! In a move to create better convenience, we have now opened up five new retailers throughout The Gorge. We hope our retailer network will provide a closer supply of material and more convenient retail hours than we currently offer. Here is a list of retail locations with Dirt Hugger compost:
Bryant Pipe & Supply (Bulk compost pick up or delivery)
Location: 999 Tucker Rd
Hours: M-F 8am-5pm, Sat 9am-1pm
Grow Organic (bagged compost only)
Location: 2035 12th St
Hours: T-Sun 9am-6pm
Bryant Pipe & Supply (Bulk compost pick up or delivery)
Location: 3012 E 2nd St
Hours: M-F 8am-5pm, Sat 9-1pm
SDS Lumber (Bulk compost pick up or delivery)
Location: 200 Walnut St
Hours: M-F 7am-3pm
Riley Bros, Inc. (Bulk compost pick up or delivery)
Hours: M-F 8am-5pm
Each of these locations have been important in the start-up of Dirt Hugger and we are proud to work together with them:
Our entire site runs on air and water so we go to Bryant Pipe & Supply pretty much every day for a pipe, fittings, or valves. It would drive us nuts to see non-Dirt Hugger compost there every day- we are glad the BPS team finally broke down and started to buy DH compost for their supply.
Jeff and Ketrina at Grow Organic were the ones that pushed us to finally bag compost.
SDS provides us with topsoil and bark chips.
Tony Riley has been a good ally in helping us grow to the east.
From the beginning we wanted Dirt Hugger to be about resource recovery and impact on agriculture. There are thousands of tons of nutrients heading to the Wasco County landfill every year, and we are trying to recover those as best as possible. There is a bunch more work to do and we are still pushing for local curbside compost programs in the gorge communities. Please continue to talk to your city councilors about these important programs.
On the agriculture side the gorge is home to one of the greatest fruit growing regions in the world. For decades common practice has been to apply chemical nutrients, grow largest fruit possible and ship them to the highest value market possible (typically export markets). A single pear tree can produce nearly 1,100 pounds of fruit. When taken on a net basis 1,100 pounds of material are being taken from an orchard and replaced mostly by liquid and maybe 20 lbs of leaves. At a certain point from a strictly materials stand-point the system will not self-sustain. Material, or more specifically, organic matter needs to be returned to the soil. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “A nation that destroys its soils, destroys itself.” Which, is where compost comes into play. Compost (40-50% organic matter by dry weight) is one of the best ways to return organic matter to depleted soils.
In order to help close that loop- we are pleased to announce the addition of compost application services to our orchard, farm, and vineyard customers. We have only done a few test plots so far, but we are gaining experience and are excited to see results in the coming growing seasons. With the help of rented equipment from Polehn Farms we can now come to your orchard or vineyard and apply compost in the planting strips. Feel free to contact us in order to find out more.
For those that wonder if we pack it up during the winter and wait for spring, quite the contrary. Winter is the best time of year to catch up and get ahead on projects in order to be ready for the growing season. As Bob the mechanic at Crestline told us, “winter maintenance is summer performance.” Below is a photo update of this winter’s activities.
1000 tons of wood from the Country Club Rd realignment project
Still fiddling with the pond (ugh) – more aeration.
We bought a 2nd loader! -Thanks to Randy at Feenaughty!
Working in pear orchards
Spreading compost in orchards.
Painting and labeling tanks
Orchards test plots
Posted in Business, Composting, Gardening/Farming, The Gorge
Tagged compost application, compost in orchards, doosan, doosan loader, feenaughty, off-season compost work, orchard compost spreading, test plots, winter update
Hello Hood River,
On Monday Sept 10th, Hood River Garbage presented a proposed city-wide yard debris composting program. Below is a summary of the main points of the proposed program along with some questions asked by the council (from the best of my memory).
- Program would feature two 90 gallon cans delivered to each residence. One blue can for mixed recycling (except glass) and one green can for yard debris. These two cans would be collected on an alternating weekly schedule. Meaning, yard debris one week, recycling the next. Garbage would still be collected weekly. Glass would still be placed in “curbies” (the little blue bins people use for camping, fruit picking, etc…) and collected monthly or on some to be determined schedule.
- At this stage the green can would be only for yard debris (i.e. no food scraps). (Side note: this is not our preference – we would like to see food scraps because that is where the true environmental impact happens, but this is what was proposed.)
- Cost to you would be $5.80 per month (your bill now is about $15/month paid every other so looks more like $30 every two months).
- The program would be mandatory for all existing garbage customers.
Questions from City council:
- Could I switch to every other week garbage to make my bill rate-neutral? Answer from HRG: If you switch to every other week garbage or a “mini can” weekly your bill will only go up a dollar or so (compared to to the $5.80).
- Can we include food scraps? Answer from HRG: Not at this time. The cost to tip food scraps at Dirt Hugger is higher than for yard debris alone. (side bar: true, but our tip fee is still lower than the landfill rates, where the material goes now). Second answer: Dirt Hugger is the only facility within 30 miles that can take the material. If something happens to them, we would have to haul it to Portland. (side note: true, a back up facility would be nice, but in a community our size there is barely enough volume for one facility). Additional comment from Arthur, if we send them material doesn’t it help ensure they will be around in the long run? (Thanks Arthur).
- Will there be allowances for people on steep hills or with small driveways (because the cans are enormous)? Answer from HRG: Yes
- Will “free Wednesdays” still be an option for yard debris? Answer from HRG: most likely not.
- Will there be exemptions for people who compost in their back yards? HRG: they could look into a “certified composter” program audited by a Master Gardener for people who compost at home.
The City Council would really like to hear input from you, the public, on this proposed program. We (Dirt Hugger) also really encourage you to give input to the city council members. This is a potentially big change to your garbage service, bill, and weekly routine so you should have input. Please feel free to contact city council members or write a letter to the Hood River News with your opinion on this proposal.
For your additional research, here is a really great article from OPB on the top 10 pros and cons of Portland’s city-wide compost program after one year of operation. My favorite Pro: 44% reduction in garbage going to the landfill. My favorite Con: “too many bins.”