Fall Updates!

White Salmon Curbside Composting Pilot Gets a Green Light

On 9-18-13 the White Salmon City Council gave a provisional head nod of approval for an optional curbside composting program provided by Dirt Hugger. In August, we placed a survey in the White Salmon water bill, which demonstrated that a majority of respondents wanted a curbside composting option and were willing to pay a little extra for the service (see responses below).

Want program?food scraps?

scheduleBased on the survey data we will begin an optional program hopefully as soon as October of this year. The initial program will not be the ultimately desired program (nor probably the optimally desired price), but it will be a start and hopefully lead to an integrated service that would allow people to adjust their recycling and/or garbage to accommodate for a third service (yard debris and/or food scraps).

Thanks to Pat Munyon, WS City Staff, & Council for their work and support. 

Compost-nerd side note: the results were fairly split on whether or not to include food scraps in the program. A brand new study from ICLEI just came out which shows the relative emissions reductions from composting different materials (i.e. food vs. brush, etc…). Overwhelmingly, food scraps have the highest emissions reductions even when compared to landfills with gas recovery (i.e. The Roosevelt Landfill). Check it out:

compost emissions

bio assay testNew Compost/Topsoil Blend (Garden Blend) Product
Topsoil is a hard thing to control, mostly because it comes from varied sources. We have found a stable supply of soil for the new Garden Blend product and our testing shows an increase in both vigor and emergence from the previous blend product. We hope you enjoy it!

Side note: we have seen Jimsom weed  in some of our past blend product – this new blend should not contain Jimson weed seeds. Thanks to our customers for the constructive feedback.

Testing, Testing, Testing…. (more like failing, failing, failing….)

You’d think that after three years of composting we’d have everything dialed – not so. We spent a good part of the summer testing all kinds of different ideas. Most started in failure and some actually ended in good results. The learning never ends in composting.

test: picking up sawdust in a truck that small does not work. solution: get a bigger truck.

Test: pick up sawdust in a truck that is too small.       Solution: get a bigger truck.

DO testing

Testing Dissolved Oxygen levels in our pond water (aka the stinky culprit).

The famed Ponderito (short for pond burrito). A poor man's way to trap sediment and add oxygen. Thanks Oregon Cherry Grows and to our crew for the great name.

The famed Ponderito (short for pond burrito). A poor man’s way to trap sediment and add oxygen. The first iteration was a total failure. We think the second will actually hold water. Thanks Oregon Cherry Grows for the tarp.

Testing the footprint efficiency of mass bed curing. Temps were low, but so was Oxygen....

Testing the footprint efficiency of mass bed curing. Temps were low, but so was Oxygen….

The new cart lifter for the White Salmon curbside composting program.

The new cart lifter for the White Salmon curbside composting program.

Summer Fun
Despite all of our experimentation we managed to have fun this summer and pull off a few cool projects. Here’s a sample of a few noteworthy ones: 

Green Roof application for the new LEED Gold The Dalles Readiness Center

Green Roof application for the new LEED Gold The Dalles Readiness Center

The Readiness Center architectural drawing

cherry cull collection

Cherry cull collection from Orchard View Farms

cherry culls turning into compost!

Cherry culls turning into compost!

Custom Blend for Humble Roots nursery (vermiculite pictured).

Custom Blend for Humble Roots nursery (vermiculite pictured).

Big Trees: construction is back on after a few slow years. Country Club Rd opens and State Street begins (Hood River)

Big Trees: construction is back on after a few slow years. Country Club Rd opens and State Street begins (Hood River). Thanks Crestline for the material!

Custom paint job for the skid steer.

Custom paint job for the skid steer.

Our hauling partner, Kiwi Construction, bought a walking floor trailer. We can now deliver +/- 50 yds at a time.

Our hauling partner, Kiwi Construction, bought a walking floor trailer. We can now deliver +/- 50 yds at a time.

Kristal started a shelf for all the figurines found in the yard debris piles.

Kristal started a shelf for all the figurines found in the yard debris piles.

Fall is the Best Time to Apply Compost.
That’s the scientific truth. Over the winter the ground freezes and cracks, freezes and cracks, which allows compost to work its way into the soil. The extra time on the ground helps compost assimilate into the native soil; and ensures that nutrients are in place when plants demand them in the spring. Visit our retailers if you need product this fall.

About dirthuggercompost

Co-founder of Dirt Hugger
This entry was posted in Business, Composting, Latest News, The Gorge and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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