Benefits of rain barrels and compost bins

With Memorial Day behind us, most folks are in full-swing with their yard and garden plans. If youâ??re looking for an environmentally-friendly way to go about this, OCCRA has you covered. Coming up this weekend, theyâ??ll be offering half-price rain barrels and compost bins at the NYS Fairgrounds from 8 am through 4 pm Saturday. I had the chance to catch up with OCCRAâ??s Kristen Lawton about the benefits of using a compost bin.

â??You can utilize that to recycle your food scraps and your yard waste, which will not only reduce your trash, which is a great thing, it will also create a nutrient-rich compost for use in your garden.â??

Bins like this can produce useable compost in as little as six to nine months if turned occasionally and the right green to brown material balance is maintained.

Rain barrels, like the ones available this weekend, could be a huge benefit to your local neighborhood. Greg Gelewski, Recycling Operations Manager for OCCRA explains why.

â??On a small, half-inch rainfall, an average house with just one rain barrel will easily fill that 55 gallon drum, or rain barrel, with water and be able to be used in their yard instead of losing that to the storm water system.â??

Now, both Greg and Kristen told me that itâ??s a good idea to put the rain barrel up a little higher. Donâ??t have it sitting just straight on the ground. The reason for it? Itâ??s a gravity-fed system, meaning the higher up you get it, the more force you get, and thatâ??s a better spray out to your lawn.

So if youâ??re looking to save a little green, and go green at the same time, you may want to consider grabbing a rain barrel or compost bin this weekend.