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Compost plan a success

by Merrie Leininger, Tribune News Service

GARDNERVILLE – This spring’s wildfire reduction program in Douglas County reaped greater benefits than ever before.

The Douglas County office of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension organized the yard waste recycling program for the second spring and recycled more than 400 tons of yard waste, up from only 42 tons the spring before.

The difference was the collection bins were left out for a month instead of just a weekend or two. Compost Your Combustibles is also held every fall.



“We also had outstanding site coordinators who were very accommodating, especially at the lake,” said project coordinator Steve Lewis of the extension office. “Our coordinators said, ‘Just keep bringing it in; we’ll put it somewhere.’ “

Lewis boasts that fewer Douglas County fire permits were issued this spring than previous years.




“People opted to recycle their yard waste and cut down on air pollution, too,” he said.

The 33-cubic-yard bins were left at fire departments in Zephyr Cove, Round Hill, Glenbrook and Kingsbury at Lake Tahoe; and Topaz Ranch Estates, Sheridan, Genoa, Jacks Valley and Johnson Lane in Carson Valley.

A total of 205.4 tons was collected between May 7 and June 16 in the valley, and 198.75 tons were collected during the same period of time at the lake.

Lewis said extending the collection to a month was a lot more labor-intensive than expected. In addition, a plan to chip all the vegetation at the sites was scrapped, so the material had to be transported to Craig Witt’s Full Circle Compost by Douglas Disposal and South Tahoe Refuge without being chipped.

Another problem causing more work was allowing people at the lake to keep their yard waste in bags.

Volunteers and inmate crews spent $3,000 in labor hours taking the materials out of the bags.

Youth groups from Shepherd of the Sierra, Evergreen Foundation and Teens With A Future spent a lot of time helping with that.

The program will receive a $30,000 grant from the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection for processing and promotion for the next couple of years.

Lewis said the money will help program organizers figure out a better way to coordinate the growing amount of material.


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