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Free Compost from the County?

Posted by tampasteve 9 (My Page) on
Mon, Feb 16, 09 at 16:14

I talked to a fellow gardener in New Port Richey that gets free compost from Pasco County government. Does Hillsborough County do the same thing? I looked on the extension service website but didn't find anything.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Free Compost from the County?

I know orange county does it. You might look for the county government website. In Orange County the yard waste that is collected gets composted and that is what they offer back to the residents. You might check with the landfill transfer stations or the main county landfill to see what they do with the yard waste.

Good Luck

Here is a link that might be useful: TCLynx


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RE: Free Compost from the County?

  • Posted by brute Florida 10 (My Page) on
    Tue, Feb 17, 09 at 5:49

Sarasota County does it. Every county should.


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RE: Free Compost from the County?

Steve, there is a place in the south part of the county where you can get compost. I'm sure it would be the same place where they take yard waste. It isn't free but it is reasonable. If you call solid waste or the extension office they should be able to give you more information.
I live in the north part of the county so I don't know that much about so. county.


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RE: Free Compost from the County?

Thanks Laura, I'm going to call the extension service this afternoon.


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RE: Free Compost from the County?

We have it here in Ft Pierce St. Lucie Co. It is low grade and full of weed seed. They also have low grade mulch full of weird weed seed. I used some a few years back and did not pay attention to a couple of weed seed heads flowering.
Maybe dandelions ? Nothing my yard ever had before. It has taken me 4 springs to get the plants before they seed again.


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RE: Free Compost from the County?

I wrote the county (no separate way to contact the processing place that I could find) and no response so far. I know one guy that is growing vegetables in Pasco county compost, but he composts it completely down and gets it hot enough to kill the weed seeds.


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RE: Free Compost from the County?

Ok, got a hold of someone at the main Hillsborough County office, who patched me over to someone at the extension service that knew what I was talking about. She wasn't sure, so gave me directions to the Falkenburg Rd site.

Talked to a guy out there, and he said that they're selling the stuff for $15 per front-end loader bucket, about 5 cubic yards. He says that their biggest customer is a major nationwide lawn supply company that ages the stuff more, bags it and sells it as potting soil! He said they used to age it for 5 to 7 weeks, but that they can't keep up with demand so they are shipping it early to the lawn products company (I won't mention their name in case I mis-heard him.)

When it comes out of the machine as fines, it's piled into long piles, and soaked down daily for about a week, then turned and allowed to cook some more. They usually turn it again after two weeks, but the company is buying it after the first two weeks of "cooking."

Now I need to find a big pickup truck and trailer to borrow, and get me a couple of loads! I figure I can load the raised beds up, keep it damp and cover with black plastic sheets to kill any weeds, and be ready for large-scale planting in July or August.


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RE: Free Compost from the County?

I've grown stuff in the "poor grade" compost from the county and yea it has weed seeds in it but it usually isn't that difficult to pull the weeds out of new raised beds and such. I will recommend that you amend the compost as you put it into the beds as (at least the stuff I used) didn't have much nutrient value to it. I like to add some bone and blood meal as well as some sort of seed meal (used coffee grounds works) some lime and some source of potassium at least. Alfalfa pellets sprinkled though it will also add some natural fertilizer value.

Just be ware of chunks of glass and metal mixed into the compost as alot of people are not very careful when they bag up their yard waste for the county to pick up and the trash gets chopped up with the yard waste.


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RE: Free Compost from the County?

Very cool thread, I had never heard of this before. TClynx, do you mind letting me know how I can get some from orange county, as I'm a resident and could always use some decent soil.


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RE: Free Compost from the County?

I don't have the phone numbers on hand but I'm sure a search on the county government web site can find you the info you need.
Just call up the transfer stations and see if they have any compost available (often times they are all out) or I think the main county landfill (old pine road I think) is probably more likely to have it most of the time but I've never been out there. We used to just take shovels and buckets and bins and fill them up, it can be heavy stuff when wet. As you pull in at the transfer stations you usually have to stop at the guard gate and tell them what you are doing.

We haven't actually gotten any county compost for a very long time since we live close to the mushroom farm in Zellwood and they sell spent mushroom compost for about $5 per pickup truck or small trailer load.


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RE: Free Compost from the County?

I've bought from the Falkenberg site. Took my full size pickup truck and they loaded it. All for $15.00. Talk about rich material to plant in!!!!! Some of it salt and due to rain was well saturated. It really became that rich, black soil that we love so much.

Erika


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