VIII. USE OF LEAF AND YARD TRIMMINGS COMPOST
Early in the development of a composting facility, it is desirable to plan for distribution of the end product. The county department of solid waste management and Cooperative Extension Agents may be helpful in developing markets and other outlets. The benefits of using leaf compost as a soil additive or a mulch are summarized in a fact sheet (FS117) prepared by Cooperative Extension Specialists at Cook College, Rutgers University, which is available through the county Cooperative Extension office. A single copy has been included in Appendix E. Composts produced from leaf/grass mixtures would have similar uses.
While the nutrient content of leaf compost is too low for it to be considered a fertilizer, it does act as a soil conditioner and organic amendment, improving the physical, chemical and biological properties of the soil. Most New Jersey soils benefit considerably from the increase in organic matter content which leaf compost can provide. If grass clippings have been included in the composting material, the final product would be expected to be similar to leaf compost, but with a higher nitrogen content.
Most municipal leaf and yard waste composting facility managers like to make a portion of their finished compost available to individual users in the community. Some allow public access to the site itself, while others prefer to make the compost available at some other location, such as the public works yard or recycling center.
The New Jersey Statewide Mandatory Source Separation and Recycling Act (NJSA 13:1E-99.11 et seq.), states that all State and local agencies responsible for the maintenance of public lands must give consideration and preference to the use of compost material in all land maintenance activities which are paid for with public funds. The municipality, particularly the parks and roads departments, may use the compost in place of purchased organic soil amendments. The compost also may be blended with poor soils to produce a good quality topsoil. Additionally, Executive Order No. 91 requires that all state agencies utilize, where technically feasible, competitively priced and environmentally sound, compost, mulch and other soil amendments in lieu of any chemical fertilizer or soil amendment.
Other bulk users may include farmers, nurseries, landscapers, builders, top
soil companies, and landfills (for amendment of final cover). The compost
may be offered to such users at no cost, or a modest charge may be
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