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Free Compost in Garland County

Free compost.

Free compost.

Here’s a load of the compost that I used to help make a new garden bed.

Making a new garden bed with the free compost.

Making a new garden bed with the free compost.

Is the free compost safe to use growing food?

I suspect there are some toxic materials in the compost.  It is certainly NOT 100% organic.

Here is a battery I found mixed in the compost.

Here is a battery I found mixed in the compost. Tool placed next to battery for size comparison.

Why is a battery mixed in the compost?

Why is a battery mixed in the compost?

I also found bits of plastic in the compost.  I’m not sure why the quality of the compost is so low.  The waste water treatment plant doesn’t seem to be separating the waste from the compost.

Since I found items in the compost that I would not like to be growing food with, in the future, I will probably use the compost for landscaping, growing grass, and other non-edible plants.

One idea I had was to grow oil-producing plants, like okra, using this compost.  Then squeeze the okra seeds for their oil and use it for burning and electricity production in the winter.  Sunflowers would be another good oil seed crop.  If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, that’s OK.  But my point is that if I pick up any more of this free compost, until they have higher quality standards, I won’t be growing tomatoes, watermelons, or any other garden plants with this stuff.

And before someone says, “you get what you pay for”, remember that actually this stuff is hardly free.  We all pay for it with our taxes and utility bills.  Even if you never pick up a load of this “free” compost, you still paid for it.

Hot Springs Compost Facility

End of Davidson Drive, off of Shady Grove Road near the city wastewater treatment plant and city animal shelter 321-6869

Hours of Operation

Mon – Fri 7 am – 6:30 pm
Sat – Sun 10 am – 4 pm

Official website:  http://www.cityhs.net

Conclusion

I think offering compost to the public is great.  I hope that the wastewater treatment plant will take actions to ensure that the compost is safe and free of toxic material.

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