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Free compost available to Menlo Park residents

Green-thumbed Menlo Park residents looking for a horticultural boost may be interested in grabbing shovels and getting their fill this fall from a pile of decomposed yard trimmings while supplies last.

Residents' recycled yard trimmings are collected through the curbside collection program to create compost, part of which is given away to the community on free pickup days, according to the Public Works Department.

Allied Waste allows the yard waste to process about 50 days for active composting and about 60 days for curing at the Newby Island Sanitary Landfill in Milpitas, Regina Wheeler of the Public Works Department said.

The city conducts the free giveaways throughout the year, with concentration on the fall and spring seasons when avid gardeners are planting. A big pile of compost is set up for the public to come by and shovel it out, with a park ranger keeping an eye on how much each resident takes, according to Wheeler.

Free giveaways of the compost - often used to supplement soil for gardens and houseplants - will be held Saturday from 7 a.m. to sunset, Sept. 26 from noon to sunset, Oct. 11 from 7 a.m. to sunset, Oct. 31 from noon to sunset, and Nov. 14 from noon to sunset. Heavy rain will postpone compost pickups by one week.

Compost piles will be set up just inside the entrance to Bayfront Park, and Menlo Park residents can bring shovels and containers to fill up on the nutrient-boosting soil amendment, which cuts down on landfill waste and conserves water because it holds moisture in soil.

— Bay City News Service

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