The onset of winter is bringing an end to the city's "Earthbound" composting program, but already plans are in the works for the coming year.
Curbside pickup of grass clippings and leaves, a pilot program conducted weekly in southeast parts of the city, will cease after Wednesday's collections, city recycling coordinator Patricia Marvin said today. In addition, Saturday will be the final day of operation for the weekend drop-off site for leaves and grass clippings at Centennial Park. The site's hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Under the Earthbound program, instead of sending yard waste to the Douglas-Jefferson County Landfill, where it would take up precious landfill space, the city adds the wastes to a huge compost pile. There, the clippings and leaves break down into natural, organic matter.
Marvin said the program has encountered its ups and downs in its first year.
"I THINK it's been a success, but it's also had its little failures," she said.
Among the successes, the city has been able to divert a large amount of grass clippings and leaves away from the landfill. Although final figures have not been compiled, Marvin estimated that in September, 120 tons of yard waste was put into the city's compost pile instead of going to the landfill.
Autumn leaf raking has increased participation at the drop-off sites, she said.
"We had probably 100 to 120 people drop off their leaves on Saturday and Sunday," she said. "We had to switch from a dumpster to a compactor so that we could handle the amount. . . . It was so busy. Everybody knew there were a lot of people who bagged leaves."
The "little failures" Marvin talked about mostly involved collection procedures. Marvin said most corrections came on a "trial and error" basis.
MARVIN SAID she has ideas for continuing Earthbound in 1991, but said the pilot program first must undergo evaluation.
"I'm sure we'll have something for next year," she said. "But we need to get the data on collections, and I need to meet with the men and women on the collection crews to get their ideas on how we can improve."
One immediate concern for Marvin is to determine what the city will do for residents who took advantage of the city's motor oil recycling cart, which had been located at the weekend drop-off sites. She said she is working with Douglas County officials on a plan in which residents could continue to drop off used motor oil throughout the winter.