Compost for stormwater management, erosion control, plant health
Job sites benefit in many ways when compost is in the mix. Whether it’s controlling erosion, reducing soil compaction, or repairing top soil—compost is part of the solution.
Our compost—produced at 2250 A Street SW, Cedar Rapids—is used regularly by landscapers and contractors on road, housing, and commercial development projects. It’s available year-around.
From April 1 – November 30 our facility is open 7:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday – Saturday (Winter hours, December 1 – March 31, are 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., Monday – Friday).
Pricing: $15 per ton. All vehicles must weigh-in and out. Agency staff will load your truck. At times, supplies may be limited; please call 319-398-5163 for compost availability.
When available, wood chips can be purchased for $40 per ton.
Our compost is certified
The Agency has been making compost since its founding in 1994. Our facility is regarded as among the best in its class. Our compost has been sampled and tested as required by the Seal of Testing Assurance program of the U.S. Composting Council. Click HERE for the latest lab report. The Solid Waste Agency proudly displays the US Composting Council's "Seal of Testing Assurance.”
Benefits of applying compost
- Improves the soil structure, porosity, and density, thus creating a better plant root environment
- Increases infiltration and permeability of heavy soils, thus reducing erosion and runoff
- Improves water holding capacity, thus reducing water loss and leaching in sandy soils
- Supplies a variety of macro and micro-nutrients
- May control or suppress certain soil-borne plant pathogens
- Supplies significant quantities of organic matter
- Improves cation exchange capacity (CEC) of soils and growing media, thus improving their ability to hold nutrients for plant use
- Supplies beneficial microorganisms to soils and growing media
- Improves and stabilizes soil pH
- Can bind and degrade specific pollutants
Source: US Composting Council
How we make compost
Composting—the controlled breakdown of grass, leaves, trees, food scraps and other organics—requires a great deal of effort and attention to detail especially when managing the 30,000 to 40,000 tons of organic material that enters our facility annually.
Upon arrival, the material best suited for compost is ground up and mixed into a proper recipe of carbon and nitrogen (browns and greens). The material is incorporated into windrows 200-700 feet long and continually monitored for temperature and moisture, as well as regularly aerated to ensure oxygen is present. If a row becomes too dry, we water as microorganisms operate best when moisture content is 50-60%. The high temperatures generated, sometimes upwards of 160 degrees, ensure we are destroying unwanted pathogens or weed seeds and consistently delivering a quality compost product. Our windrows reach temperatures above 131 degrees shortly after their build date. We work hard to maintain that high temperature for several weeks as required for STA certification. After removal from a windrow the compost is allowed to cure until the temperatures have stabilized and the compost is considered mature. Finally, the material is screened and lab certified for quality and consistency.
If you are interested in watching our Scarab in action or are curious how the whole process works feel free to contact us. Our compost facility Staff members are proud of the work they do to create compost; free tours are provided by appointment. Click HERE to schedule a tour.
On the internet, there are many good sources of compost information, including http://compostingcouncil.org/factsheets-and-free-reports/