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Miller: Think about composting as fall arrives

Heidi Miller
Heidi Miller

Fall brings cooler temperatures and prompts us to clean out gardens and prepare for winter. At the Land Use Department we have ideas for the use of your garden debris and children’s toys.


Cleaning the garden of branches and raking the yard leaves from your property can equate the purchase of several brown kraft bags for landscape pick up from your waste hauler. Instead of giving these nutrient rich items to a composting facility, you may do that yourself and benefit from all of your hard work.

Simply by composting these items in the fall will allow the winter months to break them down into a rich humus that may be used as a soil supplement or fertilizer in the spring for vegetable gardens, flower gardens and also houseplants.

The Grundy County Land Use Department is selling composters at cost for $50.00 apiece. Each composter has a single piece body made of recycled plastic, removable top lid, and sliding bottom door for ease of removing compost.

You can also make your own composter that will allow for air infiltration in the form of openings, or purchase one from your local hardware store.

During the winter time you may also continue to add any vegetable and fruit scraps from your kitchen to aid in adding more nutrient balance to your compost pile.

Through the winter months the materials will continue to break down and the spring months the heat will allow for a complete composting. For next year’s planting this compost will be ready for fertilizing and garden supplement.

Recycling and Reuse:

After cleaning out the garage or basement of your home, consider each item before disposing of it. All materials that are usable may be donated to a charitable organization that will sell it to someone and invoke the reuse concept of the 4Rs.

If the item is not usable, then consider the content or material and recycle it instead or take it to a scrape dealer within Grundy County.

The changing of summer clothes to fall/winter clothes allows for the clothes that you may not have been wearing or that you do not necessarily want to be given away to good will stores. By doing so, the clothes are given another use which allows for complete use of the materials and natural resources that it takes to manufacture the garment.

Our Green Guide on the Land Use Department webpage includes places that you may give these items to which will allow for more reuse and recycling.

2017 Toy Drive: This year we will be having our gently used children’s toy and book collection from Nov. 13 until Dec. 15. These generous donations are distributed to needy children as gifts for Christmas.

The collection sites will be at the Morris, Coal City, both Three Rivers public libraries, Fossil Ridge Library, and also at our Administration Building.

All of the children’s toys will be distributed by Mazon’s Toys for Joy program, and the Chicago Rotary. Our department has been completing this event for the last eight years and are always surprised by the generosity of Grundy County residents.

We are here to assist you Grundy County residents in your questions concerning the goals of our Department. Please feel to contact my office either by email at or (815) 941-3229 if there are any questions.

Thank you Grundy County for being environmental stewards. Love your Earth!

• Heidi H. Miller is the Land Use director for Grundy County. Community Pulse is a weekly column that provides a dedicated space for Grundy County-area nonprofits, schools, organizations and sometimes Morris Herald-News staff to share news and information about their organization.

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