Compost-al service

B y Jaime Thomas

The village has been vacuuming. As a service for village residents, Department of Public Works employees have been collecting leaves since Oct. 15 and will continue through November or until all of the leaves are down.

Dan Williams, the highway superintendent, said the village has always picked up bagged leaves and has been using the leaf vacuum for eight to 10 years.  While workers typically run the machine on Mondays, Williams is hoping to keep it out every day this week to combat the number of leaves that are down.

In searching for a place to get rid of the leaves, the village has worked out a symbiotic solution with Kilpatrick Family Farm.

Michael Kilpatrick, owner of the farm, said both the village and the county dump leaves at a pad near Manchester Wood. Here an excavator regularly comes and turns the leaves, and Kilpatrick spreads them as compost in the fields after about one year.

Kilpatrick said the crew at his farm likes to keep nutrients as local as possible, making leaves from the village an ideal source.

“Our other option would be to truck compost in, and the closest place is an hour away; otherwise, we could order fertilizer, which comes from who knows where,” Kilpatrick said.

The leaves from the village are so clean, Kilpatrick said, that they also use them as bedding for the animals. They continue to add leaves to the beds throughout winter, and by the end they turn into compost.

Williams, who said the county now charges for unloading leaves, is also pleased with this set-up.

“It’s a good easy place for us to get rid of them without having to pay to dump them somewhere.”

The leaf collection has yielded at least 1,000 yards so far for Kilpatrick.

“We’re really thankful that the village is willing to do this; it’s a great partnership,” Kilpatrick said.

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