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PIERRE, S.D. – All the brown stuff you take out of your yard each fall is helping to make the city greener.
Each year the City of Pierre recycles nearly 3.5 million pounds of yard waste –turning leaves, garden waste and grass into high-quality compost. That compost is then screened to remove any inorganic material and used to reestablish soil throughout Pierre.
Val Keller, City Solid Waste Manager, says that the City has utilized the compost by incorporating it with top soil and has seen very good vegetation as a result.
“It’s proved to be a quality product for our purposes, as well as for private lawns and gardens,” said Keller. “We monitor the compost throughout the year to make sure it’s receiving optimal levels of heat, air and moisture and morphing into a valuable product.”
It takes three to twelve months for the Solid Waste Facility to turn yard waste into ideal compost. The decomposition process is dependent on ambient air temperature and generally slows in the winter months.
The Solid Waste Facility staff places the yard waste in large windrows. Once the temperature of the windrows is between 130 and 140 degrees, the staff runs a compost turner over the product to aerate the material and help along the biological composting process.
If you’re interested in using the compost on private property, it can be purchased from the Solid Waste Facility for $15 per ton plus tax with a minimum charge of $3 plus tax. The compost is analyzed and registered as a fertilizer with the South Dakota Department of Agriculture. For the analysis or additional information on the compost, please contact the Pierre Solid Waste Facility at 605.773.7434.