My house sits on quite a small lot in the Hillsdale Neighborhood. Even so, the yard requires extensive pruning each Spring, just to keep the patios and walkways passable. Maintaining the mature trees and plants that surround many Southwest Portland homes can produce enormous amounts of yard debris, and fortunately we have several options for disposing of it.

Portland trash haulers offer curbside pick up, and larger amounts can be put in a drop box or hauled to a processor. Another option is to compost yard debris at home, which saves money and pollutes less than other disposal methods, while creating quality fertilizer for the yard.

At the intersection of Southwest Barbur Boulevard and Miles Street in the South Burlingame Neighborhood, adjacent to Fulton Park,  the Fulton Community Center, and the Fulton Community Garden, there is a small, lovely site called the Metro Home Composting Demonstration Center. I recently walked there and enjoyed both the educational aspects and the feeling of an urban-rural connection. There is a gravel road from the community center building to the compost demonstration site.

At the curve in the road is the entrance to the demonstration center.

On display are working models showing various composting methods, and while composting systems are not particularly photogenic, I put pictures a few of them here. This is an example of a 2-Bin Compost Turning System:

And this is the Wood and Wire Compost Bin:

The Wire Mesh Holding Bin is nearly invisible in this photo:

The Recycled Plastic Composter is similar to the one I have at home:

Here is the Redworm Compost Bin:

Next to each system is an interpretive sign that tells how it can be built and maintained, and its pros and cons. For example, the 2-Bin Compost Turning System is relatively labor-intensive, but produces high-quality compost in a short period of time. This is great information for finding the system that best suits particular needs.

After my tour, I soaked up some sun and solitude on a bench made completely of recycled material. Next time, I will be sure to bring along a thermos of tea.


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