"Compost & Rain Barrels"

By KBJR News 1

August 4, 2010 Updated Aug 4, 2010 at 3:16 PM CDT

Posted by Jeff Edmondson

Your efforts to go green at home can be as complex as installing a solar heater, or as simple as putting a compost bin in your backyard.

In this weeks "Your Green Life" Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson takes a look at a Northland program aimed at making it easier to compost and collect rainwater.

Last weekend WLSSD in Duluth, and the Minnesota Sea Grant Program hosted an event to educate and distribute rain barrels and compost bins at Lake Superior College. And the rain barrels were hands down the most popular item.

"If you are someone who has a garden, a vegetable garden, a flower garden, or just want to water their lawns without having to run up their water bills, these work great. You can collect the water coming off of your roof", says Jesse Schomberg with the Minnesota Sea Grant Program.

There are several ways to gather this water.

"They have a lot of things like this at local hardware stores that you can get where you can put the rain barrel where you want and they divert the water out of your gutters and in to a rain barrel", said Jesse Schomberg.

These particular rain barrels have a hose attachment at their base, an overflow spout so you can connect several bins together and a screen on top to prevent the water inside from becoming a mosquito breeding ground. But those features are not the only benefits of collecting rain water.

"Normally have to water it with city water, and I am normally paying city water and sewer. So it is going to be a big savings," said Kathryn Plewa.

The rain barrels were selling for $50 and they can hold 50 gallons of water, and if you have two, you can have 100 gallons of nutrient–rich rainwater to use on your lawn or garden.
After a small rain shower, you may find yourself with more than enough water to go around.
In Duluth, I'm Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson. The Northlands Newscenter.

Over 650 rain barrels and 400 compost bins were sold. At one point the wait was over 2 hours.

The best spot to purchase a compost bin or a rain barrel is at your local garden center or hardware store. Call first before you arrive as there is usually limited supply. In addition, online there are ways to build your own. Search around for the best option that suits your needs.