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Warren has had a bumper crop of compost this year and it’s time to start getting rid of it.

The Department of Public Works began moving truckloads of the rich, dark organic fertilizer from the processing area to Bates Park on Tuesday.

“We started transporting our finished product to Betts Park to pick it up,” Public Works Director Jo Reinke said.

I estimated that there “60 to 80 tons” of compost in the garden late Tuesday morning, with plenty delivered.

“We had a good year,” Reinke said. “We have more…than ever before.”

“We will continue to lower it throughout the spring,” he said. He said.

There are some rules, but for the most part, those who live in the city and want to use the material for their personal use are welcome to do so.

“We invite all residents of the city to help themselves,” He said. “City residents only, no contractors.”

Heavy equipment may not be used to load materials. Manual download only Reinke said.

On the contrary, “Be polite. Take your time. Wait your turn,” He said. “There will be a lot of it.”

“As the heap dwindles, we will continue to replenish it.” He said.

The city is one of the main users of this substance.

“Our department is going through a good chunk of it,” Reinke said. “DPW uses a lot of it for reclamation, tree work, and patching holes in gardens. Anywhere we need topsoil, we use it.”

The material is the end result of the previous year’s collection of leaves, grass clippings, and wood.

“There are three components,” Reinke said. “Nitrogen – this is your green stuff: green leaves, grass clippings. Carbon – this is brown: brown leaves and wood chips. And water.”

“Adding oxygen to these three components speeds up the process,” he says. He said. “We mix the piles constantly. We turn the piles at least on a monthly basis to add oxygen and allow this compost to burn.”

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