County offers free composting bins

LIHUE — The Kauai County recycling team is promoting the value of composting this week in recognition of International Compost Awareness Week.

This year’s theme is Compost! Healthy Soil, Healthy Food.

“This is a great time to let everyone know about the benefits of composting. How it helps to improve or maintain high quality soil, to grow healthy plants, reduce the use of fertilizer and pesticides, improve water quality and protect the environment,” said Keola Aki with the County Recycling Office.

Aki will be doing a compost presentation at Island School this week to help raise awareness about the value of composting.

The county also distributes free backyard composting bins to residents. The only requirement is the viewing of a 10-minute instructional video that provides some pointers to composting.

“It teaches why composting is important, what materials can and cannot be put into the bin, and how to use the bin to produce compost efficiently,” Aki said.

The video is available on the www.kauai.gov/homecomposting website, but you need to view it using Internet Explorer.

“If you view it online you still need to fill out a short survey and pick up the bins from the Kauai Resource Center,” Aki said.

The compost bins that are available are open at the bottom and need to be sited outside on an unpaved surface. For those who live in apartment complexes, permission is required from the manager or owner.

Bins have been distributed at Kaniko’o at Rice Camp senior housing and Lihue Court Townhomes for communal use.

“The bin about 3-feet round and 3-feet high. You don’t have to worry about sunny or shady conditions. It works in both, but you need a water source close by to keep the system moist inside,” Aki said.

The program is only open for residents, but the recycling office can train businesses how to compost using a system they’ve purchased.

“We’re willing to come to small businesses — 15 employees or less — to do on-site training and bin distribution to their employees. For larger businesses, we can do training, but the employees would have to come to the Kauai Resource Center to pick up their bins,” Aki said.

For more information, visit the county’s website www.kauai.gov/homecomposting or call 241-4195.

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