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Residents can visit the Ecopark for free compost

Residents can visit the Ecopark for free compost

County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo encouraged residents to pick up free leaf compost at the Ecopark during its normal operating hours. Approximately 20,000 yards of leaves are collected from City residents and the Monroe County Parks system annually, and are available as compost free for County residents (no businesses or professional landscapers).

“Monroe County is a beautiful place, in part because of our incredible parks and the tremendous pride that our residents take in their yards and gardens,” said Dinolfo. “Now that spring has sprung, many of our neighbors will be flexing their green thumbs in the garden and Monroe County is happy to help by providing free compost available at our Ecopark. Help us keep Monroe County looking great this spring and summer so we can grow more jobs and investment here all year-round.”

This week, Monroe County is celebrating International Compost Awareness Week, which highlights the importance of composting and the long-term benefits from organics recycling. Composting is nature’s way of breaking down plant materials and recycling them into a valuable product, saving landfill space and cultivating healthier plants. Adding compost to soil increases water holding capacity, reducing watering needs and reducing the need for fertilizers by supplying vital nutrients to plants.

Furthermore, yard waste takes up valuable space in our landfills. A 2010 study of items disposed by Monroe County residents found that 17% of local garbage was yard waste that could have been recycled. This includes leaf and grass clippings, tree trimmings and garden debris. Uncontaminated yard waste should not be sent to landfills and should not be placed in curbside recycling bins.

In addition to compost available at the Ecopark, many municipalities offer free compost or mulch to residents. The City of Rochester, all 10 villages in the County and most of the 19 towns provide seasonal brush/leaf collection in the fall and free compost in the spring. Residents should contact their municipality to confirm.

The Ecopark is located at 10 Avion Drive and is open Wednesdays from 1:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. For a full list of accepted items, associated fees and necessary appointments, visit www.ecoparkmcny.com.