Rake It Or Leave It: Tips For Autumn Leaf Composting

ST. PAUL, MINN. - Since a 1992 ban on yard wastes in landfills and incinerators, Minnesotans in St. Paul have been trying out their alternatives. Composting, it seems, is the big winner, with approximately 400,000 tons of leaves and grass clippings reduced or reused in the last four years.

To aid those who are or planning to compost their green wastes, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) developed some helpful tips:

1. When leaves and grass are mixed with a little soil, water and air, bacteria compost wastes into a rich soil amendment. Composting reduces yard waste volumes by 80 percent and mass by 50 percent.

2. By tightly bagging leaves over a long time, conditions are created that allow anaerobic bacteria to create foul odors that smell like ammonia or vinegar.

3. Leaves and yard waste should not be raked into streets, gutters or water bodies. The wastes can travel through storm sewers to rivers or lakes, where they can increase algae growth and reduce the oxygen available to fish and other aquatic life. Grass clippings from fertilized lawns are particularly bad.

4. Make sure you don't rake pieces of glass, plastic or cement into yard wastes. Sites that compost it are under strict rules with regard to how many "inerts" are allowed in finished compost.

5. Yard waste can be left on lawns or used to insulate plants for the winter. Leaves and grass composted at home will continue to break down at a slower rate through winter.

6. Compost coffee grounds, vegetable, fruit peelings and other plant wastes in your home compost pile. Meat, grease and dairy products, though, should not be disposed of in a home composter, because they create odors and attract pests.

7. Leaf burning is illegal in Minnesota because it creates particulates, hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide, all of which can adversely affect public health.

For more information, contact MPCA, 520 Lafayette Rd. North, St. Paul, Minn. 55155-4194. (800) 657-3864.

Acquisitions International Recycling Industries Inc., Salt Lake City, has acquired 6,500 acres for a recycling facility and landfill in Topolobampo, Sinaloa, Mexico.

Superior Services Inc., West Allis, Wis., has acquired the West County Disposal Landfill in Ballwin, Mo., and Wilson Refusal Removal, Maryland Heights, Md.

American Disposal Services Inc. (ADSI), Burr Ridge, Ill., has acquired two Rhode Island-based companies, T&J Trucking Company Inc. and American Disposal Inc. (unaffiliated with ADSI).

USA Waste, Houston, has closed on transactions to acquire Hamilton, Ontario-based Philip Environmental Inc.'s municipal and commercial non-hazardous waste businesses in Quebec and Ontario, Canada, and Michigan. Five landfills, six collection operations and six transfer stations with annual revenues of approximately $50 million are included in the deal.

Agreement Krofta Inc., has agreed to market and sell Kenner, La.-based Regenex's pulping and deinking system in Europe, Australia, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, New Zealand, The Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.

Tube City Inc., Glassport, Pa., and The Issac Group, Toledo, Ohio, have formed a joint venture with Krystal Bond, Toronto, Canada, to market new waste recycling technology for the steel industry.

Alliance Soft-Pak, San Diego; RouteSmart Techno-logies, Columbia, Md.; Wray-Tech, Stanford, Conn.; P.C. Scales, Waterloo, Ontario; and Collectech, Calabasas, Calif., have entered into a computer software alliance to provide hauling operations with information managementment.

Approval Eastern Environmental Services Inc., Trenton, N.J. has gained final approval from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Agency to complete its merger with Super Kwik, a Voorhees, N.J. - based collection company with more than $22 million in annual revenue.

Award Al-jon Inc., Ottumwa, Iowa, has won a Governor's Export Award from the state of Iowa for their success in selling solid waste handling products and services in foreign markets.

Contracts Metcalf & Eddy Inc., Branchburg, N.J., has been awarded a multi-million dollar remediation contract at a Superfund site located in EPA Region II.

New Distributor Gal-breath Inc., Winamac, Ind., has named Gulfstream Waste Equipment, Pompano Beach, Fla., as its newest distributor.

New Facility Dinverno Recycling, Detroit, has completed a 25,000 square foot, $1.5 million construction recycling center.

Penalty Aptus Inc., Lake-ville, Minn., has paid a $1,600 fine for past hazardous waste violations to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Relocation LFG Specialties Inc., Middleburg Heights, Ohio, has relocated their Cleveland, Ohio engineering and administration offices. The new address: 705 South Friendship Dr., New Concord, Ohio 43762. (614) 826-7686. Fax: (614) 826-4948.

Shred-Tech Chicago, Mount Prospect, Ill., has moved their Wood Dale, Ill., office to a new location. The new address: 1907 Busse Rd., Mount Prospect, Ill. 60056. (800) 323-1265. Fax: (847) 589-8102.

Web Site Jacobs Vehicle Equipment Co., Bloomfield, Conn., has established a home page on the Internet: http:// www.jakebrake.com.