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Compost acts as natural fertilizer to help plants grow

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Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow last month, the weather has had a few hints of warmth, and spring break is on the horizon.

With spring comes lots of outside yard work, spring cleaning and lots of outdoor events as we shake off the indoor winter blues. Also, spring is a busy time of year here at Bartholomew County Solid Waste Management District.

As you prepare your garden for vegetables, fruits or herbs, it is important to ensure you have enough nutrients for the proper growth of your plants. One of the easiest ways to add nutrients into your soil is by adding compost.

Compost is rich hummus that is produced when plants and vegetables break down to a type of soil, often referred to as black gold. By adding a small amount of compost to your garden or flower bed, it acts as a natural fertilizer and can make a huge difference in your plant life and production.


If you do not compost at home, not to worry; the Columbus/Bartholomew Yard Waste Site has you covered. The Columbus/Bartholomew Yard Waste site recycles yard waste into usable materials. All limbs and brush collected are ground into mulch, and all leaves, grass and garden waste are placed into what we call windrows, turned about twice a year until it eventually turns into compost.

All Bartholomew County residents are welcome to come and get both mulch and compost absolutely for free; the only catch is you will need to load it yourself.

If you cannot, or choose not to, load material yourself, we have a solution. Each year, BCSWMD offers two days in March where we will load mulch or compost for seniors of Bartholomew County absolutely free.

The dates for this year’s senior loading are 8 a.m. to noon March 21 and 28.

For everyone else, we will begin our regular loading season 2 to 4:30 p.m. April 13. The cost per pickup truck load is $10. Residents will simply need to stop by the district office at 720 S. Mapleton St. to pay for a load and then head up to the yard waste site, where the operator will assist you in loading your vehicle.

Spring is full of events at Bartholomew County Solid Waste Management. Save the date for our Earth Day celebration April 20 at the Columbus Bartholomew Recycling Center.

This year’s event will include amnesty, plant swap, hot dog roast, children’s activities, giveaways and more to be announced.

Also, block out your calendar for our third annual Tox-A-Way Day on May 11 at the Bartholomew County 4-H Fairgrounds, 750 W. County Road 200S. We will accept items such as tires, paints, appliances and more for recycling or proper disposal. Some fees may apply. Watch for more details to come about these events.

For more information, visit our website at or our Facebook page by searching for Bartholomew County Solid Waste District.

For any additional questions, please contact our Education Coordinator, Heather Siesel, email at or 812-376-2614 press 5 then 2.

Heather Siesel is education coordinator for the Bartholomew County Solid Waste District.

She can be reached at or 376-2614.

 For information concerning these free educational programming offerings and resources, visit under “Education.”

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