Baltimore County is selling compost bins and rain barrels to county and city residents

Baltimore County sells compost bins and rain barrels. Images courtesy of Baltimore County Government, compiled by Marcus Dieterle.

Baltimore County and Baltimore City residents can pre-order compost bins and rain barrels through March 31.

The sale is “to help residents participate in sustainable home composting and rainwater reuse practices,” county officials said.

Baltimore County is selling the compost bins for $55 each and the rain barrels for $65 each, plus a flat $25 delivery charge.

Purchase of bins and barrels is restricted to Baltimore County and Baltimore City residents only.

Residents can pre-order the products through through March 31. After clicking on the link, scroll below the flyer to find links to purchase a rain barrel, compost bin, and other supplies.

Orders will then be delivered directly to residents’ homes between March 15 and April 30.

Rain barrels allow residents to collect rainwater, which they can reuse for tasks such as watering their garden. Water collected in rain barrels may even be healthier for plants because rainwater is free of chlorine and other water treatment chemicals, county officials said.

The barrels can also help reduce water pollution from stormwater runoff, county officials say.

Instead of throwing away food scraps that will end up in a landfill, composting allows residents to reuse these materials.

Through composting, food scraps as well as garden waste, such as leaves and grass clippings, can properly decompose and be transformed into a material called “humus” which helps enrich the soil.

“When this material is mixed into the soil of your gardens or lawn, it returns nutrients such as phosphorus, potassium, nitrogen and many trace minerals beneficial to plant health and growth,” said county officials. “Using compost also helps increase water retention in sandy soils and aids drainage in heavy, clay soils.”

This year, Baltimore County began allowing residents to use certain food scraps in home composting. The county prohibits composting of items such as meat, bones, pet waste and the like. Residents can check out the Composting Guide on the county’s website for a complete list of foods allowed or prohibited for home composting and tips for maintaining healthy compost.

Last year, the city of Baltimore launched a pilot program allowing residents to bring their food scraps to designated drop-off sites, where the materials are then transported to a composting facility. The program continued this year.

Currently, the city has seven drop-off points:

  • Quarantine Path Dump
  • West Sanitation Yard
  • East Sanitation Yard
  • Sisson Street Drop-Off Center
  • Northwest Transfer Station
  • 32nd Street Farmer’s Market
  • JFX Farmer’s Market and Bazaar

Be sure to check your local councils to find out what is allowed and what is not allowed. For example, tea bags, bread, and rice are allowed at Baltimore City drop-off sites, but these materials are considered prohibited items for home composting in Baltimore County.

People can find more information about the sale of Baltimore County compost bins and rain barrels on the county’s website.

Marcus Dieterle
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