Non-resident, commercial fees now charged at compost site

Muscatine’s Compost Site has seen a rise in the amount of yard waste being deposited in the last year and that has led to a large amount of compost on site. Submitted photo

Changes are coming to the Compost Site at the Muscatine Transfer Station on South Houser Street. Starting at noon on Monday, Nov. 4, non-residents and commercial users of the Compost site will be charged a fee for yard waste brought to the site.

An attendant will be on site to verify residency and secure payment from non-residents and commercial users (cash or check only with no bills larger than $20) during Compost Site operating hours (12-6 p.m. Sunday-Friday, and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday).

The facility accepts yard waste, brush, and logs from Muscatine and Fruitland residents as part of their monthly solid waste collection fees. However, non-residents were not being charged and commercial tree and yard waste management services had to report to the Transfer Station before entering the Compost Site.

The site has seen a rise in the amount of yard waste being deposited in the last year and that has led to a large amount of compost on site.

“The amount of material we have received and the added cost of grinding the material into compost started us thinking that we should change how the site is managed,” Dave Popp, Solid Waste/Collection and Drainage Manager for the City of Muscatine, said.

Residents of Muscatine and Fruitland can visit the Muscatine Transfer Station, Muscatine City Hall, or the Muscatine Public Works Department to receive a window sticker to verify that they are a resident and will not be charged a fee at the Compost Site by the attendant. A driver’s license with current address will be needed to verify residency. Each resident will receive a sticker for up to two vehicles which should be placed in the lower right hand corner of the windshield.

“As we begin this new process we ask for the public to be patient,” Popp said. “If you are a resident of Muscatine or Fruitland we ask that you secure your sticker this week to avoid longer lines entering the facility starting November 4.”

The fee schedule for non-resident and for commercial users is available on the Compost Site page on the City of Muscatine web site.

Popp noted that 8,000 cubic yards of brush and logs were ground up into compost in 2018 with an estimated 11,000 cubic yards ground up in 2019. That has created large piles of compost that is available. Muscatine and Fruitland residents can load up on the compost free of charge while a $5.00 per cubic yard will be charged to non-residents and to commercial users.

“Loading of compost will be offered on weekdays from 12-3:30 p.m. but limited to the available of staff,” Popp said. “Loading of mulch on Saturday and Sunday will be up to the individual as staff will not be available to help.”

If you do not want to pick up compost at the Compost Site, the Transfer Station will be offering a delivery service starting November 4 until the compost site closes for the winter. Deliveries of shredded mulch, wood chips, and compost (when available) would need to be prescheduled by calling the Transfer Station. Deliveries would be limited to Muscatine and Fruitland residents on their trash collection day and limited to time available. A full one-ton truck load would cost $25.

The Compost Site also has firewood available for area residents. However, those wanting firewood are asked to check in with the attendant at the Compost Site and sign a waiver before cutting and/or loading firewood.

“Since we do not have any good data on usage by residents and non-residents, we are hoping that this new process will provide the information we need heading into the budget process for Fiscal Year 2021,” Popp said.

The change in Compost Site operations was approved by the Muscatine City Council on Sept. 5.

— City of Muscatine