Composting

Written by I.R.C.. Posted in Composting

The IRC has two recycling and compost facilities.  For information specific to each recycling and compost facility, please click on either of the imagaes below:

 

                Compost Facility 011-3                     100 0235-3

                             Buckhorn Facility                                                     Duncansville R&D Facility                         

Mulch and Compost Prices

  • Mulch and Compost Prices (include PA State Sales Tax)
  • Wood Chips - $12.00 / cubic yard
  • Unscreened Mulch - $14.00 / cubic yard
  • Screened Mulch - $18.00 / cubic yard
  • Screened Compost - $20.00 / cubic yard

*Material subject to availability.

*Prices subject to change.

Yard Waste Tip Fees

Grass, leaves, and soft waste brought in smaller, private automobiles is free. Fees will be charged for SUVs, vans and truckload quantities based on the following rates:

  • Compact Automobiles Free
  • Small Pickup/van/SUV $3
  • Standard Pickup/van $5
  • Dump Truck $12
  • Tandem/Triaxle $25
  • Residential Grass Pass starting at $20

*Grass Passes are intended for residential users only.  Landscapers and commercial users should contact us for more information on a season pass.

Brush and woody waste brought in private automobiles is free. Fees will be charged for truckload quantities based on the following rates:

  • Compact Automobiles Free
  • Small Pickup/van/SUV $5
  • Standard Pickup/van $6
  • Dump Truck $12
  • Tandem/Triaxle $25
  • Landscaper Season Pass starting at $200 

*Season Passes are intended for large volume users and commercial landscapers. Contact us for more information on a season pass.

Buckhorn Facility Hours

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Fridays from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Duncansville (R&D) Facility Hours

Every Tuesday from noon- 5:00 p.m. for Drop-off of material

Finished compost and mulch can be purchased from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

This facility will be open Tuesdays during the month of January for recycling, Christmas tree collection and other brush drop-off.

 

*The facilities will be closed on the following holidays: New Year's Day, President's Day, Good Friday, Memeorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday (Day after Thanksgiving), Christmas Eve, Christmas Day.

Backyard Composting

Written by I.R.C.. Posted in Composting

Why Compost?

Compost, which is the crumbly decomposed form of organic matter, is a reliable means for supporting plant growth and building soil.  Among other effects, compost can produce larger crops, prevent pests and disease, reduce the need for chemical fertilizer, remove chemicals from stormwater runoff, and recycle nutrients back into the soil.  Composting can save money by reducing trash that is bagged and taken to transfer stations, as well as saving on water bills by helping soil retain its moisture.   

How Do I Compost?

You will need a compost bin to contain your materials and promote an adequate environment for decomposition.  If you do not have a manufactured compost bin, there are several do-it-yourself alternatives that can be found online. Be sure to store your bin in a partly sunny location.  For convenience, the location should also be near a water source and a lawn or garden that will accept the compost.  A successful compost pile needs the following: air, moisture, heat, and a proper balance of nutrients.  A safe ratio for nutirients is one green (nitrogen) for every brown (carbon).

When adding material, chop up the larger pieces, and cover food waste and grass clippings with leaves or straw to reduce odors.  After 7-10 days, turn the pile with a shovel or pitchfork.  Add water if needed, as the pile should be as moist as a wrung out sponge.  The pile will begin to decompose within 10 to 14 days.

There are two types of composting.  Active composting, which takes 3-6 months, involves continuing to turn the pile every 7 days and adding water if neccessary.  Passive composting, which takes at least 6 months, involves letting the material decompose naturally.  Regardless of the process, final products should be dark, crumbly, and earthy.

Do Compost:  Grass clippings, leaves, flowers, old plants, old potting soil, twigs, annual weeds, fruit and vegetable scraps, bread and grains, coffee grounds and filters, tea bags, and manure (horse, cow, chicken, and rabbit)

Don’t Compost:  Manure (dogs and cats), diseased plants, weeds with seeds, invasive weeds (quack grass, morning glory, buttercup), meat or fish parts, bones, dairy products, butter and other fats, cooking oil, oily or greasy foods

The key to healthy compost is a mix of “brown” material and “green” material.  Brown material is high in carbon and decomposes very slowly, with certain woody materials taking multiple years to fully decompose.  Browns help keep compost aerated to reduce odors.  Green material, on the other hand, is high in nitrogen and decay rapidly to accelerate the process as a whole. 

Problems and Troubleshooting

Why does my compost have a smelly odor?

A foul odor is usually caused by exposed food scraps.  It may also be that there is not enough air or brown material in the pile.  Turning the pile and/or adding more brown material should reduce the odor.

Why are pests in my compost?

Pests in a compost pile tend to come from exposed food scraps.  Remember to cover all food scraps with brown material to properly aerate the compost.

Is my compost too dry?

While the most obvious solution is to add water to the pile while turning it, a lack of green material may also be the cause.  Be sure to keep a balanced ratio of browns and greens and chop or shred any larger pieces of brown material.

Is my compost too wet?

Try turning the pile in order to give it more air or add more brown material.

Is my pile decomposing?

While it can be hard to notice if decomposition is occurring, the temperature of the pile is the best way to tell.  Under ideal conditions compost will be hot to the touch.

Why isn’t my pile heating up?

There are several solutions to this problem.  The pile may be too small, meaning more material may need to be added.  The pile may not be getting enough air or moisture, so try turning the pile, adding water if needed.  Mixing in some green material may help too.   

 

The IRC has rain barrels and compost bins available for purchase at our office in city hall, the Buckhorn facility, and the Duncansville facility.  

 rainbarrel

Duncansville Recycling & Compost Facility

Written by I.R.C.. Posted in Composting

Yard Waste Drop-off

Our Duncansville facility is located on 16906 Dunnings Highway/Old 220 just south of Inlows. Our facility is licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and our material is tested regularly by the Pennsylvania State University to assure that no hazardous constituents are in our finished mulch or compost. The facility was opened in 2006 by the Blair County Department of Solid Waste and Recycling in partnership with the Blair County Conservation District. The IRC continues to operate the facility in partnership with the Blair County Conservation District.

Compost is a great soil amendment for lawns. gardens, and flower beds. It helps to improve water holding capacity and provides nutirients. Compost can be applied as a top dressing to lawns or flower beds and/or can be mixed with top soil to improve your soil quality.

 Our Duncansville will be open every Tuesday YEARROUND from Noon - 5:00 p.m. It is a self serve drop-off. Yard waste may be dropped off at the following fee schedule:

 Grass, leaves, and other soft waste may be dropped off at the following fee schedule:

  • 3 bags or less - free
  • Cars, Small pickup, Vans, SUVS or trailer - $4 per load
  • Standard pickup or trailer - $6 per load
  • Grass Passes are available for residents for residents, see staff for more details.

Brush and woody waste may be dropped off at the following fee schedule:

  • Small pickup or trailer - $6 per load
  • Standard pickup or trailer - $8 per load

mulch 2

Residents may purchase bags of screened compost or mulch anytime during regular business hours and truck load quantities between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.  We apologize for the limited hours on finished material purchases, but we are unable to staff a loader at the facility for the entire day:

            • Compost bags (1.5 cubic feet) - $6/bag
            • Mulch bags (2 cubic feet) - $3/bag
            • Screened Compost - $20 per one yard scoop
            • Screened Mulch - $20 per one yard scoop
            • Unscreened Mulch - $18 per one yard scoop
            • Wood Chips - $12 per one yard scoop

*6% sales tax included in price

 Recycling Drop-off 

 The following items may be recycled in the Green Bins at our Duncansville Facility.  The recycling is a self serve drop-off and residents should be able to unload their recyclables. You can click on the links below to see the materials accepted at the IRC Duncansville Recycling and Compost Facility:

Commingled 2      OCC Flattened    

 

                  Bottles & Cans                                        Paper & Cardboard                              

 

 

            Cans                       Yard waste setout

 

                         Metal Cans                                                 Yard Waste

           

The Compost Facility does not accept recyclable items that are dirty or have not been rinsed. ALL ITEMS MUST BE RINSED AND CLEAN. If you have other questions or need further assistance, please call 814-942-7472 or email Katrina at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  Our main office is located in City Hall in Altoona.  You may also reach the Compost Staff at 814-941-6675.

Buckhorn Recycling & Compost Facility

Written by I.R.C.. Posted in Composting

Our Buckhorn facility is located on the outskirts of Logan Township at the top of the 'Buckhorn'.   Directions to our facility can be obtained at the bottom of this page.  Our facility is licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and our material is tested regularly by the Pennsylvania State University to assure that no hazardous constituents are in our finished mulch or compost. The IRC took over the management of the two compost facilities in Fall 2012.  

Compost is a great soil amendment for lawns. gardens, and flower beds.  It helps to improve water holding capacity and provides nutirients. Compost can be applied as a top dressing to lawns or flower beds and/or can be mixed with top soil to improve your soil quality.

You can find the complete hours and holiday schedule for our Buckhorn Facility on the right hand side of this page.  Our Duncansville facility, located just south of Duncansville, will be open every Tuesday from Noon - 5:00 p.m.  Both facilities are a self serve drop-off.  

 

                                     Grass, leaves, and other soft waste may be dropped off at the following fee schedule: 

            • 3 bags or less - free
            • Cars, Small pickup, Vans, SUVS or trailer - $4 per load
            • Standard pickup or trailer - $6 per load
            • Grass Passes are available for residents for residents, see staff for more details.

                                      Brush and woody waste may be dropped off at the following fee schedule:

            • Cars, Small pickup or trailer - $6 per load
            • Standard pickup or trailer - $8 per load

mulch 2Residents may purchase finished material during regular business hours at the following fee schedule:

            • Compost bags (1.5 cubic feet) - $6/bag
            • Mulch bags (2 cubic feet) - $3/bag
            • Screened Compost - $20 per one yard scoop
            • Screened Mulch - $20 per one yard scoop
            • Unscreened Mulch - $18 per one yard scoop
            •  Wood Chips - $12 per one yard scoop

                                         *6% sales tax included in price

 

Recycling Drop-off  

The following items may be recycled at the Buckhorn.  The recycling is a self serve drop-off and residents should be able to unload their own electronics.

You can click on the links below to see the materials accepted at the IRC Recycling and Compost Facility: 

interstate battery                  Commingled 2   ewaste   

 

Automotive Materials                                Bottles & Cans                                Electronics    

 

 HHW Examples        OCC Flattened       Cans

 

      Hazardous Waste                              Paper & Cardboard                                Metals

 

  tubs and trays                          Yard waste setout

 

                       Mixed Plastics                                                           Yard Waste

The Compost Facility does NOT accept recyclable items that are dirty or have not been rinsed. ALL ITEMS MUST BE RINSED AND CLEAN. THANK YOU!  

If you have other questions or need further assistance, please call 814-942-7472 or email Katrina at   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  Our main office is located in City Hall in Altoona.

 

Directions

Compost Facility Reminders

Written by I.R.C.. Posted in Composting

Grass Clippings Treated with Imprelis

Grass clippings treated with the herbicide Imprelis or any yard trimmings that might have come in contact with the broad-leaf weed killer will not be accepted at the IRC Recycling & Compost Facility.  The herbicide has been linked to damage and the deaths of several species of evergreen trees including members of the spruce family that grow in Pennsylvania. The chemical is very persistent and does not biodegrade as quickly as some other herbicides, meaning that residues of Imprelis may remain in clippings and compost made from those clippings for extended periods.

The herbicide was used only by certified applicators and had not yet been used in weed killers available to homeowners. Call your lawn chemical company if you think they might have used Imprelis. Use of the chemical was recently suspended throughout the United States and not even professional applicators may now use it. If you have further questions, contact the IRC (942-7472).

Securing of Yard Waste Loads

Residents and businesses transporting yard waste to the county's compost facilities are reminded that loads must be secured and that drivers may be subject to substantial fines if they loose a portion of a load on a state or municipal roadway. The loss of material on a public road can cause  a serious hazard, so tie down those loads securely!

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