Bins and Barrels 2013

Written by I.R.C.. Posted in Earth Matters Columns

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could replace all of Blair County’s burn barrels with compost bins? Composting greatly reduces what we burn or send to the landfill.

Or wouldn’t it be great if we could decrease flood damage when it rains hard? If each of us added a rain barrel or rain garden to handle our storm water more sensibly, we could slow the unpleasant effects of flood waters downstream.

In an effort to supply the resources and knowledge to make these last two things even easier, a rain barrel and compost bin sale and a series of workshops are being held here in Blair County.

The rain barrels and compost bins are being sold today in the parking lot of PNG Field/Blair County Ballpark from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Those who ordered and pre-paid for barrels and bins can pick them up today, but even those that did not preorder can buy bins and barrels today while supplies last. These attractive, high quality containers are even made out of recycled plastic. Rain barrels are $65 and compost bins are $55.

Blair County residents are also invited to participate in one of the Rain Barrel and Backyard Composting Workshops provided by the Conservation District and the IRC. If you’d like to go the economy route, you can make your own rain barrel or learn how to build your own compost bin. You’ll get the added bonus of learning about the impacts of storm water or how to make fertile compost for your garden.

Workshop attendees can build their own rain barrel with the help of the Conservation District staff as part of the workshop. The workshop, barrel and the related plumbing for the barrel are $35.00. The next workshop is at Canoe Creek State Park on Saturday, June 29th at 10:00 a.m. Contact the park through their website or call 695-6807 to make reservations.

The last workshop will be at the Roaring Spring Community Library on Tuesday, July 23rd at 6:00 p.m. Call the library at 224-2994 to reserve a spot for that workshop.

If not all bins and barrels are sold at today’s event, they can be purchased through the summer until supplies are exhausted. Contact the IRC (942-7472) to make arrangements or visit the IRC Buckhorn Composting and Recycling Facility beginning next week.

One person doing one little thing (whether a good deed or a bad one) seems insignificant. But the cumulative actions of a large group of people can make a difference.

What would happen if each of the quarter million people that live in and near Blair County changed just a few of their environmental habits?

If 100,000 people composted just 100 pounds of yard waste in the spring and again in the fall, we’d keep 10,000 tons of stuff out of the landfill or the burn pile. If 50,000 property owners prevented 100 gallons of water from running quickly off their property during the 25 biggest rain events of the year, we’d keep 125 million gallons of water out of our flood-prone rivers.

With that in mind, the investment in a rain barrel or compost bin, seems like a very worthwhile one.
Learn more about the bins, barrels and workshops by visiting the websites of the Blair County Conservation District ( and the Intermunicipal Relations Committee (IRC) Council of Governments (

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