Committee takes up compost site, community garden
The Fairfield environmental and franchise utilities committee met Thursday and discussed whether contractors should be allowed to dump yard waste at the city’s compost site.
Bill Morgan and his son, Eli, asked the committee to allow contractors to haul residents’ waste to the site.
The city currently bars contractors from dumping at the site. Fairfield public works superintendent Darrel Bisgard said he was concerned brush would accumulate too quickly at the site if contractors were allowed to dump there. Contractors would still be able to mulch and compost yard waste that others left at the site.
In the minutes of the meeting, committee member Michael Halley wrote that the city pays for a grinding service to come in and grind the yard waste once it has accumulated to a certain point. That service is funded with taxpayers’ money through the public works department’s budget.
“Allowing contractors to use the site could subsidize their operations at taxpayers’ expense,” Halley wrote.
Committee member Daryn Hamilton said he preferred that contractors manage the disposal of their materials internally rather than using the community compost site. He said that while smaller contractors may not add much to the debris piles, larger contractors could overload operations, and there is no simple way to allow some contractors but not others.
Hamilton motioned to keep the community compost policy that Bisgard put in place and not allow any contractors to dump at the site. Doug Flournoy seconded the motion contingent on the committee revisiting the issue one year from now. The motion passed unanimously.
The committee agreed to pass along the issue of contractors using the community compost site to the full city council, which meets at 7 p.m. Monday at city hall.
The committee heard from a few other residents who want to plant a community garden. Sascha Kyssa and Minca Borg of Naturewise Academy developed a model of a community garden that requires minimal maintenance. They are planning to plant a 50-foot by 50-foot garden on the Bonnel property at the corner of Grimes and Third Street. Their model includes donating half the produce to The Lord’s Cupboard and selling the majority of what remains to local restaurants to cover their costs. Residents who frequent The Lord’s Cupboard will be encouraged to volunteer at the garden.
Volunteers will help with site preparation, planting, maintenance and harvesting and will receive a small amount of the harvested produce as compensation. Kim Keller of Master Gardeners will talk to that group at an upcoming meeting to gage their interest in helping with this project.
Kyssa and Borg asked the city if it would load mulch from the community compost site to put in the garden, which is a service the public works department provides. Halley said the project fits within the city’s Blue Zones project responsibilities and offered to facilitate it to help make it happen.