When the State wants to dig in your dirt

The Ohio EPA is discussing the licensing of compost heaps. Not the one in your backyard- but, if you have a community garden- the new standards will require logging of all waste contributed.

That’s right- want to throw your banana peels and coffee grounds into a community compost pile (like we have in South Park) and according to the new rules- you can’t.

Community compost piles come under Class IV

This proposed rules revision creates a new Administrative Code chapter solely for composting regulations and extensively reorganizes the rules. All composting rules will now be found in Chapter 3745-560. ….

3745-560-400 to 499 Class IV

via Composting Rules.

I could write a full post on this- but, the people at Garden Station have info on their Facebook page-http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=184707348240364

Basically all community gardens would be required to register their compost piles with the Ohip EPA and keep meticulous records of everything added to the pile, how much, from where and when as well as what is removed from the pile, how much, when and where it went. If the garden registers as a “class 4” composting facility it does not have to pay registration fees but is subject to inspection by the EPA and is severely limited as to what materials it may compost. For this classification all materials must be from the site and be considered “yard waste” only. These can include wood chips, sawdust, straw, newspaper, brush, Christmas trees, garden waste, grass, green plants, leaves, branches and old mulch. The representative admitted that under the current regulations even throwing a rotten tomato from a garden plot into the compost pile would be breaking regulations for a class 4 site because it would require a different class of license, additional regulations and a registration fee.

and the DDN farm blog has more info as well: http://www.daytondailynews.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/dayton/farmlife/entries/2011/03/16/compost_oh_epa_to_inspect_regu.html

the EPA planned to inspect community gardens (when I talked with them on the phone, I thought they could be exempted if their compost wasn’t much bigger than a residential one), I wasn’t too concerned. But yesterday, a representative from the Dayton branch of the Ohio EPA talked with a group of (quickly upset) community gardeners about how composting regulations apply to community gardens – and that the OH EPA would be coming out for inspections.

When laws are made- that can’t possibly be enforced, who is our government serving? Will there be a “Composting Police”- will they write tickets, put community gardeners in jail? Come in with a bulldozer and flatten your raised beds? Confiscate your cabbage?

These regulations are right up there with sodomy laws- a place the government doesn’t need to be involved in, and would have a hard time proving a transgression has taken place. However- they both are about crawling up the people’s rear ends- where they don’t belong.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed! If you wish to support this blog and independent journalism in Dayton, consider donating. All of the effort that goes into writing posts and creating videos comes directly out of my pocket, so any amount helps!