compost pumpkin

When the fun of the fall holidays is over, just place your pumpkin and gourds (carved or not carved) on top of your compost bucket on your pickup day.  Small gourds and unwanted candy without its wrapper can also go in the bucket!

Squirrel Issues

Squirrels, Squirrels, everywhere!

It’s that time of year, when the squirrels are doing their best to store up food for the winter and what better than a stash of food in a bright orange bucket! Many of you have been reporting squirrel damage to your compost buckets and we’ve been delivering Squirrel Stopper Lids left and right.  (If you don’t have one, let us know and we can give you one on your next pickup.) In addition to the Squirrel Stopper Lids, Collective Resource, Inc. would like to pass on this helpful advice to dissuade these little buggers:

The simplest thing you can do is keep your bucket inside. Whether it’s inside your back door or the garage, this is one of the most effective ways to keep the squirrels at bay. If you’re concerned about the smell, keep dairy, fish, and meat scraps in a container in the freezer or refrigerator and then place them in your bucket right before you put it out for pickup.

If you need to keep your bucket outside, always make sure your hands are clean when you handle it. Squirrels will be attracted by the smell of the food residue on the outside of your bucket and will start chewing to find out what’s inside. Also, keep vigilant and clean up any spills down the side and around the rim of your bucket. Place newspaper under your bucket when tipping items into it so that any spills or splatters will happen on the newspaper and not the area around your bucket. Immediately after you’re finished, place the newspaper in your bucket.

Other options for keeping your bucket outside are to purchase Grannick’s Bitter Apple Spray or a Behrens 10-gallon Stainless Steel Locking Lid Can. Place the plastic bucket we provide inside of the metal one and give us a heads-up so we can make a note to your service driver to look for the metal can on pickup days. Spray Bitter Apple on the outside of your bucket. As its name implies, the bitter taste will have the area squirrels making lemon-faces and scurrying away.

These measures will help us keep the damage to our buckets this Fall to a minimum. Thank you for this and all your efforts to create a sustainable relationship with our environment.

Author Details

As CRI’s owner, Erlene wears many hats. Though she oversees operations, equipment, crews, bookkeeping, and marketing, she says she enjoys the education piece the most. “When we started this in 2010, not too many people had been exposed to composting. They didn’t really know what it was. I have had a lot of conversations about what composting is and why it’s important. It’s important to reduce landfill use because food waste in landfills creates methane and CO2. It’s important for air and water quality. People call us and want this information.”

Erlene finds herself educating in many different settings. “Anytime I’m talking about the company, I’m educating about composting. It happens casually, socially, and at zero-waste events.” As a result of her efforts, Erlene was awarded the Walter Lucansky Environmental Stewardship Award.