Columbia, SC – March 25, 2019 – The City of Columbia and Richland County are offering residents discounted rain barrels ($68) and compost bins ($59) for pick-up on Saturday, April 6, 2019 from 11 a.m. -12 p.m. Free rainwater harvesting and backyard composting workshops will take place prior to pick-up from 10-11 a.m. Rain barrels and compost bins are pre-order only from www.rainbarrelprogram.org/columbia-sc. Registration for the free how-to workshops can also be found on the purchasing website. The pre-order and registration deadline is April 2, 2019.
Rain barrels capture rainwater from roofs and store it for later use in lawns and gardens or for equipment washing or rinsing. Rain barrels reduce stormwater runoff from properties, prevent erosion and, if used in place of municipal water, can reduce water bills; however, rain barrel water is not potable. Plants also prefer rainwater over treated water.
Backyard composting is a method for managing household food scraps and yard debris, which make up about 30 percent of what South Carolinians throw away each year. Food waste is the number one item thrown away by Americans. Composting at home can divert valuable materials from landfills and turn them into a healthy soil additive. Composting improves soil, prevents erosion, and reduces the use of fertilizer, pesticides and water. It can save residents money and helps protect the environment by conserving resources.
Rain barrel and backyard composting are practices encouraged by Columbia Water and Richland County Stormwater Management’s Blue Thumb Landscaper outreach campaign (www.ColumbiaSCWater.net/blue-thumb-landscaper). Backyard composting is also supported and encouraged by the City of Columbia’s Solid Waste and Recycling Division (www.columbiasc.net/solid-waste/backyard-composting) and the larger Don’t Waste Food SC initiative (www.scdhec.gov/environment/recycling-waste-reduction/dont-waste-food-sc).