Friday, June 20, 2014

Composting One's Self

This past week I made our first trip to the Amesbury City compost facility to dispose of the leaves and seeds and who knows what—all of which I had shoveled out of the gutter in front of our house. I also had some one-inch-thick magnolia branches I had taken off one tree in the front and some thorny wild rose clippings from the front yard and the edge of the pond. Some of the weeds I dug up from the lower terrace further down the hill—nasty, deep rooted burdocky looking things—I had just tossed in the garbage, and the more benign clippings and rotting leaves that had come from the yard itself, I just dumped down the hill since the erosion is so bad, anything that sticks either as humus or plants will be positive.

We had gotten our compost sticker the week before and scoped out where the place was. Even so, I lost my way trying to find it without our GPS. Ultimately, however, I had to cheat and use the GPS capacity of my iPhone to find it. It is a newly opened facility, out in the middle of nowhere near the newly relocated DPW facility. Tonight, walking home from my daughter Clare’s house, I was reminded of where the old facility was when I walked by it right next to Mt. Prospect Cemetery.

What a shame that they disconnected the rotting leaves and the rotting people. The cemetery and the old composting area shared an access road so that the reminder that we are also compost, that we are dust and will return to dust, or, more hopefully, to humus was an additional benefit to composting. As it is, when you go to the Amesbury, MA website, you will find a link explaining the procedure and cost for getting a permit to place compost at the city facility, and another link explaining the procedure and cost to put a body in the Mt. Prospect Cemetery. At least in the virtual world, the access points are still contiguous. I think it is a particularly nice touch that resident senior citizens can get one free compost permit.

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