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Rain barrels offer a new way to water

It's become popular to live a more Earth friendly life and the Recycling Association of Minnesota wants residents to consider reusing rainwater and composting to enhance that lifestyle.

Both activities are easy and help preserve the planet while possibly saving residents money. RAM is currently taking orders for rain barrels and compost bins for cost. The goal is to get people using these easy yet effective tools in their yards.

Composting vegetable scraps and yard waste and capturing rainwater from the roof can reduce the need for expensive fertilizers and reduce your water bill.

Rain barrels collect water as it runs off the roof . That water can be used on plants in your yard or house. Parks and recreation supervisor Tom Schuster said it's free water for residents to use and the barrels prevent the water from running into the storm sewer. Schuster said the water can be used to douse plant beds, pots or for whatever need one might have. The barrels hold 55 gallons of water, which can go along way.

"You don't have to buy and pay for the water and it's an easy conservation method," said Schuster. "It's a pretty old fashioned idea that's catching on."

RAM also has compost bins for sale. Schuster said residents can throw old plant materials like leaves or vegetable and fruit scraps from the kitchen into the bins. Over time the materials break down into a nutrient rich material that can be put onto gardens or other plants including, houseplants.

"It's a cheap way to fertilize and it doesn't smell," said Schuster.

A rain barrel costs $69 and a compost bin $55. Residents must pre-order on RAM's website, Pre-ordered compost bins and rain barrels will be available for pick up in Empire Township at the Specialized Environmental Technologies site on June 3 and 4.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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