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We’ve Got a 5,000-Ton Mess and Only You Can Fix It

April 30, 2021
A growing number of people in our community are coming out to St. Peters’ Earth Centre to get some amazing, low-cost GOLD GROW compost. The facility at the end of Ecology Drive off Mid Rivers Mall Drive is a true treasure where biosolids from St. Peters’ wastewater treatment plant and yard waste from our residents’ yards are combined and processed into GOLD GROW, which is an all-natural soil amendment that enriches lawns, gardens, landscaping beds and many of the vineyards in Missouri. Earth Centre contains a wonderful success story about how we can recycle organic resources for the benefit of our community, but …

There’s also something else Earth Centre contains: 5,000 tons of unrecyclable waste material that piles up each year due to people placing trash in their Brown Cart. That amount could fill a football field as high as five feet across!

Here's a picture showing some of this unrecyclable mess:


Compost Rejects at Earth Centre due to trash in Brown Carts 


The City of St. Peters provides Brown Carts to our residents for yard waste collection. The Brown Cart should only have yard waste, nothing else ... or the mountain of rejected material above will grow. It’s this simple: If it didn’t grow in your yard, it doesn’t belong in your Brown Cart!

We can’t say “only yard waste goes in your Brown Cart” enough, because each year we have a problem where thousands of tons of material keep piling up and slowing the organic materials recycling process. Our staff at Earth Centre works hard using special screening equipment to get as much trash out of our yard waste as possible, but there’s so much trash that there’s a massive pile of material we just can’t ever get rid of. As we screen a bit of trash out of this pile of waste a little bit at a time, more trash comes into Earth Centre and undoes all the progress our staff makes.

It’s a vicious cycle that only you can end!

Here's a couple of photos showing the screening process for GOLD GROW compost, followed by a close-up of some of the trash rejected from the screener:

 Feeding material into compost screener at Earth Centre


 Compost screener at Earth Centre


 In the photo above, to the left, you can see screened material ready to become GOLD GROW compost. If material isn't ground down to the size needed for GOLD GROW, the screener rejects it. Below is a close-up of some of that rejected material. You can see plenty of that material is trash that was placed in Brown Carts.


Close-up of trash that is rejected from screener at Earth Centre 


Inevitably, small pieces of this trash can make it into our GOLD GROW compost, reducing its quality. The trash placed in Brown Carts is bad for GOLD GROW, bad for the environment, and bad for our pocketbooks because of the cost it takes in extra resources and time to screen out this trash so that we can produce high-quality GOLD GROW compost.

So, to turn things around and end the vicious cycle of trash piling up at Earth Centre, please remember: If it doesn’t grow in your yard, it doesn’t belong in your Brown Cart!


If it didn't grow in your yard, it doesn't belong in your Brown Cart gif a 

Remember: Here are the only things you ever want to place in your Brown Cart:
  • Leaves
  • Grass clippings
  • Garden waste
  • Weeds
  • Small branches up to 3 feet long