City of Pittsburgh Yard Debris Special Collection

A friend just reminded me….The City of Pittsburgh will pick up yard debris this Saturday morning, May 21st. The debris needs to be placed in paper bags at your normal recycling pickup site on the evening of Friday, May 20th.

For more information, check out the City of Pittsburgh website here: Yard debris pick-up information.

The City does accept:

  • Leaves
  • Grass
  • Plants
  • Tree Trimmings
  • Branches
  • Shrubs – loose or placed in paper bags (no plastic bags accepted)

The City does not accept:

  • Stones
  • Dirt
  • Rocks
  • Manure
  • Garbage
  • Lumber or food waste
  • (Stones, dirt, rocks also not collected at curb side)

Please participate and send your yard waste to compost, not to the landfill!


Composting with Kids


kids composting

Help your kids develop their green thumb by teaching them to compost.  Composting is a fun family project that’s easy to do and great for the environment. Teach your tykes how simple it is to recycle waste and turn it into nutritious soil for your yard or plants. The micro-organisms that make the compost, need an even mixture of “greens” and “browns”. They also need water and air for a perfect compost formula. Here’s the compost recipe:

One part “brown” (dead dried plants – they provide the carbon): dried leaves, pine needles, straw, hay, wood shavings or chips.

One part “green” (fresh living plants – they provide the nitrogen): grass clippings, vegetable and fruit leftovers, plants, coffee grounds.

Place layers of brown, green, brown, green, brown into the composting bin, being sure to add water after every layer – make sure that the compost is always moist so the microorganisms can do their job. Stir every 3-4 weeks and voila… nutritious, rich soil!

A couple of composting no-no’s: NO meats, dairy, oil, fats, diseased plants or pet droppings!

Compost Stew

A great book to read is, “Compost Stew” written by Mary McKenna Siddals and illustrated by Ashley Wolff  “Apple cores, bananas bruised, coffee grounds with filters used.  Just add to the pot, and let it all rot into compost stew!”

Repost via our friends –eco ike: March 2011.

Follow eco ike on facebooktwitter!

Vermicomposting for Kids at Rodef Shalom Preschool

Rodef Shalom Preschool Worm Composting Workshop

The students, parents and teachers at Rodef Shalom Preschool gathered around Ms. Nancy from the Pennsylvania Resources Council to learn about composting with worms.

What goes in a worm composting bin?


We all learned what goes in a worm bin and what doesn’t.  No citrus please!


Tearing newspaper for the worm composting bin


Time to make our own worm bin for the preschool!  First tear newspaper into strips and put them in the bin.  Then wet the paper until it is moist but not too wet. Hide food for the worms at the bottom of the bin under the paper.  How about a banana peel?  Ok, now let’s add the worms!

Kids looking at worms


The worms, “red wigglers”, are not native to Pittsburgh so please don’t release them into our environment.  Of course we had to test the wiggle power of the worms!

Kids holding worms



Come visit the Rodef Shalom Preschool and check out the worms!







How to create your Jewish Compost Bin

A Jewish compost bin? Well, the bin itself, not Jewish, but the eco-friendly practice of composting is certainly, as Leah Konig explains in an article on, “deeply Jewish”.

Leah Konig tells this story about a sign posted above a composting bin at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center:

As I stood before the food scrap bucket, poised to scrape in a few leftover bites of salad, my eye caught a sign taped directly above it. On the sign, next to a small photograph of two hands cupping a small mound of dirt it said: “Turn it and turn it for everything is in it.” Of course!
 The inside of a compost pile–made up of layers that get “turned” every so often….teems with life as countless hard-working microorganisms rebuild the universe out of our banana peels. What could be a better physical metaphor for the Torah than a healthy mound of soil?

The Compost Workshop

The Pennsylvania Resources Council (PRC) described 2 types of compost bins, backyard bins and worm bins, at a workshop held at Rodef Shalom Congregation on Sunday.  This engaging workshop thoroughly covered the importance of  composting, setting up a compost pile, proper maintenance and ways of using finished compost.


According to the PRC website:

Composting is nature’s way of recycling. By utilizing the natural process of decomposition, organic materials often considered “waste,” such as grass clippings, food scraps, autumn leaves and even paper, can be recycled back into a rich soil conditioner. Through this transition, soil organisms, many of which are too small to see, break down the organic material in a compost pile so that valuable plant nutrients can be released for future generations of plants to use. Composting helps you reduce your waste stream, it improves the health of your gardens, and most of all its easy to do and enjoyable.

The Compost Bin

This is the type of bin we will use in the Rodef Shalom Congregation kitchen.

It’s available at Construction Junction.

This is a worm bin filled with worms!

The Rodef Shalom Preschool will use this bin in the classroom! Yikes!

Free Composting Workshop for Pittsburgh Gardeners

Speaking of dirt, there is a low down dirt discussion that you don’t want to miss!! Join us as we discuss COMPOSTING!!!

Please reserve your spot at the Pennsylvania Resources Council’s workshop, “Backyard Composting for Adults” being held on Sunday, March 27th at 11:45 at Rodef Shalom Congregation . This class aims to teach about composting or, “natures recycling.” You will learn how to turn organic materials into a rich soil conditioner. Additionally, you will learn the importance of composting, how to set up your own compost pile, proper maintenance of the pile as well as ways to use the finished product.

A light lunch will be served to all attendees!! (Who said there is no such thing as a free lunch, this one is !)

Don’t forget to RSVP to and let us know you will be coming to get down and dirty with us!

Hope to see you there !!!