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Rain Barrels & Composting

What’s A Rain Barrel?

A rain barrel is placed under a gutter’s downspout next to a house to collect rainwater from the roof.

Rain Barrel

Why use one?
Conserve Water: our water supply is limited, especially in times of drought. With a rain barrel you can make the most of the rain and capture some of it to reuse.

Save Money: why pay to water your plants with tap water, when you can collect free water falling from the sky (i.e. rain)?

Reduce Stormwater Runoff: rainwater on the way to your storm sewer accumulates sediment, litter, fertilizers, pesticides, and animal waste. And the polluted stormwater then goes to our streams and rivers. You can stop this cycle for at least some of your rainwater by using a rain barrel.

For more information . . .


Composting is a natural process where organic materials decompose and are recycled into a dark, crumbly, earth-smelling soil conditioner known as compost.

Why compost?
It’s good for the environment: composting reduces the volume of material going to landfills, and instead turns the waste into a useful product. It’s good for your plants: compost improves soil structure, increases aeration, and improves soil fertility.

Compost this material: 
Vegetable scraps, fruit scraps, bread, flowers, grass clippings, coffee grounds & filters, tea bags, wood chips, dry leaves, straw, hair

Don’t compost this stuff:
Food with grease or oil residue, meat scraps or bones, dairy products, diseased or insect-infested plants, weed seed heads, inorganic or synthetic material, dryer lint

Where do I get started?
Visit the Mercer Educational Gardens demonstration site at 431A Federal City Rd., Pennington to see examples of different kinds of compost structures, and to pick up more tips on how to be a successful composter.

For more information . . . Master Gardeners’ compost flyer