We decided to live it up and buy a second yard waste bin. Another 96-gallon bin costs $7 a month, and we have been rapidly realizing that unless we get seriously into vermiculture (something that has been researched, considered, and rejected), our single bin just will not cut it.
I’m so impressed by the yard waste and composting services provided for curbside pickup. ANY food product, plus pizza boxes, counts as compost and can be put in the yard waste bin (including meat, fish and dairy, which you generally can’t compost at home due to pests and odor). I’m slowly gaining the knack for stuffing yard waste bins to the hilt: start with leaves and pine needles, add tree limbs to the corners and then stuff and stamp down all of the random branches and clippings.
Our clipping piles are basically never going to disappear. I’ve started researching rental chippers, but they’re seeming like more trouble than they’re worth at this point. The ones that actually could fit in my car are called shredders, but they’re harder to find for rental and they only handle things up to 2”, and they are apparently crummy at dealing with pine needles (we have a million). 90% of our branches could be handled by a small chipper (up to three inches), but the units need to be towed home with a trailer hitch (can you picture adding that to the mustang??), and they’re too big to get through the gate, so we’d have to haul the entire huge piles out to the driveway, and then haul (presumably via a new wheelbarrow?) all of the wood chips/mulch back to the backyard.
So, the default plan for now is to just max out our two yard waste bins until it’s gone. The pile on the side of the house is my top priority, since I can’t even imagine what kind of creepy crawlies are finding homes between our limbs and the dirt they’re sitting on. Yard waste is collected every other week during the winter, so it may be a long haul. To get a sense of how much a yard waste bin holds, here’s the before
and after (that’s a six-foot fence):