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rubbish buried in yard!

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Posted by TAHNSTAR 28 Jun 2011 - 5:16:00 PM

A couple of months ago I bought my first house and straight away started adding lawn clippings and vegetables scraps to an existing pile of lawn clippings in the corner of the backyard.

A couple of weekends ago I decided to move the pile out as I want to put a compost bin there for vegetable scraps and a compost box made from old pallets for lawn clippings. I was shocked and disgusted to find that underneath the mound was the previous tenant's own private rubbish tip! So far I have found everything from LOTS of bits of plastic bags, foil, foam, paper etc. to broken plastic toys, a school hat, hairbrush and football.

Once I have cleared it all out I would like to put the compost back in this area but am worried that the soil might be contaminated from the rubbish and leach up into the compost heaps. I am thinking I will have to dig a crater out and get new soil in to fill it or put plastic sheeting under the compost heaps or both.

Does anyone have any idea how deep I would need the new top soil so as to avoiding leaching up of any contaminants from the old soil? Any other ideas or advice would also be appreciated.

Thanks.

Comments (2)

Re: FRANKF 3 Jul 2011 - 5:22:00 PM

It would be very difficult to determine the level of contamination without doing soil sampling. The level of contamination would depend on what had been dumped there and for how long. I would suggest that you buy some cheap pavers and place them in that spot. This would separate the compost from the potential contamination, and also help you control the grass around the area.

Re: Re: TAHNSTAR 13 Jul 2011 - 12:14:00 PM

Thanks for the idea! I would have liked to put it directly on soil so the worms could get into it but I think it'll be safer to go with the paver idea. At least that way I know it'll be OK and it will be easier to keep the area neat. Still digging the rubbish pit out (can only put so much in the wheelie bin each week) and digging up rubbish from other parts of the block. Looks like any vegetable gardens will have to be raised ones with something separating the soil from the ground!

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