Julie Fischer of Decorah has used an Earth Machine for about 10 years. (Decorah Newspapers photo by Lissa Blake)
A local campaign is offering a low-cost option for area residents to become "greener" in time for the holidays.
The Northeast Iowa Peace and Justice Center (NEIPJC) and Green Iowa AmeriCorps are currently assembling a "group order" of Earth Machine home composters.
"The selected composter cuts down on landfill waste, creates great gardening fertilizer and is low maintenance," said Andrew Papke-Larson of the Winneshiek Energy District, which helps administer Green Iowa AmeriCorps.
Papke-Larson said he hopes to have enough orders to keep the cost of the device around $50. He said he hopes 20 people will respond by the middle of December.
About the machine
Julie Fischer, NEIJPC coordinator, said she and her husband have had an Earth Machine for about 10 years.
"When we lived in Cedar Falls, it was a city initiative and we ordered one as part of a truckload sale," said Fischer.
Fischer explained the Earth Machine utilizes a cold composting process and the material in the bin never needs to be turned.
"It also renders higher nutrient components than the turned (anaerobic) process," said Fisher.
In addition, the composter is made of durable plastic and contains a lockable lid, which makes it impossible for animals to access the contents.
In the spring, homeowners open a drawer in the bottom and spread the dirt on their gardens.
Fischer and Papke-Larson said they realize there may be some first-time composters who may be interested in placing an order.
"We could certainly offer some community education about composting as part of this initiative," said Papke-Larson.
"And with the cost, this would make a great gift for the holidays," said Fischer.
For more information or to place an order for the Earth Machine, contact Fischer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 563-382-5337.