BY DYKE HENDRICKSON STAFF WRITER
Newburyport Daily News
---- — NEWBURYPORT — Mayor Donna Holaday, a veteran of ribbon cuttings to open new commercial enterprises, yesterday “cut the first branch” of the city’s new compost facility.
Numerous city officials were present to observe the opening of the expanded center, which is off Crow Lane, located along the same driveway as the former site.
But at 5 acres, the new location is about twice the size of the old facility.
It offers two sectors, one for yard waste and one for wood chips. A third location holds soil compost, which is available for free to all sticker holders.
A small structure that once served as a Santa shed downtown during the holiday season has been repurposed as an educational center for Newburyport recycling initiatives, including local habitat information and material on mosquitoes and ticks.
City officials say that local preservationist Gerry Mullins will guide walks through the area for those interested in learning more about the trails in and around the facility.
Local Girl Scouts made posters for the education center that highlight the area’s wetlands and vernal pool and provide information on composting and recycling.
Molly Ettenborough, recycling and energy coordinator for the city, said tours will be held next week for Nock Middle School science classes as part of place-based education initiated by the schools and the Gulf of Maine Institute.
The new compost site was developed in an effort to offer a cleaner and safer center for those seeking to get rid of lawn clippings, tree branches and other green material.
In a related development, city officials say that the bagged leaf curbside pickup program will be held during the weeks of Nov. 12, 26 and Dec. 10.
Ettenborough suggested that residents have their bagged leaves out on the curb on their regular trash day. Those leaves will be taken to area farms, so residents are urged to include only foliage.