Results from Our Leaf Thief Survey

My neighbor cries "Leaf Thief! Leaf Thief!" whenever he catches me taking his bagged leaves for my compost pile -- in spite of the fact that he has given me permission to take them! He gets a kick out of it. Our survey of off-property sources for compost input material is named in honor of his joke. We hope the experiences of others spark ideas that will work for you!

The most common source of outside materials was "Neighbors", chosen by 27% of respondents. The second most commonly checked source was "Stables", used by 19% of respondents. Other commonly-used sources are "Cafes" (12%), "Lawn Service" (11%), and "Grocery" (10%)

Asked for sources other than those listed, respondents offered a wide variety of ideas. Other than listing family and friends, the most common suggestion really surprised me: various sources of hair including beauty salons, barber shops and poodle parlors. Five percent of survey respondents collected hair!

Our respondents proved very resourceful and creative in finding sources for desired inputs! Options vary by geographical location and season, but many of these ideas may work for you. Tips received from composters covered a wide variety of topic areas, but we only have space to include a few of those areas here.

Tips on Where You Can Find Manure

Tips on Where You Can Find Food Scraps

These tips recommend that you know what you are getting when you collect

Here are just a few of the funny collection stories we collected from survey respondents.

Complete survey results were published to newsletter subscribers in three parts:

Part I reported the geographic representation of survey participants, the statistics reported for a given list of 15 possible sources, Rules for Collection, along with some tips, cautions and funny stories.

Part II focused on off-site resources used by respondents which were not part of the survey's list of 15. Tips and funny stories were included as well.

Part III reported responses to the survey questions "Provide any tips you have on finding materials" and "Tell us your funniest material-acquiring story."

Sorry, the full report is no longer available in print. I have got it on my list of to do's to get it scanned in and make it available.

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