As composting becomes more widespread, more and more residents have approached the village of Palatine with questions, only to find no official ordinance in place.
That changed Monday with the village council's unanimous vote to put rules into place for the recycling of decaying organic matter. Officials said the practice can, if done properly, benefit the community by reducing trash disposal, saving money and conserving natural resources.
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"A number of communities around us do have codes with regulations, so we put together best practices ... so (composting) is done in a manner that has no impact on any of the adjacent property owners," Palatine Village Manager Reid Ottesen said.
The ordinance addresses permitted construction materials, contents of composting materials and the location and quality of bins.
No more than three compost bins will be allowed on a property, and they must be made of commercial-grade material and consist primarily of yard waste. Oils, meat, bones, fish, dairy, inorganic materials and human or animal waste are prohibited.
The bins must not emit odors in such quantities that they're detectable along lot lines. They also must inhibit the entrance of pests and prevent wind from carrying away the contents, according to the new ordinance.
As for location, the village will require bins to be positioned in the rear yard of residential properties and at least 25 feet away from neighboring homes.
Alternative locations for compost bins will be considered by the director of the village's community services department, officials said.