Solid Waste Division issues yard waste compost advisory

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Rapid City Solid Waste renewed an advisory concerning its yard waste compost.

Last October, the city issued a similar advisory about the presence of herbicides, after a concerned master gardener called to track down issues she was having in her garden.

This prompted the Solid Waste Department to have it’s compost tested, finding high amounts of three herbicides in it’s feed stocks, which takes in yard waste within the region.

Of course, it’s not uncommon for herbicides and other gardening chemicals to show up – but nationwide, compost producers are seeing the more persistent herbicides – which take much longer to break down into more inert substances.

“These are ones that we haven’t seen before that have shown up. The persistent herbicides, there’s clopyralid, quinclorac and MCPP that are persistent and they could last for several years. The break down is very slow, the process,” said Rapid City Solid Waste Superintendent Jeff Barber.

Currently, the Solid Waste Division alerts customers not to use the compost for broad-leaf or ornamental plants. However, the herbicides detected are not known to pose a threat to lawns.

The compost is in for another round of testing, with multiple labs to determine the source of the chemicals, and remove them to the greatest extent possible.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News