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TheWaterbug

Why "no palm tree parts" in our green waste bins?

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TheWaterbug

I was reading the bill from my trash collection company, and it says in bold and underlined text, that I should put "no palm tree parts in the green waste bin."

I wondered why, so I googled, and apparently this is a pretty universal policy for trash companies in the U.S., but no one seems to say why.

Is this just blatant discrimination against palm trees? Or do palm parts not compost properly? Or are they rude to the pine needles? Why? WHY????

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LJG

Luckily EDCO here in Vista allows palm parts or I would be screwed.

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Bencassa

They would have a hard time placing a "no palm parts" ban here in North Queensland! Though I imagine it's cos palm fronds have a tendency to clog up mulchers.

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MattyB

Palm, and other very fiberous plant material, get tangled up in the shreaders.

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Jim in Los Altos

Here in Los Altos, we can put anything that was once alive in our "leaf" bins including meat, kitchen waste, bones, old 2 X 4s, and, most importantly, palm fronds and trunks. It all gets processed and composted and the compost is available to the public.

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trioderob

Luckily EDCO here in Vista allows palm parts or I would be screwed.

you could not buy a wood chipper and use the shredded bits as compost ?????????????

I have seen palm fronds go thru like a spit ball coming out a straw

Edited by trioderob

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Matt in SD

Glad you brought this up Rob. We just got the letter in the mail last week that we'd be getting a "green bin" and it came with a flyer about what you could and could not put in there. I was excited that there was no mention of palms or banana plants, which constitute 90% of our yard waste. But now that you posted, I checked the Environmental Services website and they say no palm fronds or banana plants!? I wonder why Vista and other places can handle this stuff but SD cannot?

It seems pretty shortsighted to me that San Diego has invested in machinery that cannot deal with palms, banana plants, bird of paradise, cactus, or succulents. These constitute a very large fraction of yard waste here. If there is machinery that can handle this stuff, it should be here more than just about anywhere else.

Matt

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trioderob

you can use something like this - be sure to double check with an expert and dont buy blindly on my recommendation ! but for entertainment purposes only I add this link :

http://www.harborfreight.com/212cc-chipper-shredder-60599.html

I would not be surprised if this item appears on criags list from time to time for considerably less.

read and learn about chipper safety before you ever fire one up !

and dont buy an underpowered electric one- those are for girly-men

Edited by trioderob

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rsproule

From my experience, Matty's explanation totally makes sense. I have a $3K Wallenstein chipper which based on my research before I bought it, is widely regarded as the highest quality chipper made. It's powered by by the PTO (27 HP) on my tractor. It will chip a 3" lemon tree branch like it was nothing, but it's absolutely useless at shredding palm fronds or palm trunks. As Matty said, the fibrous material just creates a tangled mess.

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Geoff

that's the exact excuse given to me by the city of LA when I asked them the same thing… saying that, I still filled up the green can with palm fronds and they never said anything about it.

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DoomsDave

Palms can be tough, like the Marines.

You want Marines in your shredder?

What you say?

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LJG

Luckily EDCO here in Vista allows palm parts or I would be screwed.

you could not buy a wood chipper and use the shredded bits as compost ?????????????

I have seen palm fronds go thru like a spit ball coming out a straw

I could, but why would I? Palm mulch sucks and looks like crap. :)

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MattyB

Palm mulch is great for erosion control. It'll hold a very steep hill without slipping. You can always top dress with some prettier mulch. I won't take it anymore though for fear of fussrium.

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TheWaterbug

you can use something like this - be sure to double check with an expert and dont buy blindly on my recommendation ! but for entertainment purposes only I add this link :

http://www.harborfreight.com/212cc-chipper-shredder-60599.html

I wonder how a palm tree would hold up to one of these forestry mulchers.

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Dr. George

Granted its not for everyone, but if you have the space and right equipment (and a ranch hand that enjoys tractor work), palm fronds make just as good mulch/compost as any other vegetation. On the farm we chip, mulch and compost everything green, a large part of which is palm fronds.

post-3609-0-31659200-1414559421_thumb.jp

After distributing the pile:

post-3609-0-05174200-1414559442_thumb.jp

Matty is correct about fronds shredding and tangling up the mechanism. Drum style commercial chippers have fewer problems with palm fronds than the disc style chippers, but we just bought a used (600 hrs) Bandit 95XP that has the disc at 90o angle and mounted very close to the feeder to minimize problems with palm fronds and vines. It soon will be on its way to the Big Island.

post-3609-0-08323600-1414559467_thumb.jp

gmp

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Gonzer

Ron S. from San Clemente used to bring cases of fan belts from his automotive biz to Mardy's home when the Doc would do his annual trimming. The chipper would burn through the belts that fast due to the tough nature of the fronds.

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trioderob

I watched full size wasingtonia fronds go thru a chipper like a red hot needle going thru warm butter right before my eyes.

that tree cost me a few hundred to remove

Edited by trioderob

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rsproule

There are chippers that will work on palm fronds, but they would have to utilize a technology that prevents tangling of the fibers. I suspect there are trade offs in cost, overall performance and range of usage. The cities that don't allow palm fronds are probably using giant chippers that utilize a standard/generic type technology. You would think cities that have a high populations of palms would plan for that, but they probably can't afford it. Like Vista, Encinitas outsources to EDCO Disposal, and there are no restrictions on palm fronds.

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empireo22

If you let the fronds dry out small chippers shouldn't have any problem.

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Matt in SD

Good info here. I'm still confused about what San Diego currently does or does not allow in the green bins. For example the website says no palm fronds. But the flier sent out in the last couple weeks did not mention palm fronds, and this was on their colorful "do's and dont's" flier that should cover all important aspects of what to put in the bins. And there is a current pdf flier that can be downloaded from the website that says nothing about palm fronds, but does say "no palm seeds". If they specifically say "no palm seeds" and don't specifically say "no palm fronds"...I would have to assume that palm fronds are OK. Maybe it's wishful thinking but it looks to me like the policy has changed and they have just not updated everywhere on the site. I guess I should just call. Or maybe I'll just start putting stuff in there and see if I get a complaint.

Matt

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LJG

Matt, just put it in man. Don't call. :) The good news is that these new green waste containers are lifted with the claw (as my kids call it) so the guy won't see what is going in. Just make sure no fronds are sticking out :greenthumb:

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DoomsDave

Some palms are very very tough.

Phoenix in particular. CIDP trunks are like a concrete column with steel cables cast inside, lengthwise, crosswise, all through. I'll bet they'll give that DAH beast in post No. 14 a bit of heartburn. Conifers shred easy. I'd be curious to see how one of them do on a CIDP.

Ellyn, my 10-horsepower shredder, can shred almost all palm leaves and parts that fit into the shredder. The only ones she won't maul are the big bases of large Dypsis, large Phoenix and dried petioles from queens. Tough stuff no problem; hard stuff no problem, but tough and hard both, well . . . . No belts, a nice direct drive. Had her for 12 years, replaced a few parts.

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palmislandRandy

In Palm Beach County we are allowed the equivalent of 3 refrigerators a week! My pick up guys prefer to have the fronds neatly stacked all in the same direction & not in cans. A little Christmas bonus does go a long way.

Yard waste is collected manually by a different truck than the garbage and is limited to 6 cubic yards (cy) per week(the equivalent of 3 standard refrigerators). All yard waste, with the exception of tree branches and palm fronds, must be containerized in standard 32-50 gallon cans or sealed plastic bags. Containers and contents can not weigh more than 50 pounds. Branches must be 6 feet or less in length and 50 pounds or less in weight.

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