Rain Barrels & Composters
One simple, efficient, low-cost method to reduce the amount of stormwater runoff from your property is to use rain barrels. Estimates indicate that a quarter-inch of rain falling on an average home yields over 200 gallons of water. Rain barrels are simply large containers that capture stormwater from your roof that would otherwise be lost as runoff. Modern rain barrels are sealed, safe around children and insect resistant – they can even be painted or decorated to your liking. You can divert water from your downspout to fill your rain barrel and a hose spigot on the front makes the water easy to access and use.
Around 40% of total household water used during the summer months is for watering lawns and gardens.
Rainwater doesn’t contain chlorine, lime, or calcium, which makes it ideal for watering your flowers and vegetable garden or washing your car or windows. You may notice a decrease in your water bill! Even if you don’t have an intended use for the water, emptying the rain barrel after a storm reduces the rate and volume of stormwater the sewer system and our rivers and streams have to manage at a peak time. View this guide or watch this video for easy installation tips.
The Conservation Foundation sells rain barrels year-round through our partnership with Upcycle Products, Inc. Our 55-gallon rain barrels are made of recycled food-grade plastic, come in a variety of colors and can be purchased for $64.50 (plus tax) for pick-up at McDonald Farm in Naperville. Home delivery is available for $32.50 more.
***Please note: rain barrels ordered online will not be available for pickup at McDonald Farm until the following week. We also organize many county, municipal, and organizational rain barrel sales.
When we compost our kitchen scraps and yard waste we reduce the amount of material going to the landfills and instead return nutrients to the soil. The many benefits of composting include reducing the amount of material going to landfills and adding organic matter to our garden beds. This improves soil structure and texture, increases the soil’s ability to hold both water and air, improves soil fertility, and stimulates healthy root development in plants. And it saves you money so you don’t have to buy chemical fertilizers!
Upcycle compost bins (stationary and tumbling) are the same size as the 55 gallon rain barrel, approximately 2 ft by 3.5 ft (the base of the tumbling composter requires a 3 x 4 ft area). The bins are re-purposed BPA-free food grade plastic barrels.